Meet This Year’s Young Philanthropists

Introducing our new young philanthropists: 13 groups of friends who want to give back to their communities. Recently selected to participate in Via Foundation’s Philanthropists, Jr. program, they will learn about philanthropy first-hand by organizing benefit events with our guidance. 

These emerging Czech philanthropists came together in November for a three-day kick-off retreat, where they learned how to organize a benefit event, work in teams, raise additional funds and engage their communities.

Through Philanthropists, Jr., we help young people take their first steps in philanthropic undertakings. We guide them through the entire process of planning and holding a benefit event, give them a small grant to help with event costs and match the funds they raise up to a maximum of CZK 15,000 (EUR 555).

Philanthropists, Jr. is part of Via Foundation’s philanthropy development programming, which aims to grow giving and generosity in the Czech Republic. Over the past three past years, over 900 children and young people have raised funds for good causes through the program.

Who are this year’s young philanthropists? What do they seek to change in their communities and whom do they want to help? Where are they from? See the map below to learn which towns they are from, read on to find out more about each of this year’s 13 groups of young philanthropists and click on the headings below to view each group’s video about their project (in Czech)!


Budding ceramicists in Polička u Svitavy will use their skills to help a young disabled girl, Natálka from Borova. The children are between the ages of 9 and 12 and take a ceramics class together. They plan on making and selling pottery to help purchase aids that will help Natálka and her family accommodate her disability. Children in other after-school classes (sewing, knitting and cooking), classmates and friends are also going to make items to sell. The children will sell their products at markets in their region from late November through Easter. The project will culminate in an Earth Day event next spring, where the children will ask for donations and hold a contest for parents.


Friendship is one of the values that we appreciate the most over the course of our lives. Martin, whose brother Petr has muscular dystrophy, has already learned that. His friends are helping him put on a charitable auction to benefit his little brother. Mostly university students, these friends are trying to help fund modifications to the family car and to buy a special bed for Petr.


This team of five Scouts have a bond formed by shared experiences and projects. One such project is a benefit bazaar to raise money for the Robinson Facility for Children Needing Acute Assistance in Kleneč pod Čerchovem. The bazaar will feature products made by children from the Robinson Facility as well as items donated by the public. The Scout organizers love the idea that kids can help other kids and that their efforts will help every kid at Robinson enjoy summer camp.


Karolína and Tomáš. high school students who like to help protect Planet Earth, will put on an exhibition and auction of student photography. The proceeds will go to the Rainbow Movement to support the environmental protection organization’s project to expand the wilderness area in the Sumava National Park.


Student parliamentary councils are like hatcheries for emerging philanthropists. Students from the 7th grade parliament at the Litvinov Elementary School came up with the idea of a benefit event to help the needy. The goal is transform old used clothing into new design pieces that they will model at a fashion show where people can bid on the items. They hope to have a local fashion designer among the bidders. And what will the proceeds support? The students want to help those who, as they say, have not been as fortunate as they: children at the Infant Care Institution in Most.


Each letter in the name Smily (Smajlik in Czech) stands for an important aspect of this project: laughter, mini-enterprise, action, unity, kindness, inspiration and friendship. This group of classmates from Bílovec u Ostravy designed a benefit project made up of several events: Christmas and Valentine’s Day bake sales, a flea market, an April Fool’s Day and last but not least a snack bar at athletic events at the local club. The earnings will go to the Jarošův Farm Environmental Center, where many local children spend their free time.


Almost immediately after meeting as fellow students in a nutrition assistant course in September, this group came up with the idea of holding a charitable event. Given that they take food preparation courses together, muffins became a natural instrument. The plan is clear: gather muffin recipes and try out which ones are best – through first-hand tasting, of course. The five best recipes will be used to bake 100 muffins that the group will sell in the center of their town on June 1st. Why that particular day? It’s International Children’s Day and the money will go to the Infant Intensive Care Unit in Karlovy Vary.


Students in Jílova u Prahy are well aware of the strength of their own convictions and hard work. They have a history of organizing charitable projects behind them – and most likely a bright future of helping others in front of them. This particular project aims to help a nearby dog shelter. Through several events, the students plan to collect money for veterinarian care and food. They will also link the shelter to the school website, where they will regularly post the shelter’s needs. Along with raising money, the students donate their time to walk the dogs at the shelter.


The student parliament at the school in Byšicice u Mělníka is made up of students who want to go the extra mile. They organize events that show others how and where they can help and they also try to improve their school environment. At the start of the school year, they learned that one of their classmates, Ladik, had been diagnosed with leukemia over the summer vacation. Without any hesitation, they decided to hold several events: a holiday market selling Christmas decorations and cookies, a clothing bazaar, an Easter event and a marathon on interpretative trails in the area. Their goal is to help Ladik’s family buy medical aids and games to make his hospitalization more enjoyable.


Do you know what the European honey buzzard is? This unusual name belongs to a predator bird that feeds on bees and to a group of young nature preservationists. Since its founding in 2010, the group has relentlessly raised money to help fund the Vlašim chapter of the Czech Union of Nature Preservationists animal shelter. Between February and May 2017 they will hold 4 benefit events, including a tour of the paraZOO of disabled animals, a six-legged running race for people and their pet dogs, a plaster cast workshop and an orienteering race. The money they raise will help pay for medicine, food and operation of the animal shelter, all of which the group considers a good investment into their environment.


Three classmates and friends who have been friends for almost 8 years share an interest in their community and in helping others. As volunteers at the Orion Center, which provides assistance to disabled people, they are excited about putting on a benefit event to support the facility. They will hold a two-day event in March in Rychnov nad Kněžnou that will include lectures, film showings, a bazaar, a dance performance and a fashion show. Clients of the Orion Center will lead a crafts workshop and will act as models in the fashion show.


Scio School advocates a new principle of education, which strives to help children develop into happy, free individuals. As part of their school projects, the children decided to support injured animals through the Animals in Crisis organization of the Czech Union of Nature Preservationists in Němčice nad Hanou. They plan on raising money through a benefit concert with performances by students accompanied by a crafts workshop.


Nikola and Eva are students at the Ostrava University. Since both of them like children and the Blue Cat Center for At-risk Children in Opava, they decided to lend the facility a hand. They will create a photo calendar for 2017 featuring the children that use the center. The idea is to give the children a chance to experience success, show them themselves in a new light and give them a chance to try something new. The proceeds from sales of the calendar will support extracurricular activities at the Blue Cat center.