What made the London Marathon of 2016 special? His excellency Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis was fundraising for GfL by running there!

£2,300 has been raised so far, thanks to 45 donors from UK, Switzerland, Canada and USA.  Support and cheer for our Ambassador by donating via https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/andristeikmanis

Your last year’s donations helped to support 20 children’s crisis centres and NGOs in Latvia. Their thank you notes are meant for all of you, our wonderful supporters.

Given the size of donations we now attract annually, during 2015 we got officially registered as a charity with the UK Charity Commission.

The total amount of financial grants distributed by GfL since inception now aggregates to over £25K. Almost 5 tonnes of donations in kind have been delivered to Latvia.

Generous donations have allowed GfL to double the number of supported crisis centres and NGOs for special needs children to 20, and for the very first time reach 18 cities in Latvia.

Not bad for a charity run by a group of volunteers?

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Join and support children’s and young mum’s crisis centres in Latvia.

Fundraiser Alex at the finish of Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromso NorwayHip, hip, hurray to our pioneer fundraiser! Alex Prokofjevs grew up in Kraslava and has been living and working in London for a while. End of June he went to Midnight Sun Marathon in the Norwegian town of Tromso, the city located in the polar circle (where sun does not set for couple of months in the summer) and hosting the northern-most marathon in the world.

Alex set an aggressive fundraising target for his effort and chose to support “Giving for Latvia” https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/tromso4kids But 40 of his colleagues and friends surprised him with even more generous donations aggregating to £2,000. Alex’s employer Barclays added £1,000 via matched donations scheme, and additional money was claimed via HMRC’s GiftAid programme.
£3,400 – an amazing amount raised for sweat in a half-marathon with a midnight finish (for more information read http://latviesiem.co.uk/?ct=londonas_zinjas&fu=read&id=1462). The additional budget will allow “Giving for Latvia” to broaden the list of supported crisis centres in Latvia.

The Annual Charity Ball and Auction in London have turned into a tradition that “Giving for Latvia” volunteers hope to uphold for many years to come. The latest event held in May 2015 raised a solid £4,500 towards the children’s and young mother’s crisis centres in Latvia.

Traditions are not that difficult to initiate, as proven by one of our long time supporters, the Latvian Embassy in UK. The Embassy has been able to add a “British Royal touch” to our charity auctions for two years in a row. The story goes as follows. A year ago the Embassy gifted an amazing lot that was added to our 2014 charity auction – a “rocking horse fit for a Prince”. It was the exact double of the traditional wooden rocking horse that the Ambassador had honour to present to the British Royal family, Prince William and Catherine Middleton, on the occasion of the birth of their son Prince George. For the most recent 2015 charity auction the Embassy kindly donated a similarly invaluable lot – a “teddy fit for a Princess”. The double of the gift had been just presented to Catherine Middleton and Prince William for the very recent birth of Princess Charlotte. Needless to say the lots with the Royal connections have been massively popular with the auction bidders and brought substantial sums for the crisis centres.

We hope to be able to preserve this “Royal touch” tradition for the upcoming charity events. No pressure on the Royal couple of course.

“Giving for Latvia” owes warm thanks to all the supporters of the 2015 charity event: The Embassy of Latvia in UK and His Excellency Mr. Andris Teikmanis – ziedot.lv and its founder and Chair Ruta Dimanta – master of ceremony at the ball Andrejs Ritins – Nora Bite Trio – restaurant “Vincents” and Martins Ritins – restaurant Vest – VigoPortraits – control drivers 333 – wind tunnel Aerodium – tour operator TravelJam – Vingro Sev – Cita Rota Lielvardes belt pattern shawl producer – birch sap experts Libertu family Pop-up Gallery – Klippan Saule – The Grange Hotel – light and sound specialists Baumanevents.co.uk – news portal AngloBalticNewsnews portal latviesiem.co.uknews portal latviesi.com  – news portal Briva Latvija – Facebook group for Latvians in London “LaLonda”.

For donations:   https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/tromso4kids

 

 

Giving for LatviaCrisis centres in Latvia utilise various ways to raise money, including applying for various EU grants (up to EUR 50,000 per grant that can be spent to buy furniture and educate staff, etc.). Such funding applications need to be submitted in English and subsequent reports to be produced in English. Crisis centres in Latvia are struggling with the translations, and Giving for Latvia has come forward to match Crisis centres with distance volunteers translators.

We call for all those who would like to volunteer and assist a Crisis centre with English language funding application projects to email us.

Not all translation jobs are related to grants, however volunteer help will also be very much appreciated for smaller jobs like upgrading English language websites of the centres or translation of information on children nominated for international rehabilitation summer camps.

 

The Annual Charity Ball and distance bidding auction organized by “Giving for Latvia” in London on 9th of May has raised an aggregate of £3,700 towards children’s and young mother’s crisis centres in Latvia.

The event attended by the Ambassador of Latvia in UK Mr. Andris Teikmanis and Latvian celebrity chef Martins Ritins aimed to “embrace and celebrate all the best from Latvia”. The ball featured young musicians accordion virtuoso Ksenija Sidorova and vocalist Tina Gelnere. Auction items included artworks by Vineta Kaulaca and Andrejs Ritins, who was also the Master of Ceromonies and quiz master for the evening.

The jewel of the charity auction was a unique wooden rocking horse, gifted by the Embassy of Latvia. Traditional wooden rocking horses, manufactured in Latvia since 1956, are among the most marketable toys in Latvia and have entertained children in Latvia through many generations. In 2013 the Latvian ambassador had the honour to present such a toy to the British Royal family – Prince William and Catherine Middleton – on the occasion of the birth of their son Prince George. The Embassy gifted the exact double of the horse to our “Giving for Latvia” charity auction, together with the ambassador’s letter on its origins. The two leading bidders rather than desiring the item for themselves, sealed a deal, each of them matching each other’s bids on the condition that the special rocking horse be gifted to a crisis centre in Latvia for children to play with. (Photo: Ambassador of Latvia in UK Mr. Andris Teikmanis (far right) and winning bidders, including celebrity chef Martins Ritins (second from left))

“Giving for Latvia” says a warm thanks to all the donors and supporters of the charity event: The Embassy of Latvia in UK and His Excellency Mr. Andris Teikmanis – restaurant “Vincents” and Martins Ritins – accordionist Ksenija Sidorova – vocalist Tina Gelnere – artist Vineta Kaulaca – artist and master of ceremony ceremonies at the ball Andrejs Ritins – barista Ingemars Dzenis – fitness club “Vingro sev” and Ieva Kundzina – Latvian Welfare Fund (LWF) London branch – LWF London B&BThe Grange Hotel – bands “Brainstorm” and “Instrumenti” – confectioner “TasteCaps”jewelry craftswomen from “ameli.lv”beauty clinique “4.dimensija” – light and sound specialists Baumanevents.co.uk – news portal AngloBalticNewsnews portal latviesiem.co.ukFacebook group for Latvians in London “LaLonda”.

 

A quick update on our recent focus of registering Giving for Latvia as an official U.K. charity.

Tasks completed:

– small charity constitution passed

– community account opened

– HMRC reference (EW07948) received.
Our new official status as charity allows us and our donors to benefit from GiftAid scheme, i.e. for every £1 that a donor donates, our charity will receive a tax rebate from the HM Revenue & Customs

online donation facilities set up via CharitiesTrust and Charities Aid Foundation
They will unfortunately not update us with the details of donors, so we cannot thank every individual donor, but we and the crisis centres are of course very grateful for the donations

registration with mydonate fundraising site 

Latvian Embassy to the U.K. has been great supporter of Giving for Latvia since the very inception of our organization.

When at the end of April 2013 H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia Mr Eduards Stiprais hosted his farewell reception in London, the least we could do was to thank the Ambassador in person. And there could be no better way to show our gratitude, than by presenting a drawing by one of the children from the establishments supported by Giving for Latvia. Ambassador truly appreciated the present.


(in the photo one of the founders of Giving for Latvia, Maija Plaude-Lasmane, presents children’s drawing to now ex-Ambassador Mr Eduards Stiprais at his recent farewell reception in London)