‘’Rural activist is a person who strongly believes that what matters is people’s skills, relationships and effort, not the place on map where they are located.’’ – this is a significant message from Zane.
Zane is currently working as a Project Coordinator in the NGO Latvian Rural Forum and she is qualified as a “Development Planning Engineer”.
Her job experience includes work in the business sector, practice in a Municipality Development Department and in a Planning Region.
However, working in the Latvian Rural Forum gives her the chance to work together with local people and to show them how their needs can be met based on their own ideas and effort. Of course this engagement opens doors to her, to use the acquired planning knowledge at all levels.
Recently, she was involved as coordinator in “Baltic Villages on the move”, aiming to activate inhabitants in rural areas to have more movement and more joy of sports.
“Selia islands” is another project related to thematic tourism in small rural settlements as a driver of economic and social grow within the region of Selia. During the whole 2018 she had the opportunity to meet face to face with local people from 17 small rural settlements, to speak about their needs, challenges, ideas, to encourage them to action and to be themselves, the ones who determine the development of the place they live in.
Since 2017, she has been involved in a very important initiative called the “European Rural Parliament” as a youth voice leader within this movement. The Latvian Rural Forum team with support of other stakeholders organised the 1st European Rural Youth Parliament in 2017 and this year will engage more youth participants by organising the 2nd European Rural Youth Parliament.
Anyway, according to Zane, rural development initiatives means also informal meetings with friends to implement ideas for their own childhood home village development because she and her friends care about it.
People who have decided to stay in rural areas needs support, they should not be left to lose their dreams and hopes for a better future. Since her family lives in a rural area, they all are happy that Zane speaks out loud about challenges in rural areas. They keep encouraging her to work and increase the well-being in rural areas as much as she can.
Zane strongly believes that she is capable to do more and to encourage more rural development activists with whom to support sustainable local development and thus improve living conditions for everybody.