PHOTO DONATION: Rolfs Vendiņš
Mara’s Centre is located in beautiful green surroundings not far from Mara’s pond in the suburb Pardaugava. Unfortunately the women who seek help in this centre have not often had beautiful experiences. Here they look for temporary refuge from violent relationships, alcohol or other addictions, or simply to have a roof over their heads, and warmth and clothing. They are given the opportunity to recuperate, start a new life, find a home, organise welfare payments or to find employment.
We were met by Agnese, the centre’s energetic senior social worker. During our meeting it was clear that working together would be mutually beneficial. Your donations of furniture, clothes, shoes and toiletries through www.palidzesim.lv will go to the young mothers who leave this centre; in turn Mara’s Centre will help those www.palidzesim.lv mothers who have similar problems but who don’t have the power or the information to find help in their difficult situations.
Liga, the Centre manager, kindly showed us the living quarters, the activity rooms and the well maintained courtyard. She proudly revealed the most recent joint project, a vegetable patch, where dill, carrots, radish and lettuce have been planted; this keeps the mothers occupied and provides the younger residents with home grown vegetables.
During our visit one of the centre residents, Erika, celebrated her 25th birthday wearing a daisy wreath specially made by her daughter Evelina. Erika is responsible for decorating the walls with her pretty drawings of the children’s’ friends Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and others.
The atmosphere is one of friendship. These mothers and their children have found a temporary home in this centre. Each of these women has her own sad story and own destiny – but here they feel safe and protected.
They can stay up to 6 months – and in exceptional circumstances for a longer period. While at the centre they have the opportunity to participate in creative workshops (painting plates, sewing dolls or cooking). There are also educational and support groups for the residents, and they receive help and consultations from a psychologist, social worker and social rehabilitator. A social educator works with the children. The children are fed and cared for. School age children go to school or they are tutored at the centre with the help of the social educator.
This centre also houses up to 15 children, these are children who for various reasons are temporarily without their parents (parental child care rights have been terminated, conflict in the family or the children are victims of violence and rehabilitation is essential).
By donating the following items we can help these mothers start a new life and also help the centre save some money.
· Outdoor toys – cars for children up to 3 years of age
· Sport equipment (bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, balls and similar items)
· Children’s beds and high chairs
· Developmental toys
· Board games
· Books, DVD, CD (in Latvian and Russian, for children and adults)
· Clothes and shoes for children and adults
· Plates and dishes
· Bed linen
· Paint and other items useful for general maintenance
· Office equipment
· Toiletry items
All items can be donated to us or delivered directly to the Mara’s Centre
Address: Mara’s Centre, Cieceres iela 1, Rīga, LV 1010
Let as help!
Thanks to the angels of Mara's centre:
Anonymous LVL 20,- (13.12.10)