Children and youth have been experiencing philanthropy first-hand through Via Foundation’s Young Philanthropists program for seven years now. The program gives them a chance to organize their own benefit events to raise money for a cause of their choice. Teams of children and young people hold concerts, crafts fairs, exhibitions or sporting events to help e.g. disabled people, senior citizens or animals in need. More and more often, a desire to influence environmental issues drives their choice of cause and how they organize their events.

Via Foundation awards each team a small grant of $200 to help cover event organization costs and matches the funds each team raises up to a maximum of $850.

The 2019 teams will help in these places.

The program is designed for groups of children and young people from fourth grade through age 26 who pour their ideas, energy and time into organizing a benefit event to raise money for a good cause. School classes, members of troops or clubs and groups of friends can join the program. Each team has its own adult patron – usually a parent, teacher or troop leader – who helps organize the event.

The 2018 teams are just finishing up their benefit events, while the 15 new teams are beginning to plan their events. This year, in addition to holding a joint workshop in Prague for all the teams, we are giving individual planning guidance to each team in their own school or community. That means that our program managers spent the month of April traveling from one town to another and holding on-site workshops, 15 in all, where they helped the teams plan their events. At these informal sessions they also talked to the teams about what being an everyday hero means and that each and every one of us can become a philanthropist.

Young Philanthropists talk about their personal heroes at workshops with Via staff.

In early May, the teams all met in Prague to get to know each other and present their projects, share experience, expectations and concerns. The Young Philanthropists made posters at a PR workshop and practiced explaining their projects to potential donors.

What projects are the 2019 teams planning?

Charity concert for Vojtíšek.A group of students at the Podbořany high school will kick off the new school year by holding a charity concert. The money they raise will help cover physical therapy costs for

Vojtíšek, a disabled local boy whom they’ve been helping for the past two years. Many of the students know Vojtíšek personally and can see how much physical therapy helps him. This year, concert guests will also enjoy a wide array of refreshments and an auction of artwork from local artists.

Patron: Romana Havrdová. Location: Podbořany, Ústi nad Labem region.

A step in the right direction. The 8B class is going to help the mother of autistic twins, who faces many challenges. The class will hold a series of benefit events such as apple gathering, a Christmas market and a charity calendar featuring photos made by the school photo club.

Patron: Milena Vacková. Location: Nové Město nad Metují, Králové Hradec region.

Let’s save turtles. Štěpán loves turtles. He has infected his whole class with his enthusiasm. In fact, the entire 6thand 7thgrades at his school are embarking on a project to save sea turtles in Borneo! They will hold a benefit art evening with refreshments and sales of handmade products with turtle motifs. The money they raise will go directly to the founder of the turtle-saving NGO, Hana Svobodová, who will give the children a presentation about her organization’s work in June.

Patron: Marcela Douchová. Location: České Budějovice, South Bohemia region.

Students of the Podbořy high school planning their charity concert for Vojtíšek.

Create a good deed. After putting on a charity event to help senior citizens, this group of five high school students decided to hold another event. Now that they understand the amount of work that an event demands, they are bringing more classmates on board as organizers. With the help of art-oriented classmates they will hold a creative family afternoon. Guests will be able to learn new skills and make products to take home. The money they raise will help cover the operational costs of a local animal shelter, where the students also help out as volunteers.

Patron: Kateřina Šrytrová. Location: Mnichovo Hradiště, Central Bohemian region.

Coins for birds. In the town of Vsetín, a group of students who share a love of nature and want to support fair trade products meet once a month at the Líska ambassadors’ club. As dedicated volunteers at the local Wildlife Rescue Centre, they want to raise money for the organization, too. During “Neighborly Week” in May, when the town square will be full of community events, they will run a fair trade café with the goal of raising enough money to buy a month’s worth of feed. They will offer coffee and tea for donations and run activities for children, parents and other visitors.

Patron: Yvona Koutná. Location: Vsetín, Zlín region.

We’ll put a smile on your face.In their free time, girls from the educational institution in Janštejn help out at the local senior citizens’ home and at the dog shelter in a nearby village. They are so taken with the homeless dogs that they’ve decided to join forces and raise money for the operational costs and veterinary care for sick and abused dogs. Each girl has a different skill – some make bracelets, some paint, several are good at sewing – which means that together, they can make a diverse range of products. They are now spending much of their free time creating crafts, which they will sell at crafts fairs in their area while also telling people about dog adoption opportunities at the shelter.

Patron: Marie Tůmová. Location: Janštejn, Vysočina.

 

These students will raise money to save sea turtles in Borneo.

Doing good for elephants.A group of ten young people who share a love of reading, elephants and magic and a desire to help people and animals will hold a benefit concert and outreach events for the local organization Save elephants. They plan on informing over 1,000 students at local schools about illegal elephant hunting. Their efforts will culminate in a benefit concert at the end of the year where they will also sell handmade merchandise for Save elephants and pictures of elephants made by children from Africa.

Patron: Hana Pietrová. Location: Třinec, Moravia-Silesian region.

Helping mothers. Two teachers and a group of young musicians from the town ofVysoké Mýto are thinking big. Each year they organize a cultural event and crafts fair for Mother’s Day – but for the first time, they will raise money through the event. They have prepared a play and a musical performance and would like to use the school kitchen to bake goodies. The money they raise will be donated to mothers and children from the local asylum home, who have also been invited to the event.

Patron: Iveta Doležalová. Location: Vysoké Mýto, Pardubice region.

Days for Anabell. This group of social work students admires the work of the NGO Anabell, which helps people with anorexia. They want to help the organization with outreach and fundraising. They plan on informing the public about anorexia through outreach events and donate money from admission and refreshments to Anabell. Some also volunteer for Anabell to share information as broadly as possible and share their own personal experience.

Patron: Tereza Bečičková. Location: Brno, South Moravian region.

Girls from the educational institution in Janštejn devote time to help needy animals and people.

Music for the Emausy retirement home. For almost two years, students at the Czech-English high school have been regularly visiting senior citizens at the Emausy Retirement Home – Social Services Center. They enjoy this time together. Seeing an elderly woman or man’s face light up with a smile is a particular source of joy for the students. To bring even more joy into the elderly residents’ lives, the students will hold a garden party with a concert by the band Babouci. They plan on holding several benefit events such as a film screening, school crafts fair and charity calendar to raise money for the concert.

Patron: Nina Kernerová. Location: Dobrá Voda, South Bohemia region.

Good deeds and little steps. Children at the Máchova Elementary School in Děčín like to help others. They are going to hold a week of good deeds, full of activities to help others. They will sell stuffed animals, organize a musical performance and have a sale of artwork, all with the goal of raising money to support disabled children in the Little Steps club. Aside from fundraising they will help through free babysitting to give parents of the disabled children a well-deserved break.

Patron: Světlana Plešková. Location: Děčín, Ústi nad Labem region.

Friendship bench. Students in an art club at the Sedlčanyhigh school are going to improve a site in front of their school. Working with a local carpenter, they will build benches for students and the public. To raise money for the bench materials, they will make and sell artwork, hold art workshops for elementary school students and hold a crocheting workshop.

Patron: Lenka Lichtenbergová. Location: Sedlčany, Central Bohemia region.

Students in an art club at the Sedlčanyhigh school presenting the Friendship bench project.

Strawberry crafts fair.The student parliament at theKarlovy Vary Elementary School is always busy with something. In addition to addressing student needs, they organize charity events. In June they will hold a Strawberry crafts fair where visitors will have a chance to taste all manner of goodies and buy products made by students from the school. There will also be fun workshops and a magician. The money raised will be donated to help a classmate with muscular dystrophy, who will be the event photographer.

Patron: Marcela Kafková. Location: Karlovy Vary, Karlovy Vary region.

Running for Klárka. Elementary school students and volunteer firefighters are joining forces to help a young girl who is fighting leukemia for the second time. They are going to hold two benefit events together: a sports afternoon with races, homemade eats and fair trade products, and a fair trade breakfast whose secondary goal (after fundraising) is to introduce people to healthy fair trade food options. Patron: Jitka Rutschová. Location: Maleč, Highlands region.

Klobouček dance performance for children.Two teenage girls are going to help children in a children’s home through dance. They will lead a dance group that will organize the second-annual Klobouček dance performance for children. Children from the children’s home will perform with them. The event is a fundraiser, fun experience and opportunity for children from the dance group and the children’s home to become friends as they practice together.

Patron: Monika Čechová. Location: Nové Strašecí, Central Bohemian region.