Friday, July 10, 2009

Raivis and Kristians

PHOTO DONATION: Artūrs Romanovskis

We wanted to visit Raivis already for a longer time. Raivis is deaf. He has the same cochlear implant as small Linda and it needs the batteries. When I talked to his mums, her biggest request was the money for the batteries. Raivis is attending the boarding-school for the hearing-impaired children in Valmiera, he is staying there for a week that is why it was difficult to arrange the time to visit him.
All children are joyful now because of the summer holidays which have just started and we finally are going to visit Raivis. This time we have two reasons for it: 1) we are going already with some „gift to the hosts”- the batteries which were kindly given to us by Mr. Uldis Ķelle, the director of medical company „RAL”; 2) this time I am going not only with a photographer Mr. Artūrs Romanovskis, but also with a girl from Sweden- Mrs. Maria Hansson. Maria has come to Riga to visit some of her friends and also to see how is the life for the Latvian children in this crisis time. She has a huge suitcase with her- knitted baby slippers, hats, scarves and other nice things made by several Swedish girls.
Raivis together with his brother, mum and dad lives a few kilometers behind Bauska. His mums tell us that Raivis will be 8 in August, but he looks older, serious in a way, he has taken care for the small mischievous bother Kristians who is 5 year old. The boys quite quickly get used to the guests and while we are talking to the mum, they are already friends with the photographer and are having an impish photo session. The photographer later told me that it has been so easy and pleasant to work with them because there was a big return and abandon coming from the boys that the photo story was developing as if itself- very free and at ease. While the boys are romping with the photographer, time at the time running also at us (because we have the sweets on the table, they were kindly given by „Kraukļa fonds”), we with Maria can talk to the mum.
Raivis, as I already mentioned, is deaf. Unfortunately rather late, only when he was already 4, he had an operation and a cochlear implant was inserted- this is a hearing aid which has its one part under the skin, but the other part- outside at the ear and it needs batteries. The boy can now hear, is very moving, cute, and just finished the 1st class in the special school. Unfortunately Raivis has dyslalia, sometimes he can say the words clearly, and sometimes he shows by the signs what he cannot say. But his mum says that there is an indisputable progress since he attends the special school and she hopes that after some years Raivis will be able to talk of full value to his equals in age and his brother. His brother Kristians is like a water- plant, he cannot sit in one place even not for a while, is teasing his brother and runs at us at time to get a candy.
I am asking the mum what is the financial situation in the family at the moment, and then she gives a sigh and sadly smiles. As many in this moment, also their dad has lost his job. The only earner is mum, but her income is not stabile, it can be from 70-120 LVL per month. Of course, Raivis disablement allowance which is 75 LVL is a big support, but can a family of four people live with it? From this amount of money they also have to pay 60 LVL for leasing which was taken last year for the computer and to start the school last year in September. The house really needs the renovation very much, the ceiling is sooty, old plank floor has become loose, at winter the cold gets in through the chinks of the windows. It is still good that they have the wood heating and the cold water in the house.
The hardest time has been in the winter when the income of mum was only 70 LVL plus the allowance for Raitis, but it costed 10 LVL to take Raivis from Bauska to Valmiera and for mum- to return home (about 350 km there and back), they simply did not have such money in winter, so Raivis did not go to school some times because there was no money for the transport. It is easier in summer because then mum has more work and also dad can find some odd jobs. They have also their own garden near home where they are growing potatoes, carrots, dills and garden radish.
Mum is very happy about the batteries and thanks to Mr. Uldis Ķelle they will be able to get them every month.

At the moment this family would be grateful for any help:

*Clothes for boys (8 and 5 years)
* Footwear (size 31 and 37)
* Play cars (the dream of the brothers- the cars which are led by the console)
* Swimming things for the summer- ball, flippers, masks
* Renovation in the house (it is very very needed)- windows, floors, walls, ceiling
* Beds for the boys
Let us help!

Please call 90006888 and you will donate 1 LVL

Many, many thanks to the angels of the brothers:
RAL- the batteries
Kraukļa fonds- food, sweets
Elīna Timermane - LVL 35,- (21.10.09.)
Nadežda Ņedospasova - LVL 7,50 (21.10.09.)
Anonymous contributor - LVL 112,50 (29.10.09.)
Dārta Balcere - LVL 2,- (04.11.09.)
Musical gallery INQB8R - LVL 10,- (08.12.09.)
Uldis Ķelle - LVL 50,- (10.12.09.)

Kaspars Seleckis - LVL 40,- (18.12.09.)
Ilze Zepa - LVL 20,- (21.12.09.)
Kaspars Seleckis - LVL 56,- (28.12.09.)
Jūlija Stefanoviča - LVL 10,- (05.01.10.)
Gundega Dūduma - Ozola - LVL 100, - ( 23.08.10.) – we switch the money to the purchase of FM system
Carina Holm - LVL 38,44 (24.01.11.)

Huge thanks to the medical society “RAL” and personally to Mr. Uldis Ķelle. "RAL" will provide the batteries for the implants every month! Thanks a lot!

332,43 LVL are urgently needed, so that Raivis could hear!! His hearing aid has a small defect, but for the repairing of it is needed some amount of money which this family cannot afford at the moment. Now Raivis sometimes can hear his mother and brother, but sometimes not.... Let us help!

26.10.2009 We just got to know that Raivis needs a bigger amount of money for the repair of the implant: 155 LVL. Let us help!

Many, many thanks to the contributors for the help! We really hope that the donated amount will be enough, although the exact amount needed for Raivis is
not yet known...


Huge thanks to all the contributors for the help! Unfortunately the amount is more bigger than we expected, so we continue to donation..

The amount of money still needed: 0,00 LVL (from LVL 332,43; 05.01.2010*):
*We will update the names of the contributors and the given amounts every evening
*We will inform about the use of the donated money in a further photo story


During the campaign "10 000 butterflies for LV children” are being gathered the money for the frequency modulation device for Raivis which will help him to learn to speak. At the moment 880 LVL are still missing.

We have transferred 35 LVL to the medical society RAL for the spare part for Raivis’ hearing device (cable) which got damaged and without which Raivis cannot use the hearing device and because of that- can not hear.

Yesterday in the Latvian Children Audile Centre a frequency modulation device (FM system) was jointed to Raivis’ cochlear hearing aid. Raivis can now hear better the sounds, the side noises will be isolated. His mum is hoping that from next September Raivis will be able to attend their local school because it is impossible for the parents to travel from Bauska to Valmiera, and also parents are in the opinion that the speech development could improve for Raivis when learning in the“regular” school.

Many thanks to all the donators which took part in the Butterfly campaign, donated money in the BMW event and also after reading the photo story about Raivis.

The batteries for Raivis cochlear hearing aid every month will be granted by the medical society RAL. The brothers are often visited by the girls from Sweden, they also take part in our organized events and activities.

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