NGO • Social and culture projects • Volunteering center



What: short-term volunteering project “Mandarine Land 2020”

When: 15.11.2020. – 05.01.2021.

Where: Riga, Latvia

For whom: young people aged 18-30 y.o., 7 volunteers from Latvia + 1 acc.person, 5 from EU countries, total 13 participants

Project No. 2020-2-LV02-ESC11-003167

WHAT IS “Mandarine Land 2020”

Since 2013, the Cultural Association “Alternative Reality” has been implementing its own idea – a social project for the development of children “MandarineLand”.  Within the project, with the help of volunteers, a series of events is held every year for children aimed at promoting the social integration of children from socially vulnerable groups, regardless of social status, nationality or other affiliation.

In December of each year, we organize a series of Christmas events in which at least 300 children from orphanages, crisis centers, low-income families take part.

During events in mixed groups children with the help of volunteers perform various communicative and team tasks aimed at identifying common values: tolerance, respect, honesty, independence.

 Every year at least 50 volunteers take part in the events – more than 30 young people and residents of the city.

For them, this event gives them the opportunity to actively participate in social activities, benefit society, recognize the needs of children from groups at risk of social exclusion, and concentrate more deeply and emotionally on solving their problems.  The attitude of volunteers towards charity is changing for the better, as people see the results of their help personally.  Often after events, many volunteers continue to keep in touch with the children and continue to help them.

In 2020 Culture Association is applied for the short-term group volunteering project Mandarinu Zeme 2020 and got financial support of European Solidarity Corpse for involving group of 13 volunteers for this purpose.


  • increase community awareness of the problems of the next generation, in particular the integration of children from socially vulnerable groups
  • promote the involvement of children and youth from marginalized groups in society
  • reduce discrimination and xenophobia between different social groups
  • help children understand universal and European values
  • Promote the development of communication skills in children, especially in children from disadvantaged social groups
  • help children set positive life goals
  • Encourage volunteers to participate in the project as socially significant charitable activities with a positive effect on the perception of volunteers of life, expanding horizons of life and attracting socially significant topic
  • develope of a positive attitude of volunteers to volunteering and community service
  • contribute to the development of competencies and knowledge of volunteers
  • promote community solidarity by attracting volunteers from all walks of life to the project, regardless of origin, social or economic status, national or religious affiliation

Project partners:

Latvia: Kulturas biedriba “Alternativa Realitate”



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The project “Mandarinu Zeme 2020” was created for active people who are interested in working with children, volunteering and helping people. Our organization always encourages volunteers to develop new activities, own initiatives and ideas as long as they are in the framework of the project. We require no specific skills, but happy to have flexible and creative people. Also, we do not require any professional qualifications, but rather interest and enthusiasm.

We are searching for young people who:

– are 18-30 years old;

– are enthusiastic and energetic;

– are eager to learn, enjoy working with youth and full of creative ideas;

Strong organizational skills are considered very useful as the ability to communicate in English. In addition, people with singing, dancing, playing musical instruments skills are welcomed.

Moreover, volunteers:

– should be comfortable living on their own;

– be able to adapt to new situations;

– have good problem-solving skills;

– work and live in the mixed groups of volunteers from different nationalities that will have their project at the same time at our organization.

Our organization may involve volunteers with fewer opportunities into the project and ready to accept such applicants with:

1) Economic obstacles;

2) Geographical obstacles;

3 )Educational difficulties

4) health problems

The project is inclusive and it is open for all interested people, who are under the demands of European Solidarity Corpse volunteering projects.


The main product of the project “MANDARINU ZEME 2020” is to organize the set of charity events in Christmas period for children from the orphanages, specialized schools and from Latvian families together with the local volunteers.

During the project the volunteers will learn how to organize and manage charity initiatives, promote their campaign among the local community using various means and methods, learn from their peers and also from the local volunteers, meet new culture and get to know the basics of the language, develop and grow as a personality with the sense of initiatives and compassion.

In the frames of the project volunteers are proposed:

– to organize various workshops and activities for children and young people;

– to conduct sport and active games;

– to promote European values and active citizenship, civic responsibility, community service,

– to distribute ides of Europe, a friendship between people and peaceful coexistence;

– to lead kids groups;

– to teach leadership skills to youth and provide them with knowledge about EU, European integration;

– to promote cultural diversity and break stereotypes about the volunteer’s countries;

– to explain and operate with the basic concepts of tolerance, mutual respect, sense of responsibility particular in relation to the world, human rights;

– to promote voluntary service among local youth.;

– to organize entertainment events;

– to fulfill volunteers’ blog and FB pages of the organization.


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The EU citizens do not need to make a visa for crossing the border of Latvia and can stay in the country up to 90 days.

As the project “Mandarinu Zeme 2020” is 50 days, for the crossing of the border volunteers will need:

– a valid international passport (data of validity not less than 6 months after the returning back home);

– the invitation from Kulturas biedriba Alternativa Realitate (volunteers will be provided by the electronically signed invitation);

– Cigna Insurance – will be provided by Coordinating Organization after signing a Volunteering contract

– good mood and motivation to make a great thing for the local community 🙂


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You can get to Riga directly with flight to Riga International airport

There will be the instruction letter with the transfer information to the place of the venue as soon as the Hosting Organization gets your travel plans.

You will get to Riga by city bus 22 from Riga airport to Riga city center. The price of the city bus tickets is 1.20 EUR with e-ticket or 2.00 EUR buying a ticket from bus driver.


There could be three possible variants of accommodation:

1. Volunteers will live in a shared apartment. This is an average modest flat which contains all necessary things for a living: a washing machine, a fridge, bed linen, kitchen utilities and kitchenware available for cooking, Wi-Fi router.

Towel and stuff of personal use is volunteers’ responsibility.

2. Volunteers will live in a Students’ campus with the shares rooms and common kitchen.

3. Volunteers will live in a hosting family.


In the office of our organization, there is a separate room where the volunteers may prepare for their activities, language clubs, etc. There is Wi-Fi there so if volunteers have a possibility we would recommend you to bring your laptop or a tablet for personal use. It is better if you have your own laptop in order to work at home.

You may use the technical equipment available at our office to prepare for your activities. The activities themselves will take place in different locations.

The first week after volunteers’ arrival will be an adaptation week. Volunteers will see the place of work, get to know the people and the current volunteers, get acquaintance with people from the community.

The working schedule is flexible but no more than 6,5 – 7 working hours per day. If a volunteers are involved at weekends, they will get free days during the week. Every volunteer has 2 days free per week.


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According to the Erasmus+ Programme Guide, each volunteer will get the coverage (or reimbursement) of the travel tickets in both sides:

– for EU participants – up to 275 euro according to Distance calculator of Erasmus+ program;

All the volunteers will get the pocket money (4 euro per day), money for food (150 euro per whole month of the project). The volunteer’s allowance is given every 2 weeks in EUR.


The project is financed by the Latvian NA. All general matters of the project will be followed by partner organizations involved in it. During the whole process of the project, each volunteer will be supported by coordinator and a mentor from the local community in Latvia.

The Coordinating Organization (CO) is NGO Kulturas biedriba Alternativa Realitate (LATVIA).

The responsibilities of CO:

– financial and administrative responsibility for the entire project towards the National Agency;

– manage the grants that the parts involved in the project will receive, financial issues: the reimbursement of the travel cost, sending cost;

– keep permanent contact with all involved organizations during the project and assist them in case of any problems;

– coordinate the project in cooperation with all sending and receiving organizations;

– coordinate between the sending and hosting parts throughout the whole duration of the project;

– offer support to the volunteer(s) regarding the quality of their task;

– prepare reports for the European Commission;

– ensure the visibility, and dissemination of the project.

The responsibilities of Sending Organizations (SO):

– enroll each volunteer to get the obligatory Volunteering Health Insurance card (Cigna company) and explain the insurance plan foreseen in the Erasmus+ Programme;

– arrange, with the receiving organization, the best outgoing international

transport tickets for the volunteer, in relation to costs and time, according to the program rules;

– provide support for the learning/Youthpass process;

– be in contact with the volunteers and support in the case of any problems;

– make sure that the volunteers make the Final report.;

– make the “Final Evaluation Meeting” after volunteers’ arrival to home, aiming to reflect on the EVS project as a whole;

– integrate the volunteer in the local community after the project;

– ensure the visibility, and dissemination of the project.

The Receiving Organization (RO) is an NGO “Kulturas biedriba Alternativa Realitate” (Latvia). The coordinator is Irina Kurpniece, email altreality@inbox.lv

The responsibilities of RO:

– prepare the volunteer’s agreement;

– make the “Final Evaluation Meeting” aiming to reflect on the ESC project as a whole;

– ensure the visibility, and dissemination of the project;

– give all administrative and pedagogical information needed for the realization of the project;

– find a suitable mentor for the volunteer(s);

– help the volunteer(s) to integrate into the local community, adjust to the surroundings, socialize with local youth and overcome any possible cultural shock;

– organize activities suitable to the objectives of the project and encouraging the volunteer(s) to develop their own ideas;

– provide assistance for the tasks that the volunteer(s) will have;

– provide suitable living conditions to the volunteer(s) (allowance, accommodation, food, local transport);

– provide the support of the volunteer(s) in completing the Youthpass form;

– manage conflicts between all parties involved;

Volunteers will be assisted by experienced mentors from the local volunteers. Our organization will try to choose the mentors according to your interests and age.

Project Mandarinu Zeme 2020 was funded by the European Commission Solidarity Corps, administered by the Agency for International Programs for Youth in Latvia. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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