Doubi, Karlovy Vary
SOS Children's Villages started work in Doubi in the 1970's. It was interrupted when the country was part of the Soviet Union, and resumed when the became independent again.
Today we work to help the children of Doubi, ensuring they have the best possible start given their circumstances.
Tourism and prostitution
Doubi is a town about 120 km north of the Czech Republic's capital, Prague, and close to the border with Germany. The SOS Children's Village Doubi is 10km from the centre of Karlovy Vary, a town of 50,000 residents.
Tourists flock to Karlovy Vary for its traditional spa and beautiful surroundings. Other industries include a herbal liqueur brewery, porcelain and glass manufacturing. Local authorities are actively promoting these industries to help boost the local economy.
Due to economic and political change in the late 80's and early 90's, many women were forced to earn money via prostitution to make ends meet. This caused problems for the authorities, who were trying to promote the positive aspects of the city, and a number of initiatives were put in place to try to tackle the issue.
Czech Republic and orphanages
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recently criticised the country for its high number of children in institutions. A large number of Roma children are in state care, as well as children with mental and physical disabilities. Other social groups have a high proportion of children in institutions including those of single parents and uneducated parents. Such families find it hard to get support from the state to keep together.
SOS Children's Villages has been working with the Czech Republic to change its child protection policy for the better. We are working hard to get children out of institutions and into SOS families instead. We find that children who are supported by us from the start have better outcomes in life.
What we do in Doubi
SOS Children's Villages arrived in Doubi in 1970. We look after children who can no longer be cared for by their parents, in a loving family environment.
Children are encouraged to play a full role in their local community, attend school, make friends and participate in community activities. As children grow up, so they are encouraged to engage with the SOS youth programme which allows them to live in shared, supported accommodation in Karlovy Vary, where they can attend further education or vocational training. Here they are offered guidance by qualified youth counsellors in making the decisions faced during early adulthood.
Services we offer in Doubi are currently being reassessed. The national legal framework and local circumstances have changed and we are rethinking our approach, even though the need for our services in the local community remain high. We are presenting a proposal for a new way of working to the authorities, and should have an answer soon. For the moment we are prioritising the children in our care and will ensure they get the care and support they deserve.
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