Sponsor a child in the Czech Republic
Help available to vulnerable families living in the Czech Republic is notoriously lacking. Children are often being taken from the home and placed in old-fashioned state-run institutions ill-equipped to deal with the needs of the children in their care. SOS Children's Villages has been a continued charity presence in the Czech Republic since 1989.
You can help a Czech child who needs your help by taking out a sponsorship with SOS Children's Villages:
A country reeling from the economic crisis
The Czech economy has steadily grown since it joined the European Union in 1994. However, employment was badly hit by the economic crisis, with 7% of the workforce unemployed in 2011. The move away from manufacturing into the service industry means that older workers have been particularly badly affected. And while Prague enjoys relative prosperity, other parts of the country suffer much higher rates of joblessness.
Children languish in old-fashioned care homes
The Czech Republic has an unusually high number of children living in old and inadequate state-run care homes. Families receive little support to overcome difficult circumstances, and children are often removed from the family and sent to overburdened institutions which cannot provide the level of care children need. National figures suggest nearly half of these children are involved in crime at some point in their lives.
Our Work in the Czech Republic
These statistics are unacceptable to us. SOS Children's Villages began trying to redress the balance in 1969, when our founder Hermann Gmeiner was invited to visit. Sadly, political events forced us to leave the country in 1974, but we returned after the fall of communism in 1989, and have been a continued presence ever since.
Doubi, Karlovy Vary
Although SOS Doubi opened in 1970, it fell into state hands following political upheaval in 1974. SOS Children regained control in 1989, and has been actively involved in improving the standard of care for lone children in the country.
Our second Village in the Moravian town of Chvalčov opened in 1973. A year later, the Communist government took control of both Villages and it was not until 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union that SOS Children were able to take charge again. The children attend the local primary school in Chvalčov and secondary schools in nearby Bystřice.
In 2002, we opened a third Village in Medlánky, near Brno in Southern Moravia. A social centre on the Village site provides somewhere for families to come together, often for festivities. An activity house runs workshops for children, while a playground provides outdoor space.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Czech Republic
Jirka came to the SOS Children's Village Karlovy Vary when he was three. Little was known of his future sporting talent then. However, the obvious ambition to be a winner was hiding in the small child’s soul. As he grew up, Jirka tried football and basketball. Eventually he firmly set himself on athletics, and he quickly progressed.
In athletics, Jirka particularly enjoys long-distance runs. His resilience and determination are key to his continuing progress. He won the Running Youth Cup for a series of runs in 2009, some reward for the many hours put into the training track.
Jirka also won recognition also in a less well known discipline – dog training. In 2009, he became the Youth Champion of the Czech Republic in training. Why did he get into training? At the end of the summer of 2006, Jirka’s sister Klarka brought home an abandoned puppy. It showed an unfailing will to live. Jirka took charge of the puppy at home and he started training the dog to perform a few simple skills. Dog training calls for accuracy, speed and perfect harmony between the dog handler and the dog. Jirka spent many hours with his dog. Initial failures did not discourage him, and he is now a respected trainer.
Jirka knows it is necessary to work hard to achieve success. At the same time he says the abilities, qualities, successes, dreams and plans of other children in the SOS Children’s Villages are more interesting than his. He has a maturity well beyond his years.
Sdruzeni SOS Detských Vesnicek
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