Project “Strengthening the Capacity of the Children’s Palliative Care Society”

The Children’s Palliative Care Society had launched its “Strengthening the capacity of the Children’s Palliative Care Society” (project No. 2012.EEZ/DAP/MAC/104/1/NAC/038), funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism programme for the period 2009-2014 “NGO activity support measure”. The project was financially supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The aim of the programme of the Children’s Palliative Care Society (the Society) in 2013, was to expand public involvement in the activities of the Society by creating a parents’ initiative group and setting up a volunteering in children’s palliative care (PC) project.
Programme venue: The Children’s University Hospital, Vienības gatve 45, Riga.
Period of implementation in 2013: 01.07.2013.-31.12.2013.
Provision had been made for administering the project, to ensure proper management and implementation of the components:
Promotion of active citizenship and democracy in children’s PC through involvement in decision making processes. A parent led group has been created. Its agenda was set by the working group, which also produced questionnaires and conducted a poll among the parents. The content of the Society’s website was translated into Russian and English. The website is constantly maintained and updated.
Building of civil society awareness in children’s PC – cooperation agreements were concluded with the two NGOs: the “Clinical Social Workers’ Society” and the “Society”Family””. The cooperation agreement with the “Clinical Social Workers’ Society” was signed on 23 October, 2013, and with the “Society”Family”” -on 28 November, 2013.

Raising additional funds – the “Tree of Angels” charity Christmas church service for disabled children, in Riga Cathedral and a commemoration event for the families of children who have passed away took place:

    • On 25 December, the Society organised a Christmas charity concert “Tree of Angels covering with Snow…” in the Riga Dome Cathedral. The concert was devoted to children in need of the PC. The event was introduced by a church service led by Sandis Ratnieks, pastor of Riga Dome Evangelical Lutheran Church, and opening speech of the first lady Mrs Dace Seisuma. Christmas melodies were performed by mezzo soprano Ilona Bagele, organist Edīte Alpe and Ādažu Arts and Music School students. During the charity event, 681.54 lats were collected. These donations will be used to improve conditions of life of incurably ill children.
    • In 17 December, specialists of the Children’s Palliative Society went to see the pupils of the International School of Latvia to thank them for great cooperation and considerateness of the pupils supporting children with special needs. The aims of the meeting included also discussion on significance of health. Pupils of the school together with their parents organise nice Christmas gifts as a surprise for the children within the mission of the society. This particular Christmas gift activity has laid basis for the project “Tree of Angels” as initially every pupil prepared and painted an angel to be attached to the gift and presented to children of the Children’s Palliative Care Society. Currently the project has significantly grown its scope and in 2013 there will be even a special charity concert “Tree of Angels covering with Snow” organised in Riga Dome church.
    • The memorial service for children who have passed away is an annual event organised by the Children’s Palliative Care Society between All Souls’ Day and the first day of Advent, which brings families together to light a candle in memory of their children who have passed away. The Society has been holding this memorial service for more than 10 years. This year, thanks to the Eiropa Royal Hotel, the 30th November memorial service was held at beautiful Benjamin House. The memorial service was led by the Riga Dome Cathedral pastor, Sandis Ratnieks. Music was played by Juta Bērziņa and Linda Ziemele.

Increased cooperation and membership of local and international NGO cooperation networks. The Society become as a corporate member of the Latvian Civic Alliance in October 2013.

Popularisation of the volunteering movement – a working group is being established to develop an action programme for volunteering in children’s PC.The group recruited volunteers and organised their work in children’s PC.
Events to enhance publicity and information exchange – mass media has been provided with initial information on the project, the project had a section dedicated to it on the Society’s website, 11 press releases were released. The project’s inaugural seminar took place on 27 July, at the Society’s address at Vienības gatve 45. The seminar provided information on the aims of the project and the planned results.