Today we so often observe the indifference to the problems of poor families, of dying from terrible disease children by successful and affluent people. More often, we notice that in our country money for children-patients are donated by the common people, but not people, who have a rest on the prestigious resorts of acquiring luxury homes, cars. Very often donated money is taken away from planned to the last penny family finances. Sometimes, these situation makes us anger, induces grumble thoughts about the unfairness of life, conviction of officials, authorities in the gloom.
However, in this article, I want to bring you a breath of fresh, real positive information, which recently has contacted with my life. Everything is not as bad as we sometimes can think. And in our world there are wealthy people whose good deeds are able to excite and inspire. On Tuesday, January, 18 Кristof Reiva visited our town. Кristof Reiva is one of the most permanent and most major donators of the charity foundation “Nikopol Kids”. Besides, he is the owner of «Casa Nova», «4U» shops, «Monte Cristo» cafeand the «EL Mokambo club». On the New Year Holidays eve he donated 2350 EUR for the treatment of sick children and held a press conference with members of the fund newspapers and journalists of our town. Кristof lives in Germany and speaks English, Spanish, and Russian a little, except German. At the conference Кristof communicated with an interpreter, but it was clear that he understands Russian, and sometimes he expressed his thoughts without translator.
You just can not imagine how pleased is to see this man! Sincerity - that's the word that breaks into the mind as soon as he begins to speak. Кristof is a man for whom the problem of terminally ill, totally alien to his family, kids - are not extraneous things, but really important. Charity activity is inner need for Кristof, the need for his spiritual development. And the most amazing is that helping to indigent people is normal and necessary thing in his daily life. At the conference, Кristof told a little about himself, his family, his work plans for the future.
Кristof said he had heard a lot about work of charity foundation. He said: “I am pleasantly surprised of your seriously and hard work. In Germany I have been telling everyone about your project, asking for support. It is very good that there are people who take an interest in it”. According to “Nikopol Kids” website visiting statistics Germany ranks fourth behind Ukraine, Russia and Belarus among 58 states. Today Кristof found a specialist who can help perfectly translate “Nikopol Kids” website information for other states residents.
He told: “I'm trying to organize a similar movement in Germany. But we need big organization and responsible management for foundation launching, regular money collecting for treatment of sick children. It’s a pity, but there are no a lot of people in Germany, who wants to do it regular. However, in Christmas days, almost all of people in Germany do charity work. Now it’s a folk tradition for Christmas to spend money to children. Just a little time before my leaving, I’ve watches on national TV a lot of famous people of Germany helping to children, buying gifts for them, charitable assistance providing. There is a 200 -year’s tradition of my family: before Christmas raised money to help children. Today I’ve brought to you my family donations. Starting next year, those payments will be regular. My family especially worried about Luba Fomina and Alena Shvorob, because of these children have been being struggling with serious illnesses."
Кristof was delighted to know Lyuba Fomina has already passed the basic treatment, and is now at the stage of recovery. Kristof told also that he is the benefactor of such a fund in Germany, which is aimed to education of kids from poor families in India. Kristof is sure education and human development are extremely important. He introduced these children photos for people had presented at the conference.
At such moments, it was seen his eyes sparkled; it was seen this man did his best. Looking to the photos Kristof smiled so happily like his own children, but not strangers from far India, are shown at these photos. It touches ours heard.
Also in the future, Kristof would like to open in Nikopol fund for the children of the poor and disadvantaged families to educate these children, to help them get on their feet in life. Kristof wants to share his idea with businessmen of our town, to find partners for these good ideas implementation.
He promises to help equip the charity foundation “Nikopol Kids” office when it with God's help will open. Philanthropist said repeatedly to the charity foundation staff: “If you urgently need some materials, special equipment, medical equipment, any thing to treat a child - just tell me. I'll contact with my friends in Germany, and we will try to help you. If a particular child will urgently need anything - you have my address, the address of my staff in Nikopol, you can immediately ask for help. Unfortunately, often there are big problems at customs. They are because of strict documentation legalization procedures, sometimes customs is simply corrupt; lot of money is spent on the delivery of items. Humanitarian aid custom transaction has always been difficult process. But I'll try to do my best. Today I can help by money, materials, equipment, some things donation, but I can’t do administrative work because I have no enough time for this activity. However, if I see that someone has a good idea, and I see people who are going to work hark for its implementation, like “Nikopol Kids” staff, I am always ready to help them. I would like to do more, just to be sure exactly what the money is not being put someone "to the pocket", but used to a good deed. "
At the conference, from very beginning all people were interested to know how Kristof came to our little town from far Germany? Kristof told that he had have business in many countries, had changed his activity every 10 years. He had been engaged in electronics, had built the disco, had computer programs developed. But a crazy thought of old shoes collecting in Germany occurred to him. Anyone had asked him about the sense of it. But the fact is that people of Germany very quickly change their shoes and clothes. They will put on a thing a couple of times and just throw it. Kristof explained that for example, in Africa, people are in need of such things at the time, as in Germany, all it is thrown away. He said: “At first I had to figure out which way to collect old shoes. It was very easy: two or three people went and collected shoes, sneakers, boots… At first, I was engaged in shoes collecting, and then - clothing, furniture and other things. And I would like to tell you that in a time a lot of people throughout Germany and across Europe began to pursue the case. Now it is a whole system.
The German government does not help to us, because many people realize that it's good business. The government has a very great opportunity to do it themselves. For example, they have a space to hold the huge containers with things, etc. Besides, in Germany it was approved a law that you have to put off to a special place any thing you have bought a new one and you are not going to use an old one. You can’t to keep this old thing or give to someone. It is very good for the government, because all of these things then they can sell ... Generally, the system works. I started to send things to Africa. I would like to do business, but finally it looked like humanitarian relief, because my business partners often didn’t sent money to me or cheated. We were looking for a country where you can sell things. One of my employees was from Ukraine, and he advised me your country… At first I was looking for a business partner in Kiev, but I could not find him/her. Everyone wanted a lot of money, to say simply – to capitalize easy. Then I was looking for a business partner in Dnepropetrovsk, but there was the same situation. And then I got from Dnepropetrovsk to Nikopol. Here I opened my small shop at in a small room at the Nikitinskaya street, not far to the bus stop at the Bohdan Khmelnytsky street. I can’t forget this shop: it was nothing there. Shop was very small, without heating, so in the winter it was incredibly cold. It was hard, but I still decided to try to expand my business in Nikopol."
Kristof continued: “When I came here the first time, I had a lot of ideas. But town officials did not contribute in any way to me, it was very difficult to find business partner here. In general, it was difficult to organize business with Ukrainians, because Ukraine and Germany are differ so much in their mentality. I often notice that in Ukraine, the wealthy people are interested in unnecessary things. Men, who have reached some heights in their lives, are most interested in the purchase of expensive cars, possessions, clothes, a nice vacation, his physique ... This is my personal opinion. Ukrainians think in another way, so it is difficult to organize something with them.
In Ukraine, the state does not appropriate of funds to care for the ill and needy. Your businessmen also generally do not spend money on it. When I had spoken to them about the charity, Nikopol businessmen answered me: "Are you crazy? Why do you have to help these people? Don’t you know of mentality in Ukraine! They will never thank you."
At first, I could not establish any contact with anyone here. Everyone wanted to get my money out of me, but no one wanted to work with me and help me. Gradually, I began to settle up. Do you remember the building in the old part of the town the shop «Casa Nova» now is now houses in? Do you remember what was this building 10 years ago? There was nothing there, the building was destroyed. And I'm very proud that I managed to give it a beautiful look. Cafe «Monte Cristo» I wanted to make as comfortable as possible, and most importantly - I wanted to make it unique to this town, to make it according to the European standards. Today, thank God, I found the well-working people who efficiently organize business. In Nikopol I have a very good staff, and now I do not need to come here as often as it was before."
"New Year's Eve and Christmas I always celebrate at home with his family - continues to tell Kristof- My family consists of five people: me, my wife, two daughters and a son. My son goes to be physic. In addition to science, he enjoys DJ working at nightclubs. Once he arrived in the summer to Nikopol on the opening of the club «EL Mokambo club.
My daughter works at the university, in the future she wants to be engaged in the hotel business. Now she writes a master's thesis. The theme of this work – hotels of Ukraine. She came with me to this country to look at and try to learn the local hotel business. Besides my daughter works for a company that is engaged in the exchange of pupils and students between different countries: New Zealand, Australia, and Germany. Perhaps someday it will be possible to implement this cultural program for students in Ukraine.
In general, every member of my family is very busy person and they can not devote much time to philanthropy. For me personally, it's not just a two hundred year tradition of my family. The fate of my parents impacts on me very noticeably. They came to Germany from Poland, and during the war they had lost everything they had. They had restart from the “zero”-position. And now my position in life is that if you have had a good life and have achieved something - you just have to share it and help others.
My visiting to Africa greatly affected me. I spent a lot of time in Africa, and I saw the poor, hungry and very sick people. It will never leave my memory. Now, I believe that it is possible to have 1-2 eat a day, and it is better to give the rest to people who can not feed their family, to those who really need it".
Kristof told: “I’d like to wish a lot to the families, which are passing through the terrible grief. It is always important to remember that if you constantly work and work hard on something - you will surely achieve your goal!
I call you, always pay attention to the education of children, and study the languages, develop. If you constantly work on yourself in the future, you can not only earn good money, but also provide you and your family a very good life. Never get discouraged. There's always a bad time, but we must not forget that good time will be too. Be sure it will ... "
Кristof Reiva is very pleased companion. This man is full of optimism that unwittingly infects all people by his good humor. The highlight of this man communication is that he all talks to every person, like with his your family member or friend. The head of the charity fund Margarita Gorbanenko gave Кristof Reiva the big letter with words of sincere and warm thanks for his repeated help and continued support. Thank you, Кristof, for your kind heart, Thank you!
photo: Aleksandr Kosenko