ON THE WINGS OF GIVING
ON THE WINGS OF GIVING
The Slovenian project Krilca offers gifts with triple effect: They make recipients happy, help people in need and decrease the pollution of our environment.
Krilca, in English “little wings”, is a project by the Slovenian foundation Umanotera, which is devoted to sustainable development. The head of the foundation Gaja Brecelj initiated the project. Since the beginning of the foundation in 1996 its vision has been “the realization of sustainable development in Slovenia”, Brecelj says and adds that they “are working on a national level but taking into account the global context”.
Krilca is Slovenia’s first catalogue of so-called ethical gifts. The catalogue currently offers 14 gifts, which have no physical substance but marvellous consequences. Each gift from the catalogue supports the realization of an act of humanitarian aid or offers support in realizing a good deed in Slovenia or abroad, for example as far as Bangladesh.
Worldwide support of aid projects
Aid for children from Ghana to finish school; funding of trips or various extracurricular activities for children living in underprivileged circumstances in Slovenia; supporting the conservation of the endangered green sea turtle in Peru, to land mine clearing of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the war in former Yugoslavia has left more than two million mines behind: “Throughout the years the gift list keeps changing, since we find it important to respond to problematic situations”, Brecelj explains.
This is how it works in practice: You pick a gift from the online catalogue, fill in the recipient’s contact data, choose the method of payment, and then your gift “flies away” to its final destination, all within one working day. The recipient receives a printed or digital gift card written by you personally with an exclusive illustration by the artist Meta Wraber. The most important thing being that all of the expended money is directed towards the good deed of your choice.
The transparency of funding is another important aspect, since this has been questioned recently with various humanitarian organizations. This is why it is always possible to find the project’s current financial statistics on the Krilca website. There one can see that 7,694 gifts have been sold between November 2007 and December 2015 and that the exact amount of 167,974.24 Euro has been transferred to partner organizations for their services.
One of the most important features of the Umanotera projects is what Brecelj calls “our positive approach, meaning that we are not only focused on detecting problems and pointing them out but on finding solutions for them. And what is even more important, carrying these solutions out also by cooperating with other humanitarian institutions.”
Consumerism in its excessive form as we know it today and its long-term negative effects: This was one of the reasons why in 2007 Umanotera initiated the project Krilca with the motto: “Your gift can have magnificent effects.” Brecelj explains that “Krilca is also a way of communicating different values, values which are marginalized in the consumer society we live in today. Sure, we are aware that Krilca will not solve problems on the global scale and that what we do is only one small stone in the big mosaic but we find it important to address difficult issues with a hands-on approach. In this way people who want to contribute but have no time or good idea how to help are presented with a possibility to help easily and effectively.”
And in this way it is possible for a child, an animal or a community to have a more healthy or happier life. Or, put quite simply: a better life.