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Latvia gained independence from the former Soviet Union in September 1991. From 1991 on, Latvia has been experiencing a transition period, from state-controlled economy to market economy. As with many Eastern European countries, Latvia has thousands of orphan children, most of whom are social orphans. These children are victims of abuse and/or the desperate financial situation in Latvia. In addition to relationships with several government run orphanages, Orphan Outreach’s primary project in Latvia is the Day Center.

Day Center, [Liepaja]

The Day Center for children was opened by a local pastor in 2007 and has been operating as a haven for the children in this area ever since. The majority of the children attending the Center come from abusive, needy homes where parents are unemployed, heartbroken and addicted to drugs and alcohol. A great number of the children in this area are without any adult supervision or guidance and they typically end up taking the same paths as their parents. There is no one to help them and they have no support system.
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Jelgava City Orphanage, [Jelgava]

Jelgava city orphanage is the only government owned facility of this type in the city. It currently provides care for approximately 65 children from ages 2 to 20.
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  • Capital - Riga
  • Size/Area - 40,142 sq miles
  • Population - 2,245,423
  • Time Zone - 8 hours ahead of CST
  • Language(s) - Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3%
  • Currency - Euros
  • Type of Government - Parliamentary Democracy
  • Current Leader - President Andris Berzins
  • Compulsory Education - 6 to 14 years
  • Literacy - 99.8% (male); 99.8% (female); age 15 and over can read and write
  • Religion - Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox
  • Latvia is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic sea, sharing borders with Lithuania to the south, Estonia to the north, Russia to the east and Belarus to the southeast.
  • Latvia is slightly larger than West Virginia.
  • Latvia is divided into four historical regions: Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Latgale and Zemgale. The highest peak is Gaizins Kalns, standing at 311.5 meters. The climate in Latvia is moderate with distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm and short. Autumn and spring are relatively mild and rainy. Winter weather is cold and fluctuates a great deal, with some years snowier and colder than others.
  • After the restoration of independence in September 1991, Latvia has sought to join various international organisations. In April of 2004 Latvia became a member of NATO and in May of 2004, a member of the European Union. Latvia is also a member of the WTO.