Project results

The project was necessary in order to study the actual situation of the addicts in the society, labour market, possibility to receive services from state or local municipality. Alongside the research, an NGO (foundation Nova Vita) capacity was built by introducing a phone hotline for consultations concerning addictions, and consultation room for face-to-face consultations. Volunteers and staff were involved and trained. The process of providing consultations to the addicts and co-addicts will continue beyond the project; also information will be collected about cases of discrimination.

The goals of the project were, first, to explore direct and indirect discrimination of addicted persons who have completed the rehab program, in labour market, access to social security, public services and goods, involving NGOs, state institutions and society in the process. Second, goal is to increase the capacity of institutional and human resources that deal with discrimination of the addicts by forming a network of organisations engaged in re-socialisation of addicts to defend the rights of the addicts. Thus the problem of discrimination against the addicts would be represented at a national level and influence the development of policies. Third, on the level of organisation, we plan to increase the number of volunteers, develop their specific skills of working with addicts. The outcome of the project is awareness of the dimensions of the actual discrimination of addicts (by spreading 550 questionnaires, 213 phone consultations and 170 face-to-face consultations), propositions for amendments to the Labour Law have been made, and 17 NGOs that deal with problems of addiction have signed a memorandum and formed a national network. The goals of the project have been achieved.

Project has facilitated development of active civil society by forming an NGO network and attracting new members and volunteers to the NGOs. Publicity events (two seminars ad a conference with more than 100 participants, home page for the organisation, brochures, pens, posters) have directed the attention of the society to the facts of discrimination against addicted persons.

Outcomes of the project are the consultation room and phone hotline, 550 questionnaires, 213 phone consultations and 170 face-to-face consultations, propositions for amendments to the Labour Law of Latvia. A regional rehab centre “Bethlehem Charity House” has been created in Olaine, agreement has been signed about creating a rehab centre near Daugavpils (in Grīva). Nova Vita volunteers (seven to nine, the numbers have changed during the project) have had the opportunity to attend supervisions of approximately 200 hours about problems and issues with addictions, lead by psychologists, and receive more than 100 hours of psychologist’s consultations. This allows the volunteers to feel more secure and confident in their work with addicts and members of their families.

During the project, a brochure (500 pc.) in Latvian and Russian has been published. It describes the project and activities of the organisation. The brochures have been delivered to the social services and NGOs that work with addicts and co-addicts. In addition, 150 pens with the hotline number and 50 posters have been printed.

The target group, addicts and co-addicts, have been reached through AA and AN groups, social services, rehabilitation programs and NGOs. Their benefit is the possibility to have consultations and assistance in cases of discrimination. The NGO network also participated in seminars, project participants also attended their events. Their benefit is the possibility to exchange experience and information, receiving support and coordinate with other organisations. Volunteers were attracted through higher education establishments preparing professionals for working with addicts (Stradiņa University, RARZI, RPIVA) and groups and movements within the Roman Catholic Church. Their benefit is the experience of working with addicts and co-addicts, and knowledge from supervisions and individual consultations.