It’s an honor for me as the co-founder of Be The Light
mission, together with my husband and @bethelightnpo Crisis Coordinator Roman Couidlie
, to be selected among the top list of Forbes Baltics
@forbes_lv, representing not only my Ukraian heritage but also my Baltic roots, the great legacy of my maternal grandfather Simon Gedymin-Pilke (Pilkevichus) and his princely Lithuanian family. Special gratitude to a brilliant journalist and writer Margarita Ormotsadze Yakovleva
and to the Forbes
@forbes_lv for this wonderful article! Gratitude to all our amazing @bethelightnpo team that makes our mission in Ukraine possible and helps thousands. For those who can’t read in Latvian, full version in russian can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/100063670894359/posts/848111970654492/?mibextid=Nif5oz
I’m also including an English translation of my story within this @forbes_lv feature: Christina Katrakis
One of the main symbols of Ukraine is the Independence Monument. This is a beautiful girl who towers over the main square of the country, Independence Square. And she is also Baltic. Christina Katrakis, who became a model for the image of Independence, is a philanthropist and founder of humanitarian foundations. ‘FFUN SDG-Help UA’ and ‘Be the Light’ NGO. Her grandfather is the historian and archaeologist Simon Gedimin-Pilke, from the Lithuanian noble family of Gedimin. Christina’s father, the famous sculptor Anatoly Kushch, author of the Independence monument, chose his daughter as a model for the girl-angel of Independence of Ukraine.
Katrakis is a famous artist and gallerist, she lived and worked in the United States, and her work is in the collections of the Clinton family, Cher, Sophia Loren and other legendary people.
Since the first days of the war in 2022, Katrakis has been actively helping people in the frontline and de-occupied territories and in other cities of Ukraine. She created several charitable foundations that support people in hundreds of settlements in war-affected areas with food and everything they need.