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Home-Start Latvia (Sakums majas)
Name of Director: Olga Cernisova-Sturiska
Rigas iela 27
Vecumnieku novads, LV 3933

Tel: +371 26427717


Contact person Leonids Mucenieks


In May 2005, Leonid Mucenieks, Latvian Association of Large Families Association Manager, tells us about how the Hungarian Association of Large Families organization has started a Home-Start, based on the model they have experienced in England.

From 15 - 18 November 2005, I was invited to participate in the Home-Start International Trienniel Network Conference in London.

While studying a Social Work Master's Program from 2005 to 2006, I carried out a study with Vecumnieku Municipality and other Latvian regions of social services for families with pre-school children access.

Based on my 2006 Master's thesis within the country’s experience, I developed the "Beginning at home", or Home-Start scheme adapting the service to Latvian conditions.

In 2006 Vecumnieku Large Families Association "Sunflower" becomes a tripartite Nordic member organisations in the project submitted by the NGO Home - Start Lithuania.

February - March 2007 a "Development of Local Action (LEADER type measure)" activity is written and an "Integrated rural development experimental strategies" local initiative group project "Volunteer, working with families at home, which grows in pre-school children, training", is supported.

In 2007 from 11 - 14 June in the project with NGO Home - Start Lithuania participated in the exchange trip to Norway to visit the Trondheim Home - Start scheme of the organisation.

In 2007 from 11 - 12 September, 3 Vecumnieku DGB "Sunflower" volunteers participate in the exchange program in Klaipeda, Lithuania, during which Home - Start Lithuania organised a conference for Lithuania, Norway and Latvia.

In 2007, from 1 October to 31 December, we received expert assistance with our volunteer training programme for the project Foundation "Center Dardedze."

On 12 January 2008 the Foundation "Center Dardedze" begins training 17 volunteers on a 40 hour training course for working with families at home who have pre-school age children.

14 March 2008 Vecumnieki has its Foundation meeting for Home - Start Latvia - "Beginning at home".

On 29 March 2008 the volunteers training ends and the 15 Vecumnieku volunteers received a certificate.

On 5 April 2008 volunteers started working with families.

Host Home-Start Latvia


  1. Number of schemes: 1
  2. Number of volunteers: 4
  3. Number of families: 9

Home-Start Latvia employs 3-4 volunteers who 1 – 2 times a week visit families. (2 single mothers, 1 family with disabled child, 2 families with 2 and 3 underage children). We organise common activities for families, children and teach them family values. Since the organisation does not have its own office, we organise events at our family day centre where families can meet and share their experiences.


Work with families and coordination work is not paid and is all done on a voluntary basis. Volunteers Training cost in 2008 was covered by the project money resources. There were two projects submitted two years ago but they were not approved due to the lack of funding. Family day centre premises rent and utility bills are paid by local government.


Volunteering work is not popular in Latvia although Home-Start services is based only on voluntary work and has proven to be really necessary. The Voluntary work Act is going to be developed in Latvia this year and this will hopefully help the situation and enable Home-Start and other voluntary organisations to be mobilised and help the communities.

Plans for the Future

We would like to organise new volunteer training (10-20 volunteers) via project money resources. We would like to expand Home-Start services by training volunteers in eastern Latvia. We are planning to continue raising money by gathering company and civilian donations. We are planning to register offered services in 2016 which will facilitate state funding.

Families receiving Home-Start support are really grateful for the opportunity to gain a lot of supportive friends, emotional support to overcome short lived difficulties and appreciate the opportunity for gaining new skills.

Common activities help to introduce new traditions in families, cooperation skills and improve overall communication.

Date of this update: 1.10.2015.

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