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  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

    About the programme
  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

LLI-425 Development of Multifunctional Centers as Driver for Social Inclusion and Development of Local Community (OCTOPUS)

Similar demographic and social changes occur in the regions of Latvia and Lithuania: there is an aging population; demographic burden is rising; the number of people with functional disorders are on the rise; rural and peripheral areas are of higher risk of poverty. In the meantime availability of social workers decreases. Therefore demand for local multifunctional centres with effective social services and social inclusion measures in rural areas of regions is rising.
Therefore Zemgale Planning Region, together with six municipalities of Latvia and Lithuania, has developed a project aimed to promote accessibility of social services and promote social inclusion of people with disabilities and predictable disability, seniors, families with children with disabilities and children and youth at risk by creation and improvement of multifunctional centres where  social inclusion measures and social services will be provided.  In two years, 4 new social services like day center, day care center, community center, multifunctional social service center will be created in Jelgava, Auce, Vecumnieki and Plunge municipalities. 14 new social inclusion measures will be offered in Jelgava, Birži and Rokiški municipalities: sensory room, art and theater studio, English language courses, music making, sports, new technologies and information training for seniors, lectures for parents with children with disabilities, school of social skills, leisure camps for children etc. Specialists from partner municipalities will participate in four experience exchange trips and three day long training event. Guidelines for multi-functional centres where social services and social inclusion measures such as cultural and sporting activities for vulnerable groups are implemented successfully together will be created. Project partners will pilot such joint social inclusion measures like cross-border event for seniors, camp for children at risk, festival for disabled people.After pilot activities social measures will be evaluated and upgraded.
As the result of the project, multifunctional centres in project will be improved and social services and social inclusion measures in Latvia and Lithuania regions will become more accessible to at least 706 people with disabilities and predictable disability, seniors, families with children with disabilities and children and youth at risk.

Social media and contacts:
Phone: +371 630 27549
E-mail: zpr@zpr.gov.lv
Website: www.zemgale.lv
Address: Katoļu 2b, Jelgava, Latvia

17 May 2022

Partners continue learning Lithuanian experience

When visiting the multifunctional services, day and social services centers of Plungė city and the surrounding area, the partners of the LLI-425 project “OCTOPUS” from Latvia and Lithuania got acquainted with the social services implemented in Plungė, gained new impressions and ideas, and shared their experience.

An experience exchange event was opened in the picturesque Plungė manor, which was the home of the Oginsk family. Here, the head of Plungė municipality Audrius Klišonis were greeted project partners and emphasized that projects that promote social welfare are necessary, because the attitude towards the weaker and more vulnerable is a measure of the degree of humanity.

Simona Derkinte, a specialist in the development department and the coordinator of the OCTOPUS project, presented the city and the district in more detail, looking at the history as well as the present – population statistics, employment, production, agriculture, tourism opportunities and other aspects.

Next, the participants of the event visited the Community Center, which received the support of the project “OCTOPUS”. Alma Buivydienė, the head of the community center, shared her experience about the organization of the centre’s work, the activities of the target groups – seniors and people with disabilities, and the number of visitors. The presentation was complemented by performances by two senior music ensembles.

The next day, the project partners went to the Plungė Municipal Social Services Center, which was set up in the former school and boarding school. There are more than a hundred staff in about six departments, providing access to a range of services for the population, such as home care (including integrated home care), day care center for adults with mental disabilities, crisis center, family support center , a childcare group, an assistant service, and a day center for children with disabilities will soon open.

The partners visited the day center for adults with mental disorders, where various classes take place – pottery workshops, painting, music therapy, sewing, embroidery and weaving lessons, as well as a physiotherapist and a doctor’s assistant are available.

At the end of the day, a day center for children from social risk families is visited, where they find a home after school – receive a warm meal, are cared for and supported.

The last visit took place in the multifunctional center, where various classes are held for children and young people as well as seniors. On the day of the project visit, the youngest visitors of the multifunctional center were trained to work with the drone. At the end of the exchange, the project partners were able to get to know the cuisine, habits and family traditions of Samogitia in a special program.

According to the project manager Ieva Zeiferte, this was the fourth experience exchange event in the OCTOPUS project. Traditionally, the project partners come from Lithuanian municipalities bordering Zemgale, but Plungė borders Kurzeme. Measurhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn9O8h_zjfYing the long journey was worth it, as the range of social services in the city and district of Plungė is very rich, and there is something to learn from.

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1 April 2022

OCTOPUS project partners meet at the experience exchange event

After a long break, the first face-to-face exchange event took place within the LLI-425 OCTOPUS project. The aim was to find out the cornerstones of multifunctional social service centers in order to improve these services in the Zemgale region.


On March 29, social work specialists from the project partner municipalities visited the newly established Multifunctional Social Services Center in Vecumnieki, which is located in the former historic Red School. The multifunctional center in Vecumnieki is established with the support of three projects and municipal funding, it is currently being registered in the register of social services, and in the autumn it is planned to start providing services to the residents of Vecumnieki and parishes.

On March 30, the specialists visited three multifunctional centers in Biržai district, two of which were established in 2016 in areas with no more than 400 inhabitants. Adapting to demographic change by combining technical and human resources, multifunctional centers set up in former schools or kindergartens provide a range of services. They perform educational functions, offer hobby activities, sports opportunities for both young people and adults, as well as provide hygiene center services to the socially disadvantaged.

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7 December 2021

Watch videos of senior inclusion events online

During the implementation of the project No. LLI – 425 “Development of Multifunctional Centers as Driver for Social Inclusion and Development of Local Community” (OCTOPUS), senior inclusion activities have taken place in Jelgava, Auce, Biržai and Rokiškis.

The aim of the events was to promote socialization through events that take place according to the age and interests of the target group, offering cultural, sports, educational and cognitive activities.

When developing the project, they were initially planned as cross-border events, where seniors from both Latvia and Lithuania would participate in person. After assessing the risks of Covid 19, it was decided to implement the activity in both countries separately.

Participants have acknowledged that in such exchange activities, they can learn different skills and learn from each other to diversify their daily lives and not feel lonely. This experience gave seniors positive emotions for a long time.

The activities were carried out in accordance with epidemiological safety requirements.

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3 September 2021

Seniors introduced to social inclusion measures

Within the Interreg V-A Latvian-Lithuanian Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014–2020 project OCTOPUS LLI-425 a social inclusion event for seniors took place in Jelgava and Auce.

The aim of the event was to promote socialization through activities appropriate to the age and interests of the target group, offering cultural, sports, educational and cognitive events. The event was attended by seniors from Jelgava, Auce and Vecumnieki counties. When developing the project, it was planned that this would be a cross-border event, where seniors from both Latvia and Lithuania would participate. After assessing the risks of Covid 19, it was decided to implement the activity in both countries separately. Both events are being filmed and the partners will share the results and lessons learned in an online cross-border seminar in September.

In Jelgava region, there were several places for seniors to visit. At the beginning of the day, the seniors met at the activity center “Zemgale”, where the first “ice-breaking” activity took place. The seniors got acquainted and shared their leisure time opportunities, visited the center and got acquainted with the activities and events organized for seniors. In the end, the participants made wax candles, but then everyone went to the Lielplatone manor, where they visited the exposition of the bell collection and the old-fashioned laundry house.

Later, in the day care center “Upe”, participants participated in physical activity – Nordic walking. As the seniors acknowledged, the information gained during the lesson about proper Nordic walking, warming up and cooling down will be useful when applied in practice. After a good workout, the seniors were introduced to the activities of the center, and everyone could try the calming effect of the sensory room. The sensory room as a social inclusion event has been open since April this year and is primarily intended for seniors, children at risk, young people, families, as well as students of Lielplatones Primary School or Support Center.

The day care center “Upe” will start operating in January 2022. The day care center for people with mental disorders will offer classes such as cooking, gymnastics, handicrafts, various thematic activities, as well as specialist consultations.

In Auce, seniors visited the newly established multifunctional day center “White House”. The social worker of the center informed about the planned activities for seniors and young people. It is expected that visitors of the multifunctional day center will be able to improve their computer skills, culinary skills, play board and video games, as well as receive various services and assistance in important matters. The center has an equipped room for physiotherapist services. In the end, at the Auce Culture Center, the senior dance group “Randiņš” together with the participants of the event tried several dances.

In the evaluation questionnaires, participants indicated that in such exchange activities, they can learn different skills and learn from each other, diversify their daily lives and not feel lonely. The gained experience gave seniors positive emotions for a long time.

Project is co-financed by Interreg V-A Latvian-Lithuanian Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014–2020.

This article has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Zemgale planning region and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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15 July 2021

Project OCTOPUS activities at Rokiškis

Education Center of Rokiškis Municipality together with two Lithuanian and four Latvian partners is implementing the project OCTOPUS LLI-425 under the Interreg V-A Latvian-Lithuanian Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014–2020. The aim of the project is promote accessibility of social services and promote social inclusion of people with disabilities and predictable disability, seniors, families with children with disabilities and children and youth at risk by creation and improvement of multifunctional centres where  social inclusion measures and social services will be provided.

In June, after the release of the quarantine, the project activities have already started. In June and July, members of the Pandelys (Rokiskis district) community were actively involved in the activities of the Music Studio, the Art Studio and the Sports Club. 10 members of the Pandelys community who participated in the activities of the Music Studio recorded the Pandelys anthem “Pandely, Pandely”. The women of the Pandelys community, who are involved in the activities of the sports club, not only play sports, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle. Art studio participants are eager to get acquainted with clay and ceramics, painting on silk, glass, oil painting. At the end of the activities, an exhibition of works by the participants of the Art Studio will be organized in the Pandelys Library and the Education Center of Rokiskis Municipality.

June 28-30 an Experimental Camp for Rokiškis Basic School students took place, funded by the project. For three days, the students carried out various experiential activities: they participated in the educational program “Grūdo kelias”, where they learned how bread appears on our table, how it is made, and how to bake the bread themselves. The participants of the camp visited the Museum of Ancient Technology in the homestead of Sodeliskes manor, where they were interested in ancient equipment and visited the animals kept on the farm (deer, fallow deer, mouflon, alpaca, etc.). Students visited the Witches’ Museum in Packenai, Utena district, where they made their own toys – terrible, visited the witch’s feast kitchen, tasted the branded candy “Toad in Chocolate”. Adomyne manor, Kupiskis district, the students participated in the educational program “Treasure Hunt”, got acquainted with the history of the manor, the old owners and moments of their lives, baked and tasted Adomynė “Pagrabines” buns. After a three-day camp full of excitement and experience, the students “went” on a warm summer holiday.

This article has been prepared with the financial assistance of the European Union. Education Center of Rokiskis Municipality is fully responsible for the content of this article. Under no circumstances can it be considered to reflect the views of the European Union.

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10 June 2021

Videos about day centers in Zemgale have been developed

Informative videos have been developed about the establishment of Jelgava region and Auce day centers and their future plans, which were demonstrated at the experience exchange event.

Trust, help and be – these words are included in the name of Jelgava County Day Center “UPE”, which is located in Lielplatone Parish and will fully open in January 2022. The daily activities in the center will include cooking, gymnastics, handicrafts, themed activities, as well as consultations with specialists. Currently, the UPE Center has opened its doors to a sensory room, which is a separate social service, accessible to people of different target groups.

Auces’s multifunctional day center “White House” will work to provide locals with a place where to spend time usefully, because children and young people lack a place to go after school. Children and young people, as well as seniors and people with disabilities will be able to take part in various activities here. In the multifunctional day center you will be able to improve your computer and culinary skills, play board and video games, as well as receive various services and help with important issues.

According to project manager Ieva Zeiferte, multifunctional social services centres are a sensible solution for small populated areas, since combining administrative, specialist, equipment and space resources under one roof provides social services for a number of target groups.

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21 December 2020

New Social Service in Auce County will be available in 2021

Thanks to the approved Latvian-Lithuanian cross-border project Nr. 425 “Octopus” in year 2021 a new social service to inhabitants of Auce town and its surroundings will be available. It is a multifunctional day center for various population target groups (seniors, unemployed, children and young people from risk families) located in Auce town.
Within the framework of the project, the building belonging to the local municipality shall be repaired to two premises, adjusting them according to the availability of the environment, as well as by installing fire alarm safety and electricity. Also, in the project, it is planned to purchase the necessary equipment: furniture for rooms, computer technologies, household appliances for kitchen, TV, table for physiotherapy and various board games for high-quality leisure.

Total financing for all activities of the project- EUR 101 470.59, of which amount for construction works, construction supervision and purchase of equipment – EUR 85 079.

Photo: Ilmārs Matvejs

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17 December 2020

10 rooms in Lielplatone Day Care Center renovated

Within the framework of the Octopus project (LLI-425), in the future Day Care Center in Lielplatone, 10 rooms – two activity rooms, a sensory room, a consultation room, a kitchen, etc. – were renovated.

In the beginning of 2021, the premises of Day Care center will be equipped with the necessary equipment. It is planned that the day care center will open its doors in the 1st quarter of 2021 and will be able to provide social care, development of social skills, education and leisure during the day for at least 12 persons with mental disorders, as well as provide support in solving social problems legal representatives.

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Last updated: 28.06.2022 14:45