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The names of the people mentioned in this manifesto have been changed


We believe in a free mind.

We believe in freedom.

We know that we are still learning freedom.

We know that freedom (like democracy, like love) is a verb.

And we know how to act.

And we know how to share. Most of all, with time. And, to some extent, with skills.


We believe that under the given circumstances, with the given skills and values, a person always makes the right decision.

We believe that you can bring your coolest friends to jail. To facilitate workshops. That is also a good decision - for us and for our friends.

We celebrate our cool friends who sign up for it.

We celebrate the great prison staff who support us in our belief in creating an environment.

We celebrate the great probation officers whose sense of humour we understand more and more.

We are creating an environment where people can develop new skills that can lead to new, healthier choices.

We create the environment ourselves.

And we invite others to do the same.

We are finding that volunteering is a great way to change things we don't like.


We also experience failure. We experience exhaustion. We experience shame, embarrassment, the fall of young people and disappointment.

We hurt. We are hurt by the lack of safety nets in society.

We are hurt by intolerance.

We are hurt by the long road we ourselves have walked to understanding and acceptance of diversity.

It hurts us that some stereotypes do not break.

It hurts us when expectations are put in prison.

It hurts Nils, the young man who came to our association to collect karma points, who had already become a like-minded and great helper, who had already chosen the path of light, but was imprisoned for five years because of the drug path he used to follow.

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for thinking, problem solving, understanding, impulse control and decision making. It takes the longest to develop in the brain: up to the age of 25-30. Nils went to prison when he was 21.


We are hurting for Karl, who was pleasantly surprised by how decent his mentor actually is. And that there was something that could happen. He didn't come to the next meeting because he was in jail.

We are hurting for Igor, our peer in prison, who in freedom could be our witty and somewhat stubborn activist, eager to try out all new projects. But he will serve another 9 years. We don't know if the association will exist for another 9 years.


What hurts us is that we believe in the restoration of justice. It would be easier to condemn. It would be easier to marginalise, to ignore, to forget. The walls allow it quite well. It hurts us to know that it is also our responsibility.


We celebrate knowing that it is also our responsibility.

We celebrate the fact that Richard came with his tools and made the most amazing compost box in the Liepāja community garden. We trust that he will not deal ganja again. He will most probably continue to smoke it. But he will not sell it. Because he will be too preoccupied with his construction company.

We celebrate the fact that Alex complained that he was about to die digging in the Community Garden at the end of July, but he didn't. But he did learn to wear a hat and drink more water.

We celebrate the fact that Catherine, after picking up rubbish from the community garden on Saturday and Sunday mornings for several months, will never drop a benchik in the ground again. At least not in the garden.

We celebrate Andrew, who finally wrote "I would like to go to the Gauja National Park with my mum again." Usually in every lesson he left on the table a sheet of paper, from top to bottom, written "I have nothing to say I have nothing to say I have nothing to say". These lessons and these pages lasted for three months.

We celebrate Sergei, who usually pushes the brake pedal, but in the fifth lesson says - we have to try.

We also celebrate the prison guard, who no longer asks why we are trying to do anything with these animals. It's hopeless. After these four years, he smiles when he sees us and asks what we're doing today.

We celebrate the title of the bravest youth solidarity project in Latvia.

We often forget to celebrate. Because one job is not finished when the next one is already being rushed.


Today is cruelly fast, we are not keeping up with it and forget that we can get out of it. And we forget that behind the walls there is a guy praying that the days, the months, the years would pass just a little bit faster. We do not always understand.

Nor do we understand that nobody knows what Peter looks like, coming at six o'clock in the morning to water the garden and pick up the rubbish. When we arrive (and it is usually much later than 6am), he is already gone. And sometimes the plants have managed to dry out. And sometimes someone has managed to litter the garden again.

We don't understand how it is that we have said 'yes' to probation again. But then we remember that, in given circumstances, with given skills and values, one always makes the right decision. And once again, up our scary staircase comes a man who doesn't always want to, doesn't always know how to, but mostly still comes to help. He comes to teach us how to be better people. Comes to become a bigger person himself.


We don't understand which is the moment when a person in prison starts coming to our workshops, not only to get out of the cell and look at a woman wearing something other than a uniform, but because he likes to be pushed around, to be made to do something that is really disturbing but somehow also appealing; someone who believes that he can change and not because it is our job; someone who allows himself to believe that he can change. Someone who proves that there is hope outside the walls too.

And we believe. We believe that this work has meaning, even if we don't see it right away.

We believe there will be fruit, even if sometimes we can barely feel the seeds.


We call to sow.

We call to sow in the Liepaja Community Garden.

We call you to sow in the fields of your prejudices.

We call to sow in the deserts of hopelessness and disbelief of our fellow human beings.

We call for guerrilla gardening - throwing seed bombs into the too-perfectly-clean "green" zones of the city.  

We call for guerrilla social work. To take people off probation and slowly sow peace, hope, dignity in them.

We invite you to be miracles, as they sometimes call us. Miracles who break themselves into prison to visit strangers, while sometimes a father cannot be persuaded to visit his son.

We call you to become agents of change.

We call to celebrate the privilege we have been given - our power to be a support for others. That allows us to stand alongside others.

Because in this era of social networks and communication plans, we have never been more lonely.

We invite you to continue.

Continue to believe.

Continue to celebrate.

Continue to hurt.

Continue to act.

Continue to share responsibility for a wiser society.