Winners of the Human Development Award 2020 were announced at an online ceremony

On December 10, at a solemn ceremony, the Civic Alliance - Latvia, in cooperation with the US Embassy in Latvia, awarded five Human Development Award 2020 winners, honoring people and organizations who, through their selfless work, have contributed to the well-being of society, as well as working passionately for many years to strengthen people and provide support in difficult life situations. The organizers of the award – Kristīne Zonberga, Director of the Civic Alliance - Latvia, and John Leslie Carwile, the US Ambassador to Latvia, as well as several senior state officials, including President of Latvia Egils Levits, expressed their gratitude to the winners.

The award for outstanding contribution to the future of Latvia went to Natalja Novikova, who is in a wheelchair and has been helping others for ten years by founding the charity "LiveIntegro", which aims to promote education, culture, sports, social rehabilitation, vocational training, employment and access to the environment and information for people with disabilities. The foundation works mostly with the involvement of children and young people with disabilities in the couple's sports and other activities. In 2019, Natalja became the president of the Children's and Youth’s Para-Sports Association and initiated the development of a unique development program for children with movement disorders. The winner's work in video format can be found here.

The award for outstanding contribution to health and well-being was presented to Elīna Tolmačova, Head of Environment, Health and Community Participation Department, Liepāja City Administration. Elīna is one of those socially responsible people who do more than her job responsibilities require. When the state of emergency was declared in the country, Elīna immediately took part in preventive measures and professional coordination work to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus infection, taking care of the local residents of her city and not thinking about the possible dangers in contact with potentially infected people. The winner's work in video format can be found here.

The award for social responsibility was given to Tamāra Krēsliņa, a volunteer of the State Probation Service in the resocialization service (co-worker). In her daily work, Tamāra uses her presence, life experience and knowledge to support young people, who have committed crimes by helping them to deal with various issues of a social nature, as well as inspiring them to learn new ways to spend their free time in order to live without crimes in the future. The winner's work in video format can be found here.

This year, the award for outstanding contribution to education traveled to Ezere Parish to the craftsman Alvids Pupšis, an active supporter of public life in his parish. Since 2015, Alvids has been leading free wood craft classes organized by the association “Mūsu ligzda” and Ezere 4H “ASNI”, where children and young people, as well as their parents, grandparents and other people interested learn practical woodworking skills, learn to work with wood and make useful things for themselves and in the public environment. The winner's work in video format can be found here.

This year, a Special Award was also presented – “For selfless work in preventing the negative consequences of Covid-19”, which was received from the hands of President Egils Levits to the volunteer movement #paliecmājās (currently “Viegli palīdzēt”). The volunteer movement was set up in a short period of time in March, when a state of emergency was declared in the country. The movement mobilized more than 800 volunteers throughout Latvia, offering help to anyone at risk, in self-isolation or quarantine to purchase goods and other essential support in order to stay at home. With a specially developed application it was possible to easily become a volunteer or ask for help. This movement is a unique and living proof of the cohesion and self-sacrifice of the Latvian population in order to support those who are struggling. The winner's work in video format can be found here.

Video of the online ceremony can be rewatched here.

The event was possible with the support of cooperation partners, sponsors and supporters: “Swedbank”, “SEB”, “Latvijas finieris”, “Maxima”, and “Abbvie”.