Latvian cities hosted European Days of Local Solidarity events!
From 12 to 18 November, the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) took place in the municipalities of Latvia, like in several European countries. Bauska, Skrunda, Livani, Pargauja and Engure municipalities in co-operation with their twin municipalities from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine jointly celebrated the centennial of Latvia, organised exciting workshops, seminars and drawing competitions, involving local citizens in all activities and highlighting the role of local governments in promoting global solidarity and sustainable development.
The EDLS are an annual 2-week campaign run by European cities and regions committed to inform and mobilise their citizens on global solidarity and sustainable development issues. Grounded on the European values of democracy, diversity and solidarity, the EDLS promote decentralised cooperation and city-to-city cooperation as a successful instrument for global sustainable development. We are proud that our Latvian partner has joined the EDLS for the 3rd consecutive year.
A vast range of the EDLS activities were organized in Bauska municipality. Bauska hosted the delegations for a week-long experience exchange visit from two twin municipalities – Khashuri (Georgia) and Soroca (Moldova). The guests got acquainted with the topical issues of the Bauska municipality in the fields of education, culture, social assistance and services, organization of public utilities and entrepreneurship. The Georgian partners also brought the works of the new artists, which, together with the best works of the children’s drawings of the Bauska municipality formed the exhibition “United in diversity: Latvia and Georgia”.
Skrunda municipality organised a children drawing competition “United in Diversity: Latvia and Ukraine” and hosted a delegation from their twin town Kosiv (Ukraine). Within the framework of the EDLS, several creative workshops and events were organised acquainting participants with Latvian and Ukrainian national ornaments by making them as henna tattoos, introducing and tasting culinary heritage of both nations, hand-making hats with letters “I love Skrund” or “I love Kosiv”.
A group of pupils and teachers from the Imereti region in Georgia visited Pargauja municipality already earlier in autumn, and a children drawing competition was organised within the framework of the EDLS week. The winners of the contest were awarded during the concert in honour of the centennial of Latvia. The twinning link with Riscani district in Moldova inspired organizers of a felting workshop highlighting Moldova as a renowned producer of woollen products.
Livani municipality also hosted a delegation from their twin town Kamianets-Podilskyi (Ukraine). As Livani is well-known in Latvia for beautiful glass items produced there, Ukrainian guests were invited to join a glass-blowing workshop and also a Latvian ornament workshop organised by Latgale Arts and Crafts Centre. Livani organised a children drawing competition “United in diversity: Latvia and Ukraine” as well, encouraging young generation to learn more about another country.
Likewise, Engure municipality chose organisation of the drawing competition “United in Diversity: Latvia and Moldova” at Smarde Elementary School as an avenue to build bridge of understanding and friendship between countries.
The EDLS events in Latvia involved a broad spectrum of citizens, building awareness and support to European values of global solidarity and diversity, and proved that twinning links of local governments is meaningful and effective way how learn and share knowledge and experience making stronger towns and municipalities.
The Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, in cooperation with several local authorities of Latvia, has been implementing the EDLS for the third year. It is organised within the framework of the project “Working together towards empowering local and regional governments for effective development outcomes in EU partner countries” implemented by the LALRG and co-financed by the European Union. The activities of the European Local Solidarity Days are also financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.
For pictures from the events, click here.
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