Presentation on theme: "Agnė Zuokienė Lithuania From My Country – With Love 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Agnė Zuokienė Lithuania From My Country – With Love 2011
Member of the Seimas from 12/08/2009 Committees of the Seimas: Committee on European Affairs, Member Committee on Health Affairs, Member2005 – Present General manager of NGO AZZARA 2000 – 2005 General manager of enterprise BNA Ergo 1998 – 2000 Manager of enterprise BNA Ergo 1997 – 1999 General manager of enterprise Baltic News Agency 1992 – 1998 Journalist at Lithuanian radio and television 2003 – Present Board member of the Alma Adamkienė Charitable Foundation Recognition: 2006 The volunteer of the year 2006 – award of Volunteers center 2004 The most Outstanding Young person of the year 2004 in the field of humanitarian and voluntary leadership – award of JCI Lithuania 2004 For the saved people – Green apple award 2004 The women of the year 2002, award of magazine Stilius In 2006 the Centre of Volunteers presented with honourable award – Volunteer of the Year 2006 badge. In 2008 was elected a representative of Lithuania in European Woman of the Year In election of European Woman of the Year 2008 in European Parliament won 3rd place. In 2009 was awarded with the badge of Concord foundation. Date of Birth: July 31, 1971 Education: Master degree in Journalism, University of Vilnius Foreign languages: English, Russian Family: Husband Artūras – is a mayor of Vilnius. Children: Gabrielė (18), Domantas (15), Emilija (6). Agnė Zuokienė
If you can do something good – you just go ahead and do it, if you can help somebody – you help, if you can give something as a gift – you give it – says Agnė Zuokienė.
Agnė has dedicated more than half of her life to public activities. I have a beautiful family, three children, healthy parents – this is the greatest value to me. Therefore, I can face other peoples pain, diseases and deprivation. I can share my love, warmth and understanding – something I have plenty of.
Every idea Agnė comes up with is like a snowball going down a hill – it develops into a giant project involving her supporters and various institutions in Lithuania and abroad. Before declaration of Independence, Agnė was already participating in a humanitarian youth movement. As the country struggled for its freedom, Agnė Zuokienė could not stay quiet about what had been deprived of – public spirit, ethnic identity and the right to express ones beliefs. This is how her road intersected with that of her husband, Artūras Zuokas, – they were both determined, courageous and persistent, both creating a new vision of a free country and a free person.
While studying journalism at the university, Agnė prepared radio coverage about something others tended to ignore – the lonely, the abandoned, the ailing or those without hope. She once organized a competition, inviting children to tell their stories, and received thousands of letters. Afterwards, she went on a tour to Tallinn with twenty winners – these days such trip meant a lot, particularly to unhappy children. Later on, she started an unparalleled initiative in Lithuania – she personally began searching for sponsors and patronized children from families of alcoholics, gave them Christmas presents and made sure they did not lack the most necessary items and clothing.
Auctions Agnė invited ambassadors of 25 countries and their wives to the traditional unique international auction. More than LTL 130,000 donated to charity were collected during three auctions. Revival of our national values and integration in Europe were two closely connected processes. says Agnė. Efforts to portray the culture and history of our country, discover something we could show to others with love – this challenge united all diplomatic missions residing in Vilnius.
The idea developed into an enormous project, which was gladly joined by various local and foreign institutions. During the restoration, experts referred to details and elements of the St. Peter and Paul Church – a masterpiece of the most prominent Italian baroque masters. It was a gift of the diplomatic community to the city of Vilnius for its 750-year anniversary. This returned a piece of the lost Vilnius, a European city of exceptional wealth and uniqueness. Agnė Zuokienė set herself a goal – to restore the partially rundown baroque exterior, which was the only of this kind in the city of Vilnius.
A Book is a Healing Flower Agnė initiated the donation of 58 bookshelves to Vilnius hospitals. A list of 30 most encouraging books was compiled by a group of 200 experts, and special bookshelves were produced by the convicts. This provided them a certain way to apologize to the society. It has become a tradition to leave behind books of their own that people read in hospitals so that other could also enjoy them. The first trend of ideas was establishment of mini libraries in hospitals. The bookshelves contained French, English, Swedish and German books.
Another 33 mini libraries were donated to district libraries of Lithuania. They contained books with a word woman in their title. Every book about women is a unique and special world. Every bookshelf contained between 30 and 50 books. Most authors come from various European countries. The idea of reading united communities in small towns, transforming libraries into a place for meetings and socializing.
Safety of a woman means not only physical but also emotional and spiritual safety, absence of which makes her life colourless. Violated or restricted rights of a woman puts obstacles to the woman and her children, as well as evolution of the society. Further projects of Agn ė are an expression of respect to human rights and liberties, a humane attempt to raise awareness of such problems.
Do Not Keep Quiet Every 11 minutes women in Lithuania call the police over cases of domestic violence. Nevertheless, merely 1 out of 800 abusers is punished. Who could indicate the number of women suffering in silence? Do Not Keep Quiet – is a special publication providing information about types of assistance and addresses for abused women, at the same time it is an encouragement for women to seek help: a ready form of application to the police and all necessary information.
The project Do Not Keep Quiet has travelled to 20 locations in Lithuania. Special punch meters were installed in city centres, so that every person passing by could measure the power of his blow. After measuring his might, every person could sign the oath: I swear to never lay my hands on a woman, a child or anybody weaker than me. I will only raise my hand to vote. Do Not Keep Quiet
Mission to Afghanistan Agnė Zuokienė thinks beyond Lithuanian borders – she thinks about women in need of help around the world. Aiming to make some contribution to the saving of Afghan women giving birth (a high percentage of whom die due to unhygienic labour conditions), she prepared 1,000 special packages for women giving birth in Afghanistan. Every of the packages contained the necessary hygienic means and an instruction of use. An obstetrician was also sent to deliver a cycle of special lectures, advise and train women in the province of Ghor in Afghanistan.
A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be Every year on Mothers Day, Agnė organizes a celebration for the expecting women at the Vilnius Town Hall. It is so difficult to realize that someone so little could make me so important, say future mothers. A record number of hearts is beating at the Town Hall. The beautiful idea was born when Agnė was expecting her third child. If the birth rate in Afghanistan is very high, it is dropping in Lithuania.
Childrens Day The small patients of the Childrens Hospital make origami figures all May every year. On June 1, the International Childrens Day, a concert by famous Lithuanian performers is held for children at Agnės initiative. At the culmination of the festival – the origami tied to 500 balloons are released to the skies in sign of hope and belief in recovery.
Nine years ago, the Lithuanian rate of deaths caused by breast cancer was the highest in Europe. In 2003, Agnė initiated a project DO NOT DELAY. DO NOT DELAY
. The Do Not Delay team includes professional doctors who examine women with modern equipment, read lectures and provide free advise – these specialists of their field are faced with breast cancer cases on a daily basis. The Pink Bus travels to the most remote locations in Lithuania to deliver the message to all women – Take care of your health, pay more attention to yourselves for your own sake and for the sake of those who love you!
. The bus has already visited as many as 600 cities and towns in Lithuania, examining women for breast cancer with the help of special equipment. Every fifth woman was diagnosed with benign breast tumours and 600 were found to have breast cancer. Agnė regrets that absolute majority of these women had not had a breast examination before.
Solidarity marathons are festivals involving those whose loved ones had been affected by the disease and those who have triumphed over it, as well as those supporting people who are still fighting. Disaster and happiness unite people
The marathon is an hour of jog or walk in the memory of those who have succumbed to cancer and for the life of those who have overcome it. Marathons have been held for 63 times already. A total of participants have taken part in the marathons.
One of the goals of the project is not only to educate but to also rally women in societies. In the framework of the project Let My Town Bloom, 2,320 blooming flowerbeds were distributed among women. The happy women started blooming along with their towns.
Women in small towns participated in the competition Let My Town Bloom with great enthusiasm. The campaign was held in cooperation with embassies of The Netherlands and Austria.
Photographer Eglė Mėlinauskienė who is fighting breast cancer took pictures of women of the same fate. The photograph exhibition A Moment organized by Do Not Delay has traveled 76 halls and charmed crowds of people. The exhibition has been registered in the Lithuanian Book of Records as an exhibition that has visited the biggest number of halls in Lithuania.
Celebration of the Mothers Day has already become a beautiful tradition of Do Not Delay. Every year, school students present their mothers with a letter from Do Not Delay, which is a unique way to approach a woman through her child, and the call sounds persuasive and personal as never before. A total of 140,000 letters have been circulated so far.
Also on Mothers Day, scores of children decorate their mothers with a pink ribbon of Do Not Delay. It is a subtle way of reminding the closest person in the world of the threat of the disease and the possibility to prevent it. A total of 50,000 pink ribbons have been circulated so far.
Origami cranes – an Oriental symbol of hope – are made in libraries and communities across Lithuania. This is made in preparation for community evenings and lectures about prevention of breast cancer.
Organizers of Do Not Delay treasure and value every single story of breast cancer patients. The number of such women – courageous enough to tell their stories in public – is increasing in Lithuania. Two books containing stories told by cured breast cancer patients have been published – A Miracle Lies Somewhere Close to Despair.
In the books, women of various age tell their sensitive, sincere and open stories about their experience – what they felt after hearing the diagnosis, the course of treatment and the changes the disease made in their lives. Based on these books, the Childrens Theater Studio created a remarkable play, which was later screened and repeatedly shown on TV.
The international Pink Light Project takes place in Vilnius and another 20 cities in Lithuania every year. Buildings illuminated in spectacular pink light remind those who are already aware and encourage those unaware to take interest in the symbolic meaning of pink – solidarity with victims of breast cancer.
The project is assisted by 200 ambassadors of good will around Lithuania. It is a strong, solid and unified crowd of volunteers: women organize and share information, learn from each other and have become more open and European. Agnė Zuokienė has been awarded a badge of the Volunteer Center for promoting volunteer work.
The project Do Not Delay was covered with particular warmth in the Lithuanian media. The press published scores of articles – about the project, about breast cancer and about Agnė as a personality who has brought a breakthrough in Lithuanian womens communities. Obviously, an important breakthrough occurred in peoples frame of mind. In the past century, even mentioning the name was a disgrace in Lithuania, and people struggling with the disease concealed its true name until their last hours of life. Now, thanks to Do Not Delay, both women and men realize that cancer is just one of many diseases, and regular medical examinations, as well as attention and love to yourself helps to recover and to never get the disease in the first place. A change in peoples behavior is a vital step in the efforts to teach Lithuanian people new skills and develop European, open and healthier generations of the future.
One of the most important characteristics of all projects implemented by Agnė is enormous results achieved with limited funds. Enthusiasm of people and attention to sore problems triggers a chain reaction in the society. Hundreds and thousands of people, numbers of sponsors join her ideas. Do Not Delay stands for turning back to every person, his attentive education and guiding to a possible path; it is an initiative that is already helping to prevent breast cancer.