Today is Thursday, 2023.11.30

NATURE THERAPY: Improved social environment in the border regions of Latvia and Russia

Improvement of the social environment and ensuring its accessibility is one of the indicators which characterize the welfare of the state, including the friendly and accessible environment to every inhabitant, as well as the equity to receive services.

Such an objective, especially increasing the living standards and social environment accessibility for children with special needs and social risk groups, was raised by the project of Estonia-Latvia-Russia Programme “Nature Therapy for the Improvement of Equal Living Standards in Latvia-Russia Border Areas” (Nature Therapy). The partnership of the project was formed by the Latvian office of Euroregion "Country of lakes", Daugavpils, Ilūkste, Līvāni and Dagda municipalities (Latvia), State Administration of Social Welfare of the Pskov Region and Center for Curative Pedagogy and Differential Learning of Pskov (Russia).

Different types of equipment of social rehabilitation were purchased within the project, for example, a wheelchair lift, a mobile machine to overcome the flight of stairs, aquariums, ergonomic kitchen gadgets and writing sets, furniture for the improvement of the relaxation rooms, orthopaedic mattresses, TV and audio equipment, sand therapy equipment, hardware, garden tools and other.

The following social sites became more accessible for local inhabitants and visitors: Children House - Shelter "Priedīte", where modern sloping was constructed, and Social Care Day Centre for persons with mental disabilities in Daugavpils; 2 outdoor playgrounds for children, including special area for children with special needs, in Dagda and Vecdome; Day center of Livani Social Department and Family Support Center in Ilūkste where the premises were reconstructed (Latvia); Beljsko-Ustjensk children house in Porhov District and Bobrovsk children house in Pechory District where the rooms for the nature therapy training were reconstructed; Center for Curative Pedagogy and Differential Learning in Pskov, sensory garden for children with special needs was created.

In addition, within the project the knowledge on nature therapy as a unique rehabilitation method was improved both for individuals and professionals, while raising awareness about the healing effects of nature - physical, psychological and social factors of positive effects on the human organism.
The social workers from Latvia and Russia acquired theoretical knowledge and practical experience of the kinds of the nature therapy within three international training courses. Methodology and practical use of  reittherapy, canistherapy, sand, colour, art therapy, phytotherapy and aromatherapy were gained for the development of social environment, the professional skills and the job opportunities of the nature therapists were presented and acquired.

64 children from large and one-parent families, as well as 80 parents and their children with special needs within 2 international summer camps and two 2-day open air workshops got not only physical and mental relaxation, but also a variety of nature therapy courses. They learned to inspire from themselves, from natural resourses of health on a daily basis.


The visitors of the organized activities within the project found that the project for many Latvian and Russia families has provided positive feelings, helped to find a way to deal with many social issues, thus improved and harmonized the family and the community living environment.
Information is prepared by Laila Vilmane,
project manager of Latvian Office
of Euroregion "Country of lakes"
Phone  +371 26529150

Photos are provided by the project.

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