Monday, June 7, 2010

Get-togethers at Zelma’s

We received this letter during summer 2009...

“By chance I found out about the ‘ ’project when searching I wanted to offer you some help; an idea that has been with me for a while now. I believe that every person should be given the opportunity for a better life and that the best results are achieved if we are not given fish but a net to catch them with.
I would like to give English or Latvian language lessons to a needy family, be they the children or the parent. I would like to help a child improve their school marks or to help the parent become competitive in the job market.”

Is that not the best way to help? Our goal is to not only to give material assistance but more importantly to give some guidance to these children. To give them the will to change something in their life; to show that life can be different and that with a little effort they can remove themselves from their present environment. It is up to them.

So that is how we met this fantastic woman – Zelma. She started teaching two girls from the Purvciems social housing apartments:

When the girls had already had a few lessons I asked them how it was going. To my great surprise they told me that they are not only attending lessons, but that Zelma has cooked pizzas with them and has also invited them to sail on a yacht! The girls were brimming with positive emotions!

But that was not enough for Zelma J In October her idea for the youngsters to meet once a month was realised.

These meetings are open to the young people who attended our summer camp and to those children who are in our care. Here is Zelma’s story about what these young people have been up to:
PHOTO DONATION: Ēriks Meinarts

“At the first meeting we told the girls about beauty care as this is important to every woman. Gerda and I talked about how to choose clothing, and create a wardrobe with minimal cost and maximum results. My friends and friends of friends had donated clothes, and the girls are finding these items very useful. I want to say a big thank you to those who have helped with this first activity, to those who donated clothes or money – two Ivetas, Kristine, Zane, Arita, Sarmite, Baiba, Gita, Gerda, Signei, Evita, Marika, Antra.”
PHOTO DONATION: Santa Spilberga

“We started the second activity learning some techniques to use when working with felt. Iveta has learnt how to work with this material and she showed us what can be created with it; giving us some interesting ideas and showing some finished products. This craft requires patience and you can’t give up if it doesn’t turn out how you imagined. Baiba may have enjoyed this activity the most because she has her own approach and displays her talent by seeing the potential in any craft :).

Afterwards we ate my homemade pizza and then watched a movie ‘Twilight which Gerda had found. She had brought two big bags of popcorn; it was almost like being at the movies. The girls loved the film despite being a little uncomfortable sitting on the floor. Arita had hoped to also make Christmas decorations from recycled materials but unfortunately there was not enough time. We can definitely do that in the future. Some other ideas included an excursion to the chocolate producer ‘Laima', and someone joked that we could visit a toilet paper factory. But it seems that next time we will go to the cinema to see ‘New Moon’, the second part of the ‘Twilight’ saga. We will then go to my home where we will continue our activities, because it seems that there is no end to their ideas.

I would like to thank my friend Normunds who donated transport money for this event :)

I thought I would mention that the girls really look forward to these meetings: Baiba has special needs and this is her only opportunity to leave her home; and a few girls come from the Talsi area - a long way to travel just to chat and participate in interesting activities.”

We are so grateful to Zelma and her friends for giving these young people the opportunity to spend some wonderful moments together and to learn so many new things.

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