Our story

Each child only has one childhood. It goes by in joys and sorrows, building the foundation for the rest of their lives. This is a time when a child’s curiosity and desire to discover the world interact with how the world actually works. This is not an easy time for adults either. They are the ones who create the environment around their child – safe or unsafe – depending on their knowledge and experience.

Our goal is to promote safe, respectful relationships and prevent violence against children be it domestic, in communication with their peers or society as a whole. By advocating for a safe childhood, we want to help children grow into stronger, more independent and happier adults, as well as better future parents.

The problem

Violence has a fundamental impact on a child’s life. But how big problem is it?

90%
When talking to their children, 90% of parents put an emphasis on the dangers posed by strangers (SKDS, 2021).
85%
of rehabilitated children have suffered from domestic violence (Ministry of Welfare, 2020).
49%
of students have experienced mobbing (Neklusē, 2020).
39%
of crimes against children are sexual exploitation (State Police 2020).
The solution

In order for every child to grow up safely, children, parents and professionals require knowledge and skills, as well as support and a chance to experience a dignified attitude for themselves. That is why Dardedze Centre:

  • provides psychological support to children who have been victims of violence as well as to their families;
  • promotes safe relationships in children’s lives by providing training for adults and children;
  • actively advocates for an organised child protection system at state and local government level.

Dardedze is the only organization in Latvia that specializes in preventing the sexual exploitation of childre

Our achievements in numbers
In 2020, we reached:
11100
children
8224
parents
4324
professionals with educational activities
In cases of violence, support was provided to:
126
children
148
parents/adults
540
Jimba’s (Džimba) agents throughout Latvia teach children about safety in interpersonal relationships.
History
1998
The Latvian Children's Fund and the Centre against Violence for Supporting Children and Families decide to establish the first crisis centre in Latvia.
2001
The first interdisciplinary crisis centre in Latvia opens – Dardedze Centre against Violence.
2002
We begin training for the staff and children from orphanages to mitigate the risk of violence – ‘Team on Wheels’.
 
We create a 4-day training programme for professionals to work with children who have suffered from illegal activities.
2003
The first lesson for preschool children about safety in relationships takes place, implemented in preschool educational institutions (using a dust particle as a character – Puteklis).
2004
In collaboration with the Skalbes organization and the University of Latvia, we implement a programme for parents on positive child upbringing titled ‘Pathways to Competence for Young Children’ in Latvia (adapted from Canada).
 
We create the character Jimba (Džimba) and the first methodological materials for Jimba’s Safety Programme.
2008
We close the hospital and further provide services to children and families only on an outpatient basis, opening up more opportunities for preventive work.
2009
We begin ‘The School of Big Life’ training in boarding schools.
 
We begin organizing Jimba’s safety trips and training Jimba’s agents.
2010
We introduce a support group ‘Guardian Angel’ (Sargeņģelis) for parents of young children from families at risk.
 
We publish the first methodological book for professionals — The Handbook for Working with Child Victims of Violence.
2011
We begin work on the implementation of the training programme for parents ‘Guide to Parenting a Teenager’ in Latvia.
 
A standard for assessing the quality of service provided by crisis centres is developed.
2012
We adapt the standard for interrogating children.
 
We begin to run forum theatre events in schools to reduce peer violence.
2013
Disciplinary guidelines for short-term social rehabilitation institutions
2014
We begin to form Father Groups.
2015
We launch the initiative ‘Child Safe and Child Friendly Kindergarten’ in collaboration with the SOS Children's Villages Association.
 
We launch an annual Christmas campaign titled "A Different Kind of Gift".
2016
We help municipal teams begin developing action plans for the prevention of child sexual exploitation.
2017
We stand for a child-friendly interrogation – the Children's House pilot project is launched.
2018
We launch www.drosaberniba.lv – an educational platform for staff of pre-school educational institutions.
 
We launch Traffic Lights training for assessing children's sexual behaviour.
2019
Jimba’s Safety Programme is revised
 
We begin holding regular expert council meetings for the prevention of child sexual exploitation.
2020
We actively advocate for a better child protection system in the country.
 
In cooperation with the leading organizations in the field, ‘Methodological Material for Social Work with Victims of Violence and Perpetrators of Violence’ is developed and published.
Our Team
The Board of Dardedze Centre
Agnese Sladzevska
Head of Prevention Centre, Member of the Board
Laila Balode
Head of Counselling Department, Member of the Board
Guna Joma
Member of the Board
Counselling Staff
Janeta Bokaldere
Social Worker
Līga Redliha
Psychologist
Daina Dziļuma
Psychologist
Liene Nikolajeva
Psychologist
Anastasija Pušņakova
Psychologist
Iveta Svirska
Psychologist
Iveta Damroze-Zommere
Psychologist
Sindija Dziedātāja
Psychologist
Preventive programmes
Sendi Audriņa
Head of Training Department
Antra Petroviča
Project Manager Assistant
Vineta Āboliņa
Head of preventive programmes, mentor for the ‘Child Safe and Child Friendly Kindergarten’ programme and Jimba’s Safety Programme
Ilze Znotiņa
Head of Jimba’s Safety Programme
Madara Jurgelāne
Mentor for Jimba’s Safety Programme
Zaiga Valdmane
Head of preventive programmes, mentor for the ‘Child Safe and Child Friendly Kindergarten’ programme and Jimba’s Safety Programme
Office staff
Zane Gaidule
Office Administrator
Annija Kandāte
Project Manager
Dace Kurša
Financier
Anda Avena
Head of Communications, advocate for interests