As it was reported, on March 30, 2009 Latvian Transatlantic organisation (LATO) in cooperation with NATO, the Ministry of Defence of Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia launched a broad NATO information campaign in the schools of Latvia, thus marking the 5th anniversary of Latvia’s NATO membership and 60 years since founding of NATO.
The goal of the campaign is to inform and educate schoolchildren and their teachers about NATO, its goals and role in Latvia’s security policy, as well about the benefits and costs of the Latvia’s membership.
The campaign started in the Eastern part of Latvia – Latgale region, where representatives of LATO, Ministry of Defence and Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) visited 8 schools in Ilūkste, Svente, Dagda, Kaunata, Varakļāni, Rudzāti, Kārsava, Tilža. On April 14, LATO and NAF together with the ambassador of the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Jurriaan Kraak paid a visit to the Baltinana secondary school. But on April 15, the NATO Information campaign started in the North-Eastern region of Latvia – Vidzeme, where LATO team will visit schools in Valmiera, Valka, Cēsis, Alūksne region:
- April 15 – Burtnieki Ausekļa secondary school and Smiltene gymnasium;
- April 16 – Rāmuļi primary school and Vecpiebalga secondary school
- April17 – O.Vācieša Gaujiena secondary school and Dāvja Ozoliņa Ape secondary school
- April 20 – Ranka technical secondary school and Lizums secondary school
- April 21 – Kalsnava and Kusa primary school
During each visit a special short film “Latvia in NATO – five years” shot by the State Agency of the Ministry of Defence of Latvia “Tēvijas sargs” is demonstrated; further experts from Ministry of Defence, National Armed Forces (NAF), LATO, several embassies and universities make presentations about the political and military aspects of NATO, as well as introduce the audience with the development and everyday life of Latvian NAF. Pupils and teachers are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the quiz – most active ones receive practical presents, souvenirs from LATO, NATO, the Ministry of Defence of Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. Every school library receives booklets and both printed and audiovisual information materials about NATO, NAF, security and defence policy issues.
Information campaign will continue till the middle of May, covering around 50 schools in all regions of Latvia.