Ozoli family from Latvia chosen as European Large Family of the Year 2023

The Latvian family was a finalist alongside candidates from Poland, Romania and Italy. Baiba and Māris Ozoli raise 11 happy and beautiful children.

Their marriage starts 26 years ago and now they are the largest family living in Latvia’s city Jelgava. The couple sincerely cares not only for their children, but for each other.

Their eldest son Jēkabs is already 25 years old and works as an architect and photographer. 23-year-old Matīss is a professional actor in one of the Latvian state theaters. He is also an athlete and has won several awards at the Latvian and European level in canoeing. In 2002, sister Marta joined the Ozols’ “team”. She has graduated from UVC International High School in China and is planning further studies. It should be noted that all three older children have musical abilities and have graduated city music school. They have already started an independent life, but continue to maintain close contact with their parents and younger siblings.

Kárlis, born in 2004, is currently studying to become a cook. 17-year-old Anna Marija continues her studies in high school with excellent results and has already managed to graduate from a music school. Ernest, who is 15 years old, plays football and dreams of connecting his future with football. This is also the dream of 13-year-old Gustav. Both brothers are quite often caught playing video games on the computer. Their sister Austra studies both at school and at a professional music school. Sister Rūta has just started school, but younger sister Grieta, who is 6 years old, and younger brother Druvis, who is 4 years old, attend kindergarten. Mamma Baiba is busy all day taking the children to school, kindergarten, and interest education classes. Usually they all ride bicycles as cycling is their daily hobby.

The kids say that no one can make better potato pancakes than their mom, although the children know it’s difficult because she has to cook them on 3 pans at the same time so that the kids can have lunch at the same time.

This family is truly special with its smart and talented children with mutual concern for each other. A special merit of the Ozols family is their social activity defending the interests of large families in the city of Jelgava and also throughout Latvia. Two years ago, mother Baiba gathered regional families with many children and established the local association of Jelgava large families “GODA GIMENES”. For two years, the Ozols family has organized monthly activities for families – both sports and recreation days for parents and children, as well as serious meetings with the local government, achieving more and more regional support.

We have to recognize Baiba’s contribution to the work of The Union of Latvian Large Families, helping to coordinate national-level activities, for example, attracting supporters. This has been possible only with the moral support and understanding of father Maris. In this family, the wishes of both the wife and the husband for self-realization are highly respected, not forgetting the most important common duty – to give children immeasurable love, to teach responsibilities and respect for family and national values, as the family is truly patriotic towards their city and country.

Maris, despite being a full-time employee at Ruukki Construction, always finds strength and energy after work to support his wife and allow her to rest from daily household chores.

This family deserves to be chosen as the “European Large Family of the Year 2023” Award, because it has proven itself over 26 years.

The family Ozols has common dreams of traveling. Since it is rarely possible to plan and afford joint long trips, the family travels a lot with bicycles and their own car. The main thing is to be together! Being together is their key to happiness.

It should be noted that Ozols is a very special surname, as it is the name of Latvia’s largest tree – an oak. It symbolizes strength, stable roots, a thick crown, and it also describes this family.

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