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The Children’s Orphanage house and Gaujiena’s specialized boarding school have around 145 children from all over the Latvian Aluksne District. The children, aged two to 18 years living in the orphanage, have been taken from their parents for reasons such as alcohol abuse, neglect and domestic violence. The specialized boarding school houses children with various learning and behavior difficulties. Stories about the children’s behavior have created fear among the villagers, so the orphanage and school are socially isolated. Heifer is working in this Latvia community to change that through joint trainings and different activities.
Twenty-six families, including the orphanage and the school, which are considered two families, will be given chicken, geese or ducks, sheep or goats, and berry plants such as raspberries, strawberries, black currants or chokeberries. Each family will receive five sheep or goats or the equivalent poultry and berry plants. The orphanage house and school will receive berry plants.
A local berry cultivation company, LTD Lienama Aluksne, is buying the berries to allow the community will raise their income in the second year of the project. Additionally, Heifer will provide all participants with training in small animal keeping, gardening and marketing, as well as technical and veterinarian assistance. An additional 26 families will benefit through Passing on the Gift.