Graduates 2015

Point of view

Name: Marija Kožarina (Latvia)

The scope of activities of NGO Socintegra – social integration of the blind people and providing an accessible environment for their normal daily life, education, and employment. For more than four years we have organized the production of tactile information objects which can be read by any person, regardless of the condition of their vision. Those are tactile maps, door plates, and signposts that contain embossed information and Braille. We have equipped more than 50 objects in Latvia. We have experience in international cooperation and realization of European projects.

Within the framework of the project it is planned to organize an exhibition “Touching”, in which there will be exposed the embossed photos of the city, 3D models of architectural monuments, embossed graphic map of the city by the means of which blind people will be able to orient themselves. Following the conclusion of the exhibition, all the objects will be used for organizing the inclusive excursions in the city with participation of the blind people.

We have a plan to use all of those exhibit (upon completion) for establishment of TyphloCentre, where we organize special lessons dedicated to blind men as well as people with limited vision targeting for orientation in the city. There is an idea to transfer typhlographic Studio that facilitate adaptation of visually impaired men and organize tactile maps manufacture there.

Long term plans:

  • development export of tactile production;
  • organization of international inclusive excursions along with people with limited vision;
  • Domestic manufacture. – social projects – tactil maps


Name: Dmitriy Bechytskiy ( Israel/Ukraine)

SOS is an online support group for people suffering from addictions.

In today’s world full of stress and the overwhelming amount of information more and more people are suffering from various kinds of addictions.
The addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs does not solve problems but becomes a substitute for real action and development.
Despite the futility of these habits, it is difficult to get rid of them especially if there’s no one around who can support at the time of stress.
Can you imagine that friends who can support you in a difficult moment are always close?
We have developed a mobile application for people suffering from addictions.
Instead of smoking, drinking, etc, a person just clicks the help button in the application.
Afterwards, his/her support group receives a help request message.
And the whole process of support goes online.
A person finds him/herself in the company of his/her friends, in full communication with them.

House of the Fairy Tale

Name: Anna Kashina (Latvia)

Today there are 130,000 preschools and school children of younger age registered in Latvia. More than 15% of them have difficulties in education. The main tasks of the House of fairy tales are to solve issues with discipline, to help maintain contact with parents and pass values from one generation to the next.

Creating magical stories as a therapeutic method allowed us to publish a book for children diagnosed with celiac disease, write and publish a book of therapeutic stories “Pyhtychovye tales”, also board game “Designer of fairy tales” and a number of manuals for psychologists and teachers. We conducted more than 50 workshops for parents and children – among them children’s communities of Kalkun city and the orphanage center, Riga Central Library, Society of the Disabled Motus Vita, Riga orphanage of Moscow suburbs and many other organizations and social projects.

At the moment the house of fairy tales – is a project of the Family Support Center, which addresses issues of education, social inclusion and the transmission of values from one generation to another. We create stories that are changing the scenario of human life and solve any, even very complex problems. In our portfolio there are plenty of fairy tales for children with special needs and educational stories for every occasion. Our main task is to teach every parent in Latvia to create such fairy tales with their own hands.

To achieve these goals, we are creating an application for smartphones and tablets with therapeutic stories, we are working on the creation of an interactive program of distant training, programming site for parents and professionals, as well as writing a tutorial on creating magical stories. We also hope that the organization will become a center for the further development of the museum of fairy tales in Riga, which will help to preserve and popularize the Latvian cultural heritage, and is a good base to work with Latvian families and worthy tourist object, such as the Stockholm Museum Junibaken or House of Fairy tales SKAZKIN in St. Petersburg.

SOM School of Media

Name: Jolanta Wexler (Ukraine)

Iolanta photo
The SOM School of Media provides media expert education in 4 directions: for journalists/TV presenters, cameramen, film editors, and producers. The goal of the School is to create a professional media community in Ukraine.

The SOM School of Media offers grants to talented students from Eastern Ukraine for free training in all specialties. During the training the students will shoot and edit short video clips on the subject of tolerance and large-mindedness in the society. This will result in a portfolio which will be helpful for their future employment.
The target audience of the School is young professionals with higher education aged 18 to 35 and living in cities with more than 50 thousand residents in the regions of Ukraine.

School teachers: expert practitioners working on the leading channels of the country: Inter, Ukraine, 1 + 1, and 5 Kanal. The list of invited speakers also includes opinion leaders, activists and prominent public figures from Germany, USA and Israel.

Wings of Hope (Latvia)

Name: Eva Vilkina un Oļegs Zubkovs

It is practically impossible for people with mental disorders and without any support to enter the labour market due to which they are isolated from society.

We pursue the objective to establish employment services for people with mental disabilities. Our services will give them the possibility to learn a variety of vocational skills and abilities, as well as find a suitable form of employment for each personally. Everyone must feel useful and participate in the improvement of the quality of their life.

Ecocenter – WINDA

Name: Daiga Zipeva-Biumane

A country house for collective living and working of disabled young people aged 18-25 is located on the banks of the Venta River 18 km away from Ventspils. The house is located on the territory of a social company providing tourism services and established on the principles of ecotourism and growing ecologically clean products, i.e. fruit, vegetables and medicinal herbs. The company owns a vegetarian cafe in Ventspils.

It is planned that the country house with a home farm will be the centre for healthful and psychological rehabilitation of the youth. The project aims to both help the disabled young people to improve their social and physical independence, learning of new work skills and to provide high-quality services of a rural company based on the principles of ecological farm management.

Opportunities for everyone

Name: Inara Olena

I have been entrusted to lead the Development Centre, i.e. Specialised Boarding School Pelči. I have been doing this for almost ten years in a row. Personnel of the school invest a lot of work in order to prepare pupils for work and integration into society.

At this school, pupils may learn three professions: a cook’s assistant, a joiner’s assistant and a lumberman’s assistant. Unfortunately, there is no continuation for the work done at the school.

After graduation pupils find it difficult to fulfil their potential on the labour market and quite often are forced by to become offenders due to different circumstances.

The problem could be solved by implementing a social innovation in Latvia, i.e. to provide combined support for youngsters with mental disabilities. Nearby their place of residence a social enterprise could be established: manufacturing and integrated workshops where our school graduates could work in their profession depending on their skills and health condition.
Let’s help the graduates of specialised school turn from allowance recipients into active citizens of Latvia by realising their rights to respectful treatment, full-fledged independent life, social and economic involvement, be equal with other people, perform available social roles, realise their human rights and duties.

Baltic Extracts

Name: Alexander Bobrovsky (Latvia-Ukraine)

The project aims to organize the production of bio-extracts from medicinal plants and berries by recovering their healthy active components with CO2 extraction which is considered to be the most environmentally friendly method today.

Natural Baltic extracts are designed to replace harmful synthetic additives and colorants in cosmetics, foods and pharmaceuticals today, and the growing demand for ecologically clean raw materials will help to ensure the sustainable development of bio-farms and farming in Latvia. The use of extracts in final products and drugs improves their quality thereof, facilitates longevity and health of society.


Name: Jūlija Safonova (Latvia)

The primary goal of this project is to attract foreign students to Latvia on the base of an information and consultation centre this way popularising Latvia as an international educational platform which will attract even more foreign students and later on will serve as a unique step in the ratification of the Latvian diplomas in other countries. Also, to give to the intellectually potential students an opportunity to get education in Latvia on the basis of the EU scholarships and return to their country of residence.

This way the students will take the values cultivated under the educational system to their home countries and will popularise them there.

The target audience is focused on mass clients with average income.
Therefore, a commercial idea to gain profit has fully developed into a social project.

Saint Luke workshop

Name: Мārtiņš Krūklis

Each year, about 2000 people are released from the Latvian prisons. As experience shows, society does not accept former prisoners and do not care about them because people are afraid of them. Such exclusion often results in criminal recidivism, and we, our families or friends can become the next victim.

In our cultural-social community integration centres we will perform the following activities:

  • provide the former prisoners with legal employment and some income;
  • take care of their socio-psychological needs;
  • tell their life stories to the general public;
  • discover their positive potential, their usefulness and their desire to fully return to a law-abiding society;
  • we will take care not only for them but also for their families.

As a result, these people will be changed from tax consumers into taxpayers, which will enhance the overall well-being and safety of society. The social impact resulting from one psychologically and socially stable family cannot be calculated precisely, but it may be said with certainty that this family will reproduce creativity, positivism, recover the purchasing power and the desire to live a socially responsible life, which is a positive signal to investors and entrepreneurs, and gradually raises the prosperity of the country whole country upswing. Any group or nation that is moving forward and wants to stay united can do it as fast as effective are its weakest elements.