WHO? Latvian National Commission for UNESCO (UNESCO LNC)
SINCE WHEN? The time when Latvia admitted United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is dated with 14.10.1991, but the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO as an institution has been founded one year later.
WHY? The UNESCO National Commissions are national cooperating bodies set up by the Member States for UNESCO for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental bodies with the work of the UNESCO. In few words the mission for Latvian National Commission for UNESCO is to ensure implementation of UNESCO ideas, values and programmes in Latvia and represent interests of Latvian society in UNESCO.
FOR WHOM? Experts of UNESCO programmes, ministries of Republic of Latvia, governmental institutions, NGO’s, schools, museums, libraries, media and social partners.
WHAT? As an UNESCO institution, it is self-evident that most of our activities are linked with UNESCO programmes (education, culture, science, communication and information) and its implementation in local level. Both in Local and international lever, we are organizing and participating in different projects and programmes in such UNESCO related issues as Education for all, Education for Sustainable Development, Information Society, Cultural Heritage, Intangible Heritage, Memory of the World, World Heritage, Women in science, Human and Biosphere etc.
Our team consists of seven persons:
Secretary-general Dagnija Baltiņa (Intelligent, young, ingenious and inspiring. I could call her mastermind. She is a great example for tem leader)
Deputy of Secretary-general Sarmīte Pulste (As the deputy of Secretary-general, she is the main office manager. She is the person who knows everything about UNESCO LNC. If we have any questions- she knows the answer)
Director of educational sector Baiba Moļņika (She is really the soul of our tem- bright person who reminds that more important than hard paper work is relationships and contacts with our partners, target groups and colleagues)
Director of Culture and Commonication and information sector Anita Vaivade (diligent, conscientious and pleasant personality)
Programme assistant Evija Maļkeviča (Student of culture management, works for UNESCO LNC since March 2011. During this short time she has proven herself as a loyal and strong personality, who can be delegate to any work.)
Programme assistant Ullrich Thomas (Social programme participant from Germany, speaks Latvian, Russian very well, works for UNESCO LNC since 18.09.2011.)
And project coordinator Madara Kāne (It’s me :))
There is an opinion - when people understands the significance of different heritages linked with their community, and when they are interested in preserving it, they will understand also the significance of other community heritages and will never think about destroying it. This is the keystone for Culture of peace. UNESCO LNC actively is working for Cultural heritage preserving programmes implementation in Latvia.
In 2009, assessing the role of libraries as important partners for the preservation of intangible cultural heritage, traditions, legends and skills development, as well as recognising the role of storytelling in uniting people and improving the quality of life of local communities, the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO established a network of Latvian libraries, "Storytelling libraries".
The aim of the network is to vitalise the tradition of storytelling as an important part of Latvian intangible cultural heritage and as an important part of contemporary work in the daily lives of the libraries as means to consolidating and bringing together local communities. The initiative emphasizes the value of libraries in Latvia, as well as strengthens ties between generations and promotes social cohesion.
Storytelling libraries http://www.stastubibliotekas.com/storytelling-libraries/
contact person: Madara Kāne, email@example.com
Region: Baltic Region of Northern Europe
Number Inhabitants: Latvia- 2224230, Riga- 706 413
Main industry, most popular profession: The nation's industries are extremely diversified and include food processing and the manufacture of buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, electrical appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles.
Challanges / difficulties: Mostly the challanges are connected with financial crisis. There are a large number of Latvia inhabitants emigrating to UK, Germny or Norden countries, because of the difficulties to find any job in Latvia. Mostly they are young people who had just finished their Universities and doesn’t have any work experience.
Local products: wood, amber, textiles.
Anything else that is special:
The Song and Dance Festival
This Baltic phenomenon is unique for the whole of Europe: the national song festival can be likened to the Olympic games in music. Latvians are very proud of their Song and Dance Festival. This significant event has been taking place since 1873, and each time it brings together thousands of the best singers and dancers from every region of Latvia. They are all dressed in folk costumes. The celebration always unites the Latvian nation, strengthening its national pride. The Song and Dance Festival – a tradition shared by Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – was proclamed (under the title Song and Dance Celebration) as the UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity which must be preserved and protected.
Potential of working with the treasures: In latest years cultural and traditional heritage is very high evaluated and has become a popular topic, so there are lot of partners cooperating already (like schools, libraries museums) and lot of social andprivate institutions re interested inmaking new cooperations.
Usual temperature in summer: 10-25 °C .
Coldest temperature in winter: uff.. last year there was- 28 °C (but it lasts only 1-3 days per winter) Mostly it‘s -10 – -17 °C