Charity fund founder awarded European Citizen’s Prize

Rūta Dimanta, who heads the charity fund Ziedot.lv, is Latvia’s recipient of this year’s European Citizen’s Prize, the European Parliament’s office in Riga announced Thursday.

“I’m honored to be receiving the European Citizen’s Prize,” said Dimanta. “It’s a testimony to all of Latvian society, because charitable giving is one of our citizens’ self-initiatives to show they care for their state and fellow people,” she said.

“Leading the charity organization Ziedot.lv I’ve seen the changes in society and it motivates me to keep working. Only together can we become strong and wealthy. Not each of us on our own, not when someone is in trouble. And that applies to Latvian society and to Europe as a society of nations,” she said.

The European Citizen’s Prize is awarded each year to persons making a significant contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values. This year 47 people were selected from among 74 proposals to receive the Prize at an awards ceremony at the Parliament in Brussels this October.

Nominees are submitted by MEPs – Dimanta was nominated by European People’s Party group deputies Sandra Kalniete, Krišjānis Kariņš, Artis Pabriks and Inese Vaidere, who cited her leadership of a charity organization that has become “the largest and most trustworthy internet portal for donations in Latvia.”

The prize has been given since 2008 to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation and mutual understanding inside the EU through their day-to-day work.

Previous recipients from Latvia have been the head of the libraries’ support fund Biruta Eglīte and the head of Latvia’s Rural Women’s Association Rasma Freimane.

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