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.
The program kicked off with an initial meeting in November, where the teams shared useful tips about organizing benefit events (see photo below). Now they are in the process of planning and promoting their events, which will take place between December 2017 and May 2018. Via will also match the funds they raise up to CZK 20,000 ($920) per team.
And now for a look at the 14 teams:
Help comes in many forms
Students in the butcher-meat specialty department at the Integrated Secondary School in Valašské Meziříčí love their craft and love to help others. They plan on making goulash and sausages and selling them at the Advent market on the town square. This will give market-goers a chance to enjoy honest cooking and contribute to a good cause; the proceeds will go to the family of a boy, Šimonek, who has been in a coma for three years following a swimming accident. They money will help his family buy medicine and pay for physical therapy.
…DAK. Give whatever you can.
Do you know what mucopolysaccharidosis is? You don’t? Well, that’s exactly why awareness about this disease needs to be raised. Three friends – Dorota, Adéla and Klára – have been going to a summer camp run by a NGO for several years together. Each of them also works on her own non-profit project. When Klára, who wants to be a pediatrician, began working in a department for mucopolysaccharidosis patients, the three girls decided to join forces and hold a charitable auction for the family of seven-year-old Vojta, who suffers from this disease and whose family has a hard time paying for the costs of daily care.
Preservation of a Chapel in Hlubany
When somebody in Hlubany needs help, you can be sure that this team of 15 young philanthropists will be there. They have a strong track record: they have organized clean up days, helped in the local senior citizens’ home and assisted at community events. Their latest project is to renovate the local chapel so that it can once again serve as a religious building as well as a place for residents to gather for Christmas, Easter and other family events.
We love dogs and we help them
They are only 10 years old but their list of good deeds is longer than many adults’. This group of fourth-graders from Klánovice near Prague made products and sold them at Christmas and Easter markets and use the proceeds to adopt an animal at the Prague Zoo, paid for barrels of water, chickens and two goats for an African village, supported a newborn care facility and gave money to an animal shelter. This year they want to use their market proceeds to help the shelter again and support 15 of its canine residents.
A run with Boženka
Some people run to stay healthy. This class from the Božena Němcova Secondary School in Hradec Králové runs to give hope. In 2016, the students held a charity run to help a girl named Míša, who has cerebral palsy. They plan on holding the run again and donate the proceeds to the Anetka Fund for Children with Cancer. Their friend Anetka died of cancer and they would like to help other children with this illness.
Primer for everyone
There are Czech schools all around the world – but sometimes their students don’t have textbooks to study from or notebooks to write in. 4th and 5th graders from Lubina u Kopřivnice held a public collection for a Czech school in Romania, bought primers, textbooks and notebooks and traveled to the town of Eibenthal in Romania to give them to the kids there. This time they will work with the NGO ADRA to hold benefit events and buy textbooks for Czech schools in Serbia and Ukraine.
Music is the shared love of this group of 16 and 17 year olds from Chomutov. They believe that music can unite the public to help people in need. They will hold a benefit concert featuring their own rap, hip hop, folk and rock performances. The concert proceeds will be given to Charity Chomutov to help pay for food for the homeless and other people in need.
Charity research for everyone
A team of young researchers from Libochovice has gone from promoting science among the public to helping people in need. They hold public educational events and use the proceeds to support good causes. This year they want to help three children: their classmate Adam, who suffered permanent damage from meningitides, Matyáš, who was born prematurely and suffers from multiple illnesses and Ondráš, who had heart surgery at the age of 3 months and is battling for a healthy life. The proceeds will go to help pay for intensive physical therapy and related materials to improve the three boys’ quality of life.
Happy 7 helping others
The Happy 7 were all born in the same year and are in the same grade in school – and they are all volunteers. They help organize children’s events, festivals and other charitable activities. Now they want to help a teacher who taught their parents and their grandparents and is remembered fondly. She now has trouble walking and the Happy 7 would like to buy her a wheelchair by putting on a charitable auction.
Smiley – Reaching our goal
Nine girls from the T. G. Masaryk school in Bílovec are continuing in the school’s traditional philanthropy project “Smajlík” (Smiley) with plans to hold several benefit events to help a little girl named Kristýnka, who was born with a spinal bifida and is in a wheelchair. Despite her disability, she is a passionate athlete and won a gold medal in alpine skiing in her category. The group of nine girls hope to raise enough money to pay for ski training for Kristýna and her personal assistant.
For more smiles
Students from the Eco-team at Purkyňova Secondary School in Strážnice share a drive to do something meaningful. In the past they have held creative workshops and a Christmas flea market with the proceeds going to a children’s home and the Jakub Voráček Foundation. This year they want to help the family of their classmate Dominik, who lost his father and now helps his mother care for four siblings. By holding workshops, a flea market and a new year’s concert the group wants to raise money to help Domink pay his way through university.
A drop of light
This team from Ondřej cares about its community. Several years ago they raised awareness about light pollution and renovated a bus station in town, bought benches and decorated it with an astronomical theme to highlight that their community has the biggest observatory in Central Europe. Now they would like to help their friend Kristýnka who is in wheelchair. Kristýnka is a member of the Jaguar floorball team in Prague and needs a sports wheelchair, which this group would like to purchase by selling star gingerbread cookies.
Benefit concert for Bedříšek
Six-year-old Bedříšek has cerebral palsy. His mother is a cook at a scout camp and occasionally Bedříšek comes too, who is always happy and full of energy despite his disability. Four scouts have grown very fond of him and want to hold a benefit concert to help him.
Christmas charity concert
The school parliament at the Kroměříž Secondary School decided to celebrate the 135th anniversary of the school by founding a new tradition – a Christmas charity concert by the school choir. Proceeds from tickets will go to the “Lost Happiness” organization, which helps lost cats, to fund vet care and buy cat food.
About the program
The aim of the Young Philanthropists program is to show children and young people that anyone can help others – regardless of age. All that’s needed is a desire to devote time and energy for a good cause. Via Foundation gives teams of young philanthropists the chance to try it out. Via supports them in planning their benefit events, provides funding for their benefit events, matches the funds they raise and gives them the opportunity to participate in an initial workshop. Over the past three years more than 900 children and young people have taken part in the program.