Through this year’s 20th annual Via Bona Awards, we recognized the most powerful stories of Czech giving from the last twenty years. This year’s awards were unique because the public selected the most inspiring cases of philanthropy from the award’s 20-year history through online voting. On Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Via Foundation symbolically recognized these philanthropists at a gala evening at the Prague venue “Pražské křižovatka”.
14 European countries
2 key note speakers
20 open space discussions
46 inflated balloons
3 visited community initiatives
1 stuffed animal (a sheep)
An endless number of interesting people, contacts, new friends…
Our international ViabilityNet 2.0 program ended in 2016, but we are continuing its work through ViabilityNet 3.0. Launched in February 2017, the ViabilityNet 3.0 program supports community leaders from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, a network of partner organizations from the region, alumni from ViabilityNet 2.0 and connections between civil society and academicians working in community development.
We kicked off our special 20th Anniversary Via Bona Philanthropy Awards program in April. This year’s Via Bona Awards are exceptional as a symbolic celebration of twenty years of philanthropy development in the Czech Republic.
In mid-April, we supported another fifteen projects from across the entire Czech Republic where people are engaging their neighbors in community improvement efforts. In the second round of Living Communities this year, we awarded grants totaling $34,013. The jury selected a very diverse spectrum of projects from among the 70 applications. We are thrilled that there are so many people in the Czech Republic who are eager to make their communities more vibrant!
The Fast Grants program is an effective tool for people who want to protect their favorite public spaces. This program is designed for people who want to respond quickly to dire situations in their communities, such as planned demolition of a valuable building, and unfair practices such as non-transparent decisions by public authorities and arbitrary land use planning changes. Last year we awarded 35 Fast Grants to civic initiatives and NGOs, disbursing a total of CZK 750,000 ($29,700).
They connect people in their communities. They create places where people of different generations or social circles can gather and meet. Simply put, they spark engagement in their communities.