National Guard appeal goes global

An innovative attempt to raise funds for Latvia's volunteer National Guard (Zemessardze) has entered a new phase with organizers now targeting international donors rather than just Latvian domestic donors. 

As previously reported by LSM, the crowdfunding attempt was launched in an attempt to provide much-needed night vision equipment and other items to the National Guard that are not provided under the allocation received from the national defense budget.

The new fundraising drive comes under the slogan 'Night to Sight' and aims to raise $20,000 to match approximately the same amount already raised in Latvia.

As well as improving Latvia's defensive capabilities, donors will have the added satisfaction of helping the country academically - the project is being run by a communications class at Turība University. The class consists of students from Latvia, Russia, Belarus and a professor, Juris Ulmanis, from the United States.

Ulmanis told LSM: "I believe that truly important causes are global causes. Non-aggression, preserving democracy and freedom are humanitarian, global values.

"The best similar example for us is Ukraine. A few local people started to collect money for the local troops and if one now types in 'Ukraine crowdfunding' into Google, one can see many, many people all over the world collecting money for a war-free, independent Ukraine.

"In that regard our campaign is more like preventive medicine."

The money raised will be used to provide "seed money" for future fundraising efforts as well as to purchase equipment, signalling that the organizers intend to keep the process ongoing.

"The Latvian Transatlantic Organization (LATO), a non-governmental organization will receive the donations, and ensure accountability and transparency for our initiative," the official website says. 

You can read more and make a donation if so inclined HERE and follow progress via Twitter using the #Night2Sight hashtag.

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