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The conference "Family Values"

When you think of values, what is the first thing you picture?

Family is one of the most important factors in the lives of our survey respondents, according to the results of a survey we carried out as part of the SUSDEVALUES project. Family as our closest people who give love and support. The family as the environment in which we learn what we need for life. Family as a group of people from which we are descended.

Grobiņas PIC organizēja konferenci "Ģimenes vērtības" ar mērķi popularizēt vērtībizglītības nozīmi, šoreiz uzsverot vērtības ģimenē un ģimeni kā vērtību.

Konferenci organizējām divās daļās, lai tā būtu pieejamāka vietējiem iedzīvotājiem.

The first part of the conference took place on 9 April in Cīrava.

In the introduction of the event, Ieva Ignatova, Adult Education Coordinator of Grobiņa Adult Education Centre, presented the project objectives, progress and current results. Grobina PIC is the coordinator of the Erasmus+ project "Sustainable Development through Values" (SUSDEVALUES). In the project, an international team is exploring what are the values of Europeans, how do they differ according to nationality and other circumstances, how do different communities perceive change and otherness. We have developed Values Education teaching materials and a guide on values in different aspects - how values influence people's choices and actions in a wide range of life situations, such as spending money. Should you take out a 'fast' loan for a new iPhone, or review your finances and re-plan your spending? What are the pillars of Western European culture and how has it developed historically? Grobiņa PIC created a section focused on family values and how they influence society. For more information about the project, please visit the project website

The lecture "Building a Family Tree" was followed by a talk by the Local History Researcher Varis Sants, who introduced the audience to where and how to start searching for family roots. Varis Sants shared valuable knowledge and family stories, as well as his experience in using DNA for family research. The local historian shared valuable life insights such as "my life story starts long before I was born, I am living my family's destiny and my ancestors are actually living through me".

The second part of the conference took place on 13 April in Nīca and was organised in close cooperation with the head of the Nīca Antiquities Room, Gita Vanaga. This time we offered a lecture "Family history research: where to start and where to look", led by Egils Turss, creator of the website The participants of the conference learned how and where to find information about ancestors on the Internet and how to use the information found in further searches.

As a nation, we have passed through different times. Some 200 years ago, our ancestors were still slaves and were eventually given surnames by the nobility. We were hit hard by the world wars and the Soviet occupation. Our families were scattered all over the world. Many disappeared in the twists and turns of history. For half a century we were taught that Stalin was the father of all nations, so that we would forget our real fathers and grandfathers, who were deported, shot and crushed in spirit. No matter how difficult the path of learning about our roots, it has become an important part of self-determination for a part of society. A total of 50 participants attended the conference and for each of them, researching their family origins is an an important value. Despite the difficulties, because knowledge of own origins increases self-understanding, strengthens intergenerational relations and community in a broader sense than family. It reveals that roots twist and weave without regard for boundaries.

Many thanks to everyone who participated and helped to create a sense of community and inspiration for further work to pass on the knowledge of family roots to future generations. To build a united and secure Latvia, Europe and the world from the values we cherish in our family.

The conference "Family Values" is part of the project SUSDEVALUES ("Sustainable Development of Society by Rethinking Values") (project no. 2022-1-LV01-KA220-ADU-000085017), co-funded by the European Union. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the EACEA is responsible for the views expressed.

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