Approved at the XVIII Congress of Latvian Red Cross
24 November 2017
Society “Latvian Red Cross” (LatRC)
Latvian Red Cross` (LatRC) Strategy has been developed on the basis of Strategy 2020 which has been developed and approved by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the planning documents for the period until 2030 with a focus on the priorities and the specific nature of LatRC.
General objectives of the International Red Cross Movement:
- save lives and promote recovery after crises;
- ensure a healthy and safe life;
- promote social inclusion and peace.
Tasks for implementing the objectives:
- Strengthening of LatRC, including and especially at the level of departments and committees.
- Promotion of compliance with and application of the principles of humanity in everyday life.
- Effective work within the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and being an active co-operation partner in international projects.
- Development and improvement of co-operation of LatRC with state and local government institutions, entrepreneurs and private individuals.
WHO WE ARE?
1. General information on the history of the International Red Cross Movement and LatRC:
The origins of the Red Cross movement date back to 24 June 1859, Solferino in Northern Italy, where the united French and Italian troops fought against Austrians. In this battle, approximately 40,000 soldiers were wounded and killed in just a few hours. This event deeply affected an incidental witness – Swiss entrepreneur, philanthropist Henri Dunant whose book A Memory of Solferino became a cause for wide public discussions which on 9 February 1863 brought forth the establishment of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded. An international conference of 16 member states took place in Geneva already in October of 1863, approving a distinguishing mark – a red cross on a white background; meanwhile the League of Red Cross Societies (later Federation) was founded in 1919. Each year the 8th of May, the birthday of Henri Dunant, is celebrated as the World Red Cross Day.
In 1965, seven FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES of the activity of the Red Cross movement were approved at the international conference in Vienna:
Humanity – IFRC Movement born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst people.
Impartiality – the Movement makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
Neutrality – in order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
Independence – the Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Movement.
Voluntary service – the Red Cross is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
Unity – there can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society within the National Societies. It must be open to all and must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
Universality – the IFRC Movement in which all National Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.
Insight into the history of LatRC:
On 20 November 1918 (two days after the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia), doctors, lawyers, engineers, and public workers who were well-known in Latvia signed a protocol on the establishment of the LatRC Society and since then it has not ceased to exist. Unions of LatRC youth and sisters of mercy were formed in 1922; on 10 January 1923, the ICRC admitted LatRC National Society to the League of Red Cross Societies (currently, Federation). In 1940, LatRC was forcefully included in the union of societies of USSR RC/RC; after renewal of independence of the Republic of Latvia on 26 April 1991, XI Congress of LatRC renewed the operation of the Society recognising it as the heir of obligations and rights of LatRC Society that was founded in 1918. This fact was also acknowledged by the State of Latvia. In November 1991, National Society of LatRC was renewed within the ICRC and IFRC as a fully-fledged National Society. Over time, LatRC has consistently upheld the fundamental principles of the Red Cross Movement; its main objective still is to assist the state in improving the conditions of life for vulnerable people, providing aid to those who need it without any discrimination.
2. Mission and vision:
Operational mission of LatRC: provision of professional, high-quality, timely aid that is relevant to the needs of people who need help, are facing a situation of crises, regardless of their ethnicity, race, religious affiliation, social status or political views.
Operational vision of LatRC: to become an organisation which is recognised in Latvia and the world, a well-organised, economically independent society which provides operative and professional solution to the problems faced by people in the situations of crisis and needing relief.
3. Strategic goals:
A strategic goal of LatRC as a National Society is to serve as a dynamic framework for active and sustainable development by setting forth the following strategic goals:
- to ensure an image of a society that is economically independent, positively recognised by the public of Latvia, well-organised, functioning with transparent financial operation; to strengthen LatRC departments and committees and to promote recognition of LatRC as a safe and reliable partner among Latvian NGOs;
- by being strong, to solve problems of the population in co-operation with state and local government institutions, other NGOs and RC organisations of other countries by promoting social security and health;
- to become a stable and reliable international co-operation partner of the IFRC.
WHAT WE DO and HOW WE WILL WORK?
1. Building an image of a society that is economically independent, with a positive recognition in Latvia, being well-organised and functioning with a transparent financial operation:
1.1. Development of a publicly recognisable national society of LatRC, the basis of operation for which are priorities and values laid down in LatRC Strategy 2030:
1. Integration of the fundamental principles and fundamental tasks of the Red Cross Movement into every programme and activity of LatRC.
2. Continuous education to LatRC members, volunteers and population in matters of fundamental principles of the Movement and demonstration of these principles through everyday work.
3. Establishment of regular co-operation with mass media, including the operational territory of each LatRC committee and department and improvement of internal and external information exchange of LatRC.
4. Correct and legal use of the Red Cross emblem.
1.2. Education of the Latvian society in matters of international humanitarian law (IHL):
1. Education of youth at educational institutions and during public events on international humanitarian law and promoting their interest in the Red Cross (RC).
2. Education of the volunteers of the RC who will promote the IHL in their city or municipality, who will raise the awareness of the fundamental principles and ideas of the RC, as well as the use of the RC emblem.
3. Promotion of the IHL principles and values to residents of all categories, state and local government employees.
4. Establishment of a co-operation network of Latvian IHL experts and to develop co-operation with the RC National Societies of the neighbouring countries.
1.3. Development, promotion and improvement of the operation and initiatives of LatRC Youth (LatRC Youth) organisation:
1. Establishment of the youth departments as much as possible within each LatRC committee, including the provision of possible material and technical base for the operation of the LatRC Youth departments by managing the processes of generation change within LatRC.
2. Targeted work with the youth through the involvement thereof in the implementation of LatRC and LatRC Youth programmes.
3. Increase in the knowledge of LatRC Youth peer educators and training of new peer educators on a regular basis.
4. Provision of possibilities to the youth for volunteer work according to the knowledge, skills and education level of youth.
5. Development of methodological materials for training children and youth.
6. Involvement of at-risk youth, youth with special needs, including refugees and asylum seekers in LatRC Youth activities.
7. Improvement of co-operation of LatRC Youth with educational institutions.
8. Enhancement of co-operation with state and local government institutions.
9. Involvement of youth in the decision-making process by involving the youth in decision-making bodies of LatRC, including at the level of committees.
10. Support to and promotion of youth initiatives by creating favourable conditions for their intellectual and creative development.
11. Provision of an opportunity to the youth to gain the skills, knowledge and competences necessary for life through non-formal education.
12. Presenting of opportunities to the youth to make effective use of their leisure time.
13. Access to information appropriate for the development needs of youth.
14. Support to asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants in Latvia:
1. Continued support to asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants by providing, to the extent possible, second-hand clothing, shoes and household goods for the arrangement of a dwelling place, implementing measures aimed at promoting social inclusion, language learning, professional and legal aid.
2. Provision of the possible aid to foreign residents who are facing a crisis situation and who have entered Latvia while travelling or for other purposes.
1.5. Constant improvement and development of the economic activity of LatRC on the basis of economically grounded principles, enhancement of the range of services to be provided and territorial placement, as well as active involvement in the implementation of local and international projects:
1. Strengthening of the organisational capacity of LatRC on the basis of the economic independence principles.
2. Development and implementation of a long-term funds attraction strategy, including at the level of committees.
3. Development and improvement of social services and other economic activities.
4. Attracting of potential project funding for the implementation and development of LatRC programmes.
5. Pursuing the ongoing activities for recovery of pre-war properties of LatRC or compensation.
6. Methodological assistance in the development and implementation of programmes within all LatRC committees.
1.6. Creation of economically independent Committees with transparent and efficient financial performance:
1. Improvement of the work planning and reporting systems of the committees in order to develop strategies for committees.
2. Establishment of committee and department development visions, envisaging the improvement of funds attraction possibilities through the provision of services and participation in project implementation, etc.
3. Building of long-term relationships and co-operation with local governments and companies for purposes of services and attraction of funds.
1.7. Development of an active dialogue and co-operation with state and local government institutions of the Republic of Latvia and establishment of co-operation with other NGOs operating in the territory of Latvia:
1. Organisation of a dialogue with state and local government institutions after the state and local government elections in matters related to social security and health promotion.
2. Development of co-operation with state, local government and NGO institutions in the field of social services.
3. Promotion of the conclusion of co-operation agreements between LatRC, state and local government institutions.
4. Further development of the existing co-operation with the non-governmental sector and active search and implementation of new forms of co-operation for the achievement of common goals.
1.8. Promotion of development of the volunteer movement:
1. Promotion of recognition of the volunteer movement in Latvia and the world, as well as organisation of promotional activities for volunteer work.
2. Development of mechanisms for the involvement of volunteers and implementation of activities to motivate and retain volunteers within LatRC – to be aware of volunteers as a resource for implementing the operational areas and programmes of the society.
3. Promote and ensure accurate records of LatRC volunteers.
2. Promotion of a healthy and safe lifestyle among the residents of Latvia:
2.1. Increase the response of the residents of Latvia in situations critical to life and in emergency situations by adapting first aid (FA) training programmes to the needs of all possible groups of residents; provision of FA training and FA services in public events across the territory of the Republic of Latvia:
1. Education of children and youth, covering the elements of FA.
1.1. FA training and demonstrations and safety programmes in kindergartens and schools of Latvia.
1.2. Training of youth (instructors) for to educate children.
1.3. Preparing and provision of educational materials adapted to the audience.
2. Involvement of teenagers and youth in FA programme activities.
2.1. Organisation of FA training for teenagers and youth.
2.2. Organisation of FA competitions within the scope of committees and the republic to the teams of general schools, youth and adults.
2.3. Preparation of youth for work with children in order to provide FA and safety.
3. Organisation of FA training for various groups of residents and other interested persons.
3.1. Arrangement of FA training across the entire territory of Latvia.
3.2. Development and implementation of methods by which the committees will be able to attract the target audience in their territory by expanding the target audience and scope of FA training.
3.3. Preparation of new certified FA teachers and provision of material and technical base for conducting training in all committees.
3.5. Improvement of FA training quality by conducing quality control activities.
4. Provision of high-quality FA in public events.
5. Engagement in the activities of the Latvian First Aid Society.
5.1. Contribution to the improvement of FA training system in Latvia.
5.2. Organisation of education, further training and control of FA teachers.
2.2. Participation in the training of the public for response to emergency situations, co-operation with the responsible national authorities in order to eliminate the consequences of emergency situations, provision of aid to victims by using local resources and organising international aid:
1. Mitigation of the unfavourable effect of emergency situations on the conditions of life of the residents.
2. Promotion of co-operation with state and local government institutions, inter alia, by including LatRC representatives in the operative commissions for emergencies of the state and local governments.
3. Development and strengthening of the capacity of LatRC operative units to participate in the elimination of the consequences of emergency situations, if necessary, by co-operating with the responsible state and local government institutions of the Republic of Latvia.
4. Development of co-operation of the operative units and institutions of the Red Cross Societies of the Baltic region to respond to emergency situations.
5. Education of the public for action in case of emergency situations and improvement of the ability to respond to emergency situations by developing and implementing public educational measures in co-operation with the responsible state institutions of the Republic of Latvia, improving the knowledge of the implemented best practice in co-operation with international RC National Societies in order to improve the capacity of LatRC and co-operation for effective partnership with the participants of the EU civil protection.
2.3. Development of health promotion programmes:
1. Improvement of the quality of health promotion measures by coordinating these measures with those of other organisations and institutions.
2. Active participation in health promotion measures organised by the state and local governments.
3. Participation in the implementation of international activities of the RC Movement.
4. Performance of preventive work in the area of public health jointly with state and local government institutions, including mitigation of HIV, AIDS, TB, Hepatitis C and other infectious and non-infectious diseases and their effects.
5. Development and improvement of the operation of health rooms.
6. Promotion of a healthy lifestyle, organisation of active lifestyle events and preparation of handout materials and supplementary aids for the promotion and implementation of a healthy lifestyle.
2.4. Development of social and humanitarian aid programmes for the vulnerable groups of population and people in situations of crisis; provision of social care services:
1. Provision of the possible aid to residents who are socially vulnerable and are facing a crisis.
2. Promotion of services for delivery and lease of technical aids.
3. Development of a training programme and organisation of training for LatRC carers, sisters of mercy, family members of the dependants, as well as employees of other institutions.
4. Establishment of long-term co-operation models with local entrepreneurs and private persons promoting their becoming of constant partners in solving social problems.
5. Provision of services to residents, local government and social institutions in the social area, ensuring the operation of social care and day-care centres, crisis centres, short-term accommodations, shelters, sobering rooms, etc.
2.5. Organisation of measures and campaigns to integrate socially excluded groups of residents into the society:
1. Identification of problems and needs of local socially excluded groups of residents.
2. Planning and implementation of social integration activities by involving the target group in all stages and encouraging them to act in their own best interests.
3. Involvement of the local social area NGOs in the measures of LatRC, thereby increasing social integration possibilities and offer in the local community.
2.6. Promotion and facilitation of a non-remunerated blood donor movement and awarding of the title of the Donor of Honour to regular blood donors in co-operation with the State Blood Donor Centre and other state and local government institutions:
1. Education of the public on the non-remunerated blood donor movement by motivating people to become blood donors.
2. Organisation of a blood donation day in committee and department territories, including educational institutions, work places and places of residence, etc.
3. Promotion of involvement of youth in the movement of voluntary blood donors.
4. Organisation of events dedicated to the global blood donor day (14 June).
5. Statement of an active position in relation to the provision of possible benefits for voluntary blood donors.
6. Awarding of non-remunerated blood donors and organisation of gratitude events, etc.
3. Co-operation with the IFRC National Societies and international institutions of the Movement:
3.1. Development of the operation of the LatRC search service:
1. Continued search for relatives missing in emergency situations and armed conflicts or search for their graves.
2. Development of search for persons who have gone missing during peace time (during migration processes):
2.1. to identify children whose parents have gone to other countries in search for work and for other reasons in co-operation with state and local government institutions;
2.2. to solve the problems of Latvian residents in cases when it is necessary to transport persons facing situations of crisis and persons having died abroad back to Latvia in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and insurance companies.
3.2. Work with co-operation partners and development of new partnerships:
1. Continued co-operation with the existing co-operation partners at the level of LatRC Secretariat, committees and departments and attraction of new partners.
2. Active involvement in the development of co-operation projects with other National Societies, including Red Cross Societies of Germany, Norway, Austria, Great Britain, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Italy, etc.; sharing of experience and planning joint measures to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people and to promote development of the voluntary work.
3. Active participation in international aid missions in co-operation with the ICRC and IFRC: possible physical participation, collection of donations, organisation of aid, organisation of informative campaigns, information exchange, etc.
4. Being open and active search for new partners and forms of co-operation in order to raise the capacity of LatRC National Society and to provide support to the committees in search for partners and development of co-operation concepts.
5. Protection of the interests of various vulnerable groups in Latvian or international institutions by applying the fundamental principles of humanitarian diplomacy.
3.3. Involvement in co-operation projects and activities:
1. Continue organising international conferences and training cycles in the territory of LatRC.
2. Active involvement in the processes of working groups and events of the IFRC Federation, IRC Committee, RC European Regional Office and RC European Union Office.
3. Involvement as a partnering organisation and development of independent international projects.
STRATEGIC GOALS 2030, 2025, 2020
1. Expected results 2030:
1.1. Increased LatRC participation in the internal processes of Latvia, restored trust of the population.
1.2. Full settlement of LatRC ownership matters with the state and local governments; the inter-war period in the history of LatRC has come to an end.
1.3. All LatRC committees and structural units work in accordance with methodologically uniform principles, ensuring compliance with uniform standards of uniform activities; internal co-operation and substitutability of LatRC are ensured.
1.4. LatRC has become an active and stable co-operation partner in the international co-operation sphere of the IFRC.
2. Interim objectives 2025:
2.1. Completed arrangement of the material and technical base necessary for the operation of all committees and departments; a clearly defined, understandable and transparent investment policy and development models of LatRC.
2.2. Economic activity has been mostly transferred to committees. LatRC Secretariat takes care of the methodological activity, representation in the NGO sector, co-operation with state institutions and international activities; maximum economic and functional governance structure has been developed.
2.3. Complete, relevant and easily accessible internal information exchange; improved electronic information media structure of LatRC, including improvement and updating algorithm of LatRC website. Completed arrangement of the internal and external communication.
2.3. Continuous dialogue with state and local government institutions and long-term co-operation links with companies and private individuals. Recognition of LatRC and a positive impact on public opinion.
3. Interim objectives 2020:
3.1. Economically and functionally independent committees have been established with an optimal operational territory and number of residents and the number of committees has been minimised optimally.
3.2. A transparent system for recording of members, supporters and volunteers, as well as a reporting system have been established.
3.3. Full transparency of the economic activity of LatRC and continuous links with mass media across the entire territory of Latvia.
3.4. LatRC is a stable member of the IFRC which actively participates in the processes of the Federation and ICRC; international activity of LatRC has increased.
3.5. Activity of LatRC committees and Secretariat is based on functionality and economy; all committees operate according to the principles of an independent economic activity. An optimal structure of LatRC has been developed.
3.6. A full inventory of the existing LatRC structure has been conducted; plans for the development of the committees have been drawn up; resources necessary for the continuation and improvement of the functions have been identified.
LatRC Development Strategy 2030 provides for the promotion of economic independence, recognition and public trust, as well as economic and structural growth of LatRC. LatRC will actively engage in the implementation of national and international activities in accordance with the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, playing a key role in Latvia and on an international scale. The basic task for this period is raising the capacity of LatRC, including the development of departments and committees on the basis of sustainable actions by involving new members, volunteers and supporters of the Movement – companies and private individuals – as potential co-operation partners. Through the expansion of the range of services to be provided, aid and territorial accessibility particular attention will be drawn to youth and LatRC Youth, methodical arrangement of the internal LatRC structure and prudent generation change. A well-organised, economically stable and internally transparent and functioning society can provide the necessary support to those who require such support.
Strategy in PDF is available HERE!