Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Emilija – the “Saldus Sun” festival’s little angel

PHOTO DONATION: Andrejs Terentjevs

Emilija is 9 years old and lives near Saldus* in the ‘Zirnu’ parish. She has undergone much in her short life. She has cerebral palsy and profound hearing loss, and has experienced her mothers’ indifference and inability to care for her.
Emilija lives with her grandmother Biruta, who has taken responsibility for Emilija and her four year old brother Davis. In spring this year their mother was refused custody of her children.
Their grandmother is very energetic and is now determined to raise her grandchildren. Why were these children not with their grandmother long ago, and why have they been in constant physical and emotional risk? Unfortunately, government policy dictates that a child should be with their family regardless of the consequences. Emilija and Davis stayed until an extreme situation forced their removal: after another party at home their mothers drinking partners were arrested and taken to hospital with knife wounds. And this was all witnessed by the children...
Biruta tells us “Now it will be different, I won’t give them up and I will raise them myself!” Emilija has stayed with Biruta several times already. Biruta recalls that the first time Emilija was like a limp rag, with underdeveloped muscle tone and no mobility. The grandmother then worked with her and the progress was visible. But, Emilija’s mother returned from working in Germany and took her back. Her only motive was money – she could collect child support, and there was the bonus of Emilija’s invalid pension! Easy money! (We apologise for being blunt, but those are the facts).
Emilija doesn’t have an official diagnosis. She was at the hearing centre three years ago, but the council denied her a cochlear implant because of her unsuitable social circumstances.
This little girl is approachable, and she smiles at guests. She can grasp large objects, and holds her grandmothers or brothers hands. Emilija crawls, but spends her days in bed or in the wheelchair her grandmother has borrowed. During the summer the children spend their days in the garden or fields together with their grandmother. Emilija’s brother often carefully brings her something delicious to eat or a toy to play with. They all go swimming at the local pond.
How can we help Emilija? Biruta tells us “We have everything – clothes, enough food, toys. What I wish for most is that Emilija walk, hear and start to talk.”
The specialists can only determine if, after such a long time of inactivity, this will be possible. Emilija has a specialist appointment at the hearing centre. She will also have a general examination and rehabilitation at the Gailezera psychoneurological department.
When we ask Biruta if it won’t be hard for her to take both children to Riga. She says of course not! It is all for the child!
Together with Emilija's grandmother and the festival ‘Saldus Sun organisers Feliks and Jolanta Ķiģeļi, we wish for Emilija to hear and walk!
We don’t know if this can be achieved, but together we can try to help Emilija. She needs money for examinations, treatment, medication, nappies, and rehabilitation: 950 LVL.
As with many children in our care, Emilija and her brother have never been to the Zoo, a theatre or a theme park. Together we can also help to organise this for them.
*Saldus is a Latvian town located in the Kurzeme region and is main town in Saldus District.

Let’s help!

WE STILL NEED: 182,98 LVL (from LVL 950,- 06.10.2011*):
* Every evening we will update information about donors and their generosity.
* In future photo stories we will detail how the money is spent.

Our photographers
Anonymous donation - LVL 10,- (28.06.11.)
Aigars Rozentāls - LVL 10,- (01.07.11.)
Anonymous donation - LVL 50,- (01.07.11.)
SIA DIAMEDICS - LVL 50,- (07.07.11.)
Jūlija Stefanoviča - LVL 15,- (07.07.11.)
i the festival "Saldus Sun" gathered donations - LVL 396,72 (8.-9.07.11.)
Anonymous donation - LVL 20,- (12.07.11.)
Alda Romanauska - LVL 5,- (12.07.11.)
Anonymous donation - LVL 20,- (05.08.11.)
Māra Kaļva - LVL 5,- (16.08.11.)
Ivars Siliņš - LVL 50,- (26.08.11.)
Anonymous donation - LVL 50,- (30.08.11.)
Anonymous donation - LVL 15,- (02.09.11.)
Anonymous donation - LVL 70,30 (06.10.11.)
Natālija Stoligvo - LVL 50,- (18.07.13.)

August, 2011Almost 3 weeks Emīlija with her granny and brother spent in the hospital Gaiļezers in the psychoneurology department for the tests and rehabilitation. The condition of the girl has improved, during these few months since she is at her granny her progress is obvious, but still a lot and hard work has to be done in order to achieve even small improvements. Emīlija has psyhoneurological disorders which are delaying her speech development, the movement of the hands and legs. Emīlija must be under the oversight of the psychiatrist and neurologist. She has to check up the joints of the knees in the children hospital.

Emīlija with her brother visited the Zoo of Riga, you can see the pictures here:

Emīlija’s granny stayed in the hospital, we have bought the food for the her and used fuel for Emīlija’s transportation. At the moment are spent 95 LVL.

Many thanks to Andrejs who himself spoke to us and wanted to help Emīlija. Her granny sends huge thanks for helping in the housekeeping and for the gifts!

Many thanks to SIA „Baltā Bura” for the diapers for Emīlija.

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