As well as its rich history and culture, the Czech Republic is known for less pleasant issues. Not long ago, the UN criticised the government for the large number of children living in institutions.
Many Roma children end up in state orphanages due to poverty, though children with physical and mental impairments often end up orphans, as well as children of single parents and families whose parents don't have a good education.
Vulnerable families struggle the most in Chvalcov
Chvalcov has 1600 inhabitants, and is in Moravia in the south east of the Czech Republic. Moravia is known for its stunning countryside and its fine wines. Tourism is a major part of the economy, and local authorities are trying hard to promote the area as a destination to boost the economy as a whole.
Chvalcov has a great need for more social housing - as parents struggle to keep a roof over their children's heads, the children often have to beg in the streets to support their families. The area needs more shelters for mothers in crisis too. Children who are trying to help their families often don't attend school, which impacts on their prospects later in life.
Providing children with a secure future
SOS Children's Villages have been heavily involved in shaping the way the Czech government deals with orphans and vulnerable families. SOS Children's Villages differ from state run institutions as the children we care for live in a family environment. Those who we support have better outcomes than those who end up in state orphanages from an early age.
Our model enables children to be supported as they grow up, ensuring they a part of the community from the start and not face issues associated with 'institutionalisation' when they become adults.
SOS Children's Village Chvalcov
SOS Children's Villages have been working in Chvalcov since 1973, supporting children who can no longer live with their parents. In 1974 the Soviet-run government took control of the Village, but we then returned to Chvalcov after the country left the Soviet Union in 1989.
Our children live in a family environment and are cared for by an SOS Mother. While living at the Village, children attend primary school in Chvalcov and as they grow up, attend secondary schools in the nearby town of Bystřice. They play an active role in the community, forming social networks from an early age.
As children grow up, they are offered support through the SOS youth programme in Brno, the largest city in Moravia, where they are guided to full independence. Here the young adults can live in shared, supported accommodation while attending further education and vocational training. As they do so they are given support by qualified youth counsellors in making the decisions that come with adulthood.
You can help transform a young life in Bystřice by sponsoring a child today. Join our supporters in ensuring no child grows up without a family.