Children in Czech Republic
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.
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.
Our Children's Villages in 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.
Sdruzeni SOS Detských Vesnicek
110 00 Praha 1