Charity in Latvia

In year 2018 Latvia will celebrate its 100th anniversary of independence. It will be a major event for our nation, its citizens, loyal non-citizens and anyone who acknowledges and respects Latvia. For more than four years my Fund is trying to honor those Latvian citizens who rest in peace somewhere in cemeteries of Latvia. Their burial places, grave stones and crosses were in poor condition. Their relatives have either died in war, exile or disappeared in foreign parts – there is no one left to take care of these burial places. These were the people who built this country, its economy, culture and defense ability. They deserve our respect and remembrance regardless of their national or religious association.

Fund considers taking its activities to all regions of Latvia as its obligation. During my first year I tried to get support and donations from Latvia and Germany. In all instances I was praised. I was promised that plans to help are in works and support will come. These turned out to be empty promises – in all of these instances, even on the level of presidents (except for Mr. Bērziņš who at least showed moral support for fund. No material donations though). After that I realized that those who have acquired political power have different interests and if I feel like it I can continue my enthusiast/volunteer movement on my own (these people won’t help in any way).

 Press and media were not available. Owners didn’t want to spend money on causes like mine - better to save money for something else. Maecenas (patron of art or literature) is a funny word – it used to be that wealthy people (before war begun) were donating a lot of money for charity, built parks (Vērmanes park as an example) and cultural monuments. Nowadays our millionaires seem to be “poor” – burdened with debt. If for some miraculous reason they decide to donate, they would think to themselves: “Where in the world could I exchange a million?” Stolen money usually stays hidden, so there is no reason to turn to our present day “wealthy people” for support. It costs about 5 Euros to contact them anyway (registered letter, printing, transportation to post office), so it brings only losses for the Fund as no support comes back from our efforts.

Now I have decided to start with the highest governmental institution in Latvia – with our mighty hundred – the example for our nation’s people. I guess donating about 100 Euros shouldn’t be a burden on their financial situation as for the whole year their income is about 30 000 Euros. People are strange – they think that they will live forever. But it’s not like that at all. At least I know that after my death I will be greeted with praise, because I took care of deceased while I was alive. Let’s see how scrooges (who didn’t lift a finger to do something charitable) will feel when their time will come – when fear of death creeps up and they try to communicate with God, but there is no response as they don’t deserve it!

I feel uncomfortable to beg for donations. A lot has been done, but it’s just a fraction of what should be done. I know that a lot of you will provide a bunch of arguments just to avoid donating. Then I have a question for you – what have YOU PERSONALLY done for this cause? Most probably – NOTHING!

P.S. If your financial situation is really that bad, please send at least 5 Euros.


 

Considerable amount of time has passed and one can already conclude what is charity in Latvia. The initial optimism and hope that people will actually participate in the charity event has decreased. Everyone everywhere with all of their heart supports the activities of the Foundation, praises those who do the work and gives valuable advice and moral support. About the sad situation with the press you can read in the “implemented projects” section.

Let us look at our religious fathers’ attitude toward charity – it is shocking. Maybe they stopped reading the Bible a long time ago, maybe they are just busy with trying to grow their wealth or maybe there is some kind of guidance from the sky. Either way, I don’t have any idea about their attitude towards afterlife. Mr. Vanags with the help of his secretary tried to make me aware that his sphere of activity is on more spiritual level and that he does not deal with such simple matters as graves and cemeteries. Their job usually is to help alive people – I guess they aren’t interested in afterlife anymore. He suggested the person who will show me the graves and tell about traditions.

It’s kind of like – while alive, come to church, listen to the priest, donate to the church and leave. Of course, the funeral is a sacred thing, and expensive too, it would still be a church affair, but after that – you’re on your own. At Cemetery celebrations spiritual fathers are present because of possible benefits. Deceased people are no longer relevant, except those who have living relatives. Those who don’t can rest in peace. They no longer can give anything to the church – they have no wallets. And so they’re resting while nobody from the pulpit will propose cleaning up abandoned graves, picking up fallen crosses or monuments, closing broken tombs or filling up looted graves. If enthusiasts appear who decide to do all of those things, church can’t recommend others to give material support for mentioned enthusiasts, because it would mean less money for the church.

Amazing, but that’s the way it is. Maybe I don’t understand something, maybe I said something wrong – forgive me, chief spiritual fathers!? There was no answer from the Orthodox fathers either. Honor and glory for the head of the Catholic church Mr. Stankevičs who met us personally and listened. It was a great moral support for the Foundation. I admire the pastor of Krimulda, he didn’t even know the phone number or address of “Krimulda” cemetery’s manager. Maybe it’s acceptable nowadays!

Eventually we’ll all be under ground, but I don’t think that we’ll have it as bad as mentioned above. I’ll continue to inform you about the activities of the Foundation, existent and new obstacles, who, when and how helps/doesn’t help the Foundation. Time will show, let’s hope for the best.


I still remember that view – in yard of cafe tied dog, tubby, plump (could say from middle layer) processes the pile of bones. In there no longer to go, what to do? When I arrive here, dog catch the bones, carrying them back, tried to dig in the ground, hidden behind the cabin, baring his teeth, with red eyes…
Oh My God – I thought, or we, people, are the same if we can get to the wealth? I felt terrible. No, ladies and gentleman, will not be the same, we will be people! I have relative in Canada, he asked me about living conditions. I said that children money is 8 LVL a month. He did not heard right and said that it is not much in day, but can survive. I could not convince him that 8 LVL are for a month.
Therefore, as “Fon Rogges charitable fund’s” founder, I invite you to help to people which are not so lucky, support culture, art, pensioners, lonely people, help with your money to clean abandoned graves, monuments, and churches.
Most of all we help to people in fields where government usually does not come to people. Charity is very developed in Europe, America, Japan etc. – so we also should to do so.

With best wishes and hopes.