Frequently asked questions
In this section we have gathered frequently asked questions in regards of our project. As project gathers pace we will update this section as soon as we have new questions. If there is any question which is not answered yet, please get in touch with us and let us know what has to be answered.
The #stayathome voluntary help service
For easing the Covid-19 crisis
Working hours: 24/7
Languages: Latvian, Russian, English
FOR THOSE LOOKING TO RECEIVE HELP
Who can use the voluntary help service?
- Anyone who has to stay at home – seniors, people with illnesses
- anyone in self-isolation, for example, someone who has returned from abroad
- anyone with difficulties – single parents
- healthcare workers or anyone who has to stay or has stayed at home.
What assistance is available?
Food shopping, shopping for personal hygiene products and other goods, delivering non-prescription drugs, collecting postal items, dog walking, taking out the rubbish or simply calling for a chat. Other needs can also be registered. Provide as much detail as possible in your request!
Is this charity?
No, this isn’t charity. You do have to pay for purchases. Delivery is free – that’s a volunteer’s gift to you. All volunteers have agreed to abide by the volunteers’ ethical guidelines, which state that they will not accept any tangible or financial remuneration.
Is it safe?
Before becoming a volunteer, the person has to agree to respect data security, hygiene and health requirements, submit some form of ID and a photo. Volunteers are only approved once all this has been checked.
When organising deliveries, you can arrange to leave the money outside the door and collect the goods once the volunteer has left or vice versa. You don’t have to open the door and be in direct contact with the volunteer.
Who will know about my personal data?
Only the volunteer who’s agreed to help you will receive your personal data. The system tracks which volunteer is headed your way. If you have reason to believe misconduct, please call the helpline immediately to let us know.
Can I become a volunteer if I have foreign ID? For example, if I’m a resident of Latvia who’s returned to Latvia during the crisis?
Yes, you can. We’re clarifying whether it will still be possible once we’ve introduced identification through the manabalss system.
Can a volunteer collect prescription medication?
A volunteer isn’t allowed to take someone else’s ID. For help in this matter, the person has to turn to their general practitioner (GP). The GP can appoint another person to pick up prescription medication. In these cases it’s best to involve the Samaritan Association of Latvia.
How can I pay?
We recommend using contactless payment systems to be agreed upon with the volunteer. For hygiene purposes, if using cash, hand it over in a bag.
What should I do if no one completes my request?
Volunteers may be working people. If, within 24 hours, no one has been in touch with you, call the call centre again. We’re trying to keep track of requests but there may be objective reasons for someone not being in touch. Don’t hesitate to call again!
How can I know that the person who has come to my place is the volunteer?
The volunteer will always call ahead to clarify your request. If the volunteer hasn’t called ahead, he or she hasn’t respected the rules, so don’t open the door. If in doubt, call the call centre!
Is assistance available through the whole of Latvia?
We’re working to ensure volunteers are available everywhere in Latvia. If a volunteer hasn’t contacted you, please call the call centre again to resolve the situation.
What should I do if I want someone to walk the dog?
Volunteers have special guidelines on dog walking. The volunteer will call you ahead of time to agree on dog walking arrangements. The volunteer and the dog owner do not meet in person.
Mežavairogi animal shelter can also provide assistance. Its 24/7 helpline is 24422440.
From what age can I become a volunteer?
You can become a volunteer from the age of 16. If someone younger is interested, we encourage parents to sign up and do the work together.
Who should I turn to if I think that the aid recipient needs some other kind of help?
Contact the social services of the relevant council. After a while, call to make sure that the person has received the help they needed.
Who should I turn to if the aid recipient can’t afford to pay for food and says they have nothing to eat?
For now, encourage them to contact Paēdušai Latvijai. There’s no status requirement for receiving assistance. They can apply online but you can offer to submit the application on their behalf.
What do I do if I find out on a call that someone else has already taken care of the job e.g. relatives delivered food?
You mark it as “pabeigts” (complete), because the request for help is no longer valid.
I registered on Zelos but can’t find any groups
Volunteers have to enter the #Paliecmājās section. If you’ve done that but still can’t see any groups, it’s possible your application is still being processed. In this case the app will show “pending”.
I’ve tried to register but I’m not getting an email confirmation/my application is taking a very long time to be reviewed
For now, applications are reviewed manually, so it can take time. We’re working on a new solution to make it easier.
Do I need to found a group in the app for my city/neighbourhood?
No. Volunteers join existing groups.
Can a volunteer be a member of more than one group on Zelos?
Yes, a volunteer can be a member of more than one group.