Open Hearts and Homes for Children hosting programs currently include children from Latvia and Ukraine.
Latvia is a Baltic state in Northern Europe bordered by Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and the Baltic Sea. The country's official language is Latvian but the majority of people also speak Russian as Latvia was part of the Soviet Union prior to its independence in 1991. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, numerous lakes and sprawling forests. Latvia's capital is Riga, home to the lovely old quarter, full of magnificent architecture, cobblestoned lanes and many historic churches. Latvia is a smaller country roughly the size of West Virginia with a population of just over 2 million people.
For many years after Latvia's independence the country saw strong economic growth. The global recession in 2008 however, hit Latvia hard, and as a result, the country experienced severe economic consequences resulting in high unemployment. The economy has seen some recovery since 2008 but continues to struggle with the instability of global economic conditions.
The children available for hosting from Latvia are school age (7-16 years old), singles, sibling pairs or sibling groups. There are still many orphanages in Latvia, but also a firmly established foster care system. Children from Latvia who come on hosting may reside in orphanages or in foster families.