Greetings from Via Foundation and welcome to 2018. Although we’ve only spent two weeks in this fresh new year, we’re sure that as 2018 unfolds we’ll see stories just as inspiring as those we witnessed in 2017. Thanks to your support, we were able to support more than 130 projects last year – projects led by people who are changing the Czech Republic for the better, along with 14 in other countries. Thank you to all of our supporters for helping us both financially and by following our work.
Our 2017 Guide Program, part of our Viadukt program, encompassed a series of learning workshops for people working on community projects. Some of the partipants wanted to learn how to start their community projects effectively. Others were looking for new ideas and inspiration to help them continue their work.
Via on the road. A new way of getting to know initiatives in various parts of the Czech Republic. And a new way for Via Foundation to support people who are engaged in their local communities.
You might say that Christmas came early this year, at least in our Living Communities program. In early December, the Via Living Communities program jury awarded support to 15 projects. The total amount of awarded grants was $48,692 (CZK 1,062,108).
Through this program, VIA provides grants of up to $4,600 (CZK 100,000), educational workshops, and support from an experienced mentor or a fundraising consultant. This comprehensive “package” of support helps strengthen the sustainability and self-sufficiency of local initiatives.
Teams of young people were recently selected to participate in our 2017-2018 Young Philanthropists program. There are more than 200 of these enthusiastic young individuals and they hail from all corners of the Czech Republic. They include groups of friends with shared interests and school groups – 14 teams altogether – which want to help others. Although they are all under the age of 26 and many are still in elementary school, they have more good deeds behind them than many adults!
Through the program, young philanthropists organize benefit events to help individuals and organizations of their own choosing. The teams also get to decide what type of event they will put on. For example, one group might help a disabled friend by holding a charity run, another might help kids in a children’s home through a charitable auction, while another group might organize a charitable bazaar to help a local animal shelter.
Long ago, this site in the town of Krásno in the Karlovy Vary region served as a cemetery. Today, it is on its way to becoming a park that will serve the town’s current inhabitants. Through a community planning process, the residents themselves will shape the functions and character of the park.
Ieva Lāce says she has always been driven by humanitarian projects and initiatives. This passion of hers has taken her to various destinations around the world. For example, as soon as she finished her BA degree, she and two friends founded an international NGO that helps women and children in Sierra Leone. “I remember the movie “Pay It Forward” inspired me, too,” laughs Ieva. More recently she has been developing projects in Latvia. “Perhaps sooner or later my work will serve as a bigger example for the world, but for now I want to focus on work here,” explains Ieva.