On June 8th 2015, the United States European Command (USEUCOM), in partnership with the U.S. Embassy Riga and the Daugavpils Regional Council, commenced work on a humanitarian civic assistance (HCA) project at Naujene Orphanage. The project, which was proposed by the Daugavpils Regional Council, is funded by USEUCOM’s Civic Engagement Program and valued at $183,000.
U.S. Air National Guard troops from Kansas (followed by Pennsylvania and Missouri), together with military engineers from the Latvian National Armed Forces, will renovate the residence for teenagers on the orphanage compound. To provide quality assurance in accordance with Latvian construction law, local contractor, SIA Ditton Būve, selected through competitive bidding, is supplying all required materials and technical expertise. Projects like these provide training opportunities for the U.S. and Latvian soldiers and a tangible benefit to the local population.
During the Kick-off Ceremony the Executive Director of the Daugavpils Regional Council emphasized how important this project is for the local community and is pleased to have developed such a strong relationship with the U.S. Embassy in Riga. The Director of the Orphanage Ms. Lilita Gasjaņeca believes that the project is not mere renovation of facilities, but will provide an environment which will be more family-like for the children that have been abandoned.
Ms. Vanessa Acker, Deputy Chief of Pol/Econ Section of the U.S. Embassy Riga, Latvia, addressing the audience said: “The U.S. European Command has funded many projects like this throughout Latvia that are executed through the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation in Latvia. These projects are a visible symbol of the United States’ continuing commitment to its relationship with the Latvian people. I am honored that the United States, the U.S. Embassy, and the U.S. European Command can partner with Latvia, and with the Daugavpils Regional Council, in helping to build a better future.”
In 2013 and 2014, ODC Latvia as part of its commitment to the community and partnership with Latvian allies completed three HCA projects: Replacement of Windows at E. Glika High School in Aluksne (project value: $130,000); Roof Replacement and Insulation at 1st Ogre High School (project value: $106,400); and Installation of a Fence around the Ādaži High School (project value: $92,470). Previous work in the Daugavpils region includes Civic Engagement (Humanitarian Assistance) projects for a staircase elevator installation and household lift repairs at Kalkūni Orphanage, as well as the reconstruction of Vabolīte Youth and Children Center.