On the occasion of Latvia’s 5 years membership in NATO and NATO’s 60th anniversary Latvian Transatlantic organisation (LATO) in cooperation with NATO, the Ministry of Defence of Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) on March 30, 2009 launched a broad NATO Information campaign in Latvian schools, so far visiting 40 schools in the four Latvian regions – Latgale, Vidzeme, Zemgale and Kurzeme. On May 8 NATO Information campaign will continue in Riga’s region, visiting 10 schools in the Ogre, Limbaži and Tukums counties.
The campaign will be held as in primary and secondary schools as in boarding schools located mainly in the rural regions with prominent guests attending, including H.E. Mr. Valdis Zatlers, President of the Republic of Latvia, and H.E. Mr. R. Scott Heatherington, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada:
- May 8 – Ķeipenes primary school and Taurupes primary school. Lecturers: Ms. Liga Berzina, LATO project manager and Mr. Toms Lepsis, representative of the NAF;
- May 11 – Madlienas secondary school and Jumprava secondary school. Lecturers: H. E. Mr. Valdis Zatlers, President of the Republic of Latvia and Mr. Toms Baumanis, LATO Chairman of the Board;
- May 12 – Salacgrīvas secondary school and Staiceles primary school. Lecturers: Ms. Liga Berzina, LATO project manager and Mr. Toms Lepsis, representative of the NAF;
- May 13 – Katvaru boarding school and Alojas Ausekļa secondary school. Lecturers: H.E. Mr. R. Scott Heatherington, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada and Mr. Toms Lepsis, representative of the NAF;
- May 14 – Irlavas secondary school and Džūkstes secondary school. Lecturers: Mr. Mārtiņš Mūrnieks, director of “Wider Europe ” program, Soros Foundation – Latvia and Mr. Toms Lepsis, representative of the NAF.
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.
During the 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. In its turn, local units of the NAF introduce the audience with the development and everyday life of the Latvian army, displaying military equipment and vehicles as well as answering children’s questions. Pupils and their teachers are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the quiz – most active ones receive practical presents and souvenirs from LATO, NATO, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. Every school gets both printed and audiovisual information materials about NATO, NAF, security and defence policy issues.
Please find the pictures HERE