THE CHILDREN’S VILLAGE OF GRAŠI

THE CHILDREN’S VILLAGE

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Children aged 2 to 17 from different parts of Latvia have been placed in the Children’s Village of Graši, where they live in 3 cozy children’s houses called Kļavas [Maples], Ošlejas [Ash Grove] and Ozoliņi [Little Oaks] in a family atmosphere. Three educators and eight children of different ages live in each house. Siblings are not separated. The children attend either the Cesvaine nursery school Brīnumzeme, the Cesvaine high school or the special boarding school in Dzelzava. The children from Graši participate in extra-curricular activities offered by their school, attend the local music and art school, and do sports. The French charity Cap Esperance, together with the Latvian Catholic Church, founded our organisation. We believe that it is important to acquaint children with Christian values.
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PHOTOS OF THE CHILDREN’S VILLAGE

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Life in the Children’s Houses

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At the moment, 24 children call Graši their home. We know that no child care centre can take the place of a family, but we do everything in our power to make the children feel safe, to let them learn how to trust those around them, to forgive those closest to them and to want to achieve something in their life. The children have responsibilities, and participate in keeping the house and garden in order. Each house has a cat or some other pet.
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Practical Skills

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Learning work skills is an important part of the way children are brought up. The children have the opportunity to participate in cooking, and in caring for the surrounding area and the farm animals. Graši has a small farm with sheep, a pony, a goat and deer, as well as an orchard and a vegetable garden. The children help to harvest the fruit and vegetables and to make preserves for the winter.
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Spare Time Activities

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The children can do sports in their free time. In the winter there is skiing and skating, while in the summer they can go swimming and play football and other field games. There is a stable nearby where it is possible to learn to ride horses. They can spend part of the summer holidays with host families in Latvia and France. This gives them the opportunity to get a positive experience of family life, as well as to learn a foreign language.
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