The Latvian Red Cross (hereafter – LatRC) is a non-governmental non-profit volunteer-led humanitarian organization. Its operations cover the whole territory of Latvia. 320 LatRC local divisions are located in each district, and each district has branches located in cities, municipalities and organisations – 26 branches in total. LatRC provides assistance as close as possible to the places where people reside.
LatRC supports the public authorities in their humanitarian tasks, according to the needs of the people of Latvia. LatRC helps people in crisis, regardless of their nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. In its work,LatRC is guided by the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
The key focus areas of our work in Latvia are:
- promotion of the international humanitarian law and the principles and ideals of the Movement;
- first aid and disaster preparedness;
- Provision of social services;
- community services that help people in need;
- educational programs on health and safety;
- tracing and restoration of family links;
- promotion of non-remunerated blood donor movement through campaigns and educational programs;
- LatR Youth activities
Currently LatRC`s work is supported by:
- around 7000 members
- around 2500 volunteers
- 26 regional branches
- 252 local divisions
- 10 Youth divisions
History of Red Cross in Latvia
On November 18, 1918, the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed as an independent democratic state. Just two days later – on November 20, 1918 eminent Latvia`s doctors, lawyers, engineers and public officials signed a protocol, founding the first Latvian Red Cross Society (LatRC). Dr. Janis Jankovskis became the first Head of the Society.
The society of Sisters of Mercy was founded in Latvia in 1922. The first Latvian Red Cross Youth groups appeared in 1923. Later that same year (1923) LRC was recognized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.
The Latvian Red Cross Law was adopted on 8 April, 2009.
LatRC actively cooperates with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and National Societies in other countries all over the world.
Latvian Red Cross (hereinafter – the LatRC) implements and participates in international projects with an aim to improve the living conditions of the unprotected inhabitants, to advance social integration and a healthy lifestyle, as well as to educate people on the provision of first aid, safety, the reduction of discrimination and other topical issues in society.
The Red Cross emblem (a red cross on a white background) represents the inverted flag of Switzerland? This was a tribute to Henry Dunant, the Swiss founder of the Red Cross Movement.
The emblem was adopted in 1864 with the First Geneva Convention. 155 years on, it remains a symbol of protection and hope.