The History of the ‘‘Vigor’’ Society

The journey of creating a special association for stroke survivors has been a long process. This idea has emerged first in 2003, when Marina Kuznetsova (being a stroke survivor herself) and Natalia Ivanova ( the lecturer at the International Higher School of Practical Psychology) get acquainted with Lyudmila Lozovskaya ( the director of ‘‘RenessanceS’’ centre of psychological support for families). They have decided to use the Psychological Centre’s basis to unite stoke survivors, who is in need of support. The working group brought together experienced school psychologists to develop the psychological rehabilitation programme. The group included such psychologists as Tatyana Dogadayeva, Karina Borodulina, Liga Kalvane, Svetlana Ulskaya, Larisa Vaikute, as well as the undergraduates of the International Higher School of Practical Psychology- Irina Trigubyuk, Rita Balabanova, Elita Arinya, Inara Deryugina, Nika Berne, Olgerta Melnikova, Sergey Khoroshko (Baltic-Russian Institute) and many others.

Later, retired doctors and teachers joined the working team. We would like to pay tribute to the late Emma Babich, who had appealed to the heads of medical institutions and trade unions for aid in realization of the idea of stroke survivors’ club establishment. Vigor was her idea regarding the name of the society of psychological support for stroke survivors and their relatives, it was chosen and supported by all the members of the programme. The meaning of the name was our matter of special importance, Vigor translated from Latin means “vital strength” and “vital energy”.

Maiden information brochures, explaining the stroke nature, psychological rehabilitation necessity, and our suggestions have been designed and distributed in various organizations. Besides that, a number of articles on post stroke psychological aftereffects and psychological rehabilitation necessity (by Mrs. Borodulina and Mrs. Kalvane) were widely published. At the moment the publishing is being a continuing process. The new brochures which just came out are: “Stroke Survivors’ adaptation to everyday life”, “What is the support for stroke survivor”.

Liga Kalvane, Master of Psychology, was the first coordinator for this programme. Karina Borodulina practitioner-psychologist, candidate for the master degree in pedagogics is the programme’s leader at the moment. Natalya Ivanova – Doctor of Psychology, associated professor at the International Higher School of Practical Psychology, existential psychotherapist and the supervisor has been the programme’s scientific consultant from the beginning.

Since the “Vigor” society was found Lyudmila Lozovskaya provides the rehabilitation programme’s financial support in the form of: finding the premises, promotion in mass media, holding the cultural-mass social events (charity balls, informative seminars etc.), introduction of innovations (for example the programme “Intensive Bodily Practice: Motor-sensory correction”).

The year 2004 marked the start of the first three rehabilitation programmes:

– The Club, which provided coaching and was run by volunteers’ team,

– “Memory Workshop” which was carried out by volunteers I.Trigubyuk and R.Balabanova,

– The Support Group relatives run by T.Dogadayeva.

Today, besides the above mentioned, there are other programmes such as:

– Intensive Bodily Practice (Motor-Sensory Correction),

– Psychological consultation’s course,

– Meetings at the round table “Kaleidoscope: The world of my interests” (the coordinator M.Kuznetsova).

The programme ‘‘Memory Workshop’’ has developed into the “Cognitive Workshop”.

In 2004 RenessanceS, The Psychological Family Support Centre has received a grant from Baltic-American Soros Fund for psychological support of the stroke survivors’ relatives (coordinators L.Kalvane and L.Lozovskaya).

In the same year the population large scale research was carried out to study the public perception of stroke, its’ after effects, and support and rehabilitation necessity. 136 people have taken part (31.1% age 20-35, 48.5% age 36-50).

During the period of years 2005-2016, based on our programme, the following graduation works has been defended:

– Master paper “The Phenomenological Analysis of connection between stroke survivors’ motivation and expectations from rehabilitation” by Ksenia Loginova (London Metropolitan University) (2006).

– Bachelor paper “The patient’s image. Patients’ and their relatives’ idea of help during post stroke rehabilitation” by Vadim Levikin (International Higher School of Practical Psychology) (2008).

– Qualification paper “Development of ability to get Sensual Pleasures in everyday life” by Irina Trigubyuk (International Higher School of Practical Psychology) (2008).

– Master Paper “The Specifics of Stroke survivors’ temporary prospects” by Neonila Brusova (International Higher School of Practical Psychology) (2009).

– Master Paper “Personal meaning of responsibility for your own health before having a stroke and during rehabilitation process” by Alla Lapshevska (International Higher School of Practical Psychology) (2015).

– Master Paper “Personal activity of people who have suffered a stroke, before the illness and during rehabilitation” by Irina Trigubyuk (International Higher School of Practical Psychology) (2016).

On May the 9th 2006 we obtained the official status of the society of psychological support for stroke survivors and their relatives – “Vigor”.

On September the 4th 2006, “Vigor” obtained the status of public benefit organization (resolution N 168 by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia).

In 2011 we have taken part in ‘Stroke Day’, which was held at Eastern Clinical University Hospital of Riga.


  In 2011, Marina Kuznetsova, the chair of “Vigor” public organization, has received an award from ‘‘Boris and Inara Teterev’’ fund, as a winner in the category ’’Volunteer – the leader of city organization’’.

In January 2012, Marina Kuznetsova received an award “Laba zvaigzne Riga 2011” by Riga City Council in nomination ’’ Warm-hearted person brings hope’’.


On December the 3rd 2014 we have received a message of appreciation from the Riga City Council and its Welfare Department.


Karina Borodulina, our volunteer since 2004, school psychologist, coordinator for programme of psychological rehabilitation and individual diagnostics of “Vigor” participants‘ psychological health rehabilitation dynamics’ ,primary consultations’ supervisor, organizer  of club’s meetings and celebrations  received a note of gratitude from the Riga City Council in 2013  for her voluntary work with people with special needs.


Tatiana Dogadayeva, our longstanding volunteer (since 2003), the head of ‘’Cognitive Workshop’’, leader of the support group for volunteers, organiser of club’s meetings and celebrations, psychologist-consultant, the head English  teacher, was awarded the prize ‘’Volunteer of the year 2014’’ in Latvia and received a note of gratitude from Riga City Council.


  In April-May 2016 Azamat Azimov (Азамат Азхимов) working on his master’s degree (the University of Bordeaux, France), as a part of his internship, conducted individual sessions on the speech development with our participants of Vigor, then he prepared didactic video materials based on the results of those sessions.

3.12.2016. The ombudsman of Latvia together with Organization of People with Disabilities and their Friends “Apeirons” and the Latvian National library have organized the “Available Education” conference where Vigor has been handed Gratitude for implementation of the project on rehabilitation of people after a stroke.


XXI Nordic Stroke Society Virtual Congress was held on 26-27 August 2021. The congress was organised by Marvelous agents in cooperation with the Latvian Stroke Society (a member of the Nordic Stroke Society and ESO). Karina Borodulina, Natalya Agapitova and Natalya Ivanova prepared a poster on the topic “Opportunities and experience of psychological rehabilitation after a stroke”. Natalya Agapitova presented the poster to the international community.