There’s a shy knock on the door. Then it suddenly flies open and two little girls come charging into the room. They immediately get hold of Andrea and start begging: “Andy, shall we play sugar – coffee?” Andrea Bendíková hugs them and answers: “Okay, but when we’re done with the tutoring, alright?” The girls agree. Continue reading Roma People Among Us. The Story of a High School Girl
Zaatari, one of the biggest refugee camps in the world, can be easily accessed by car. Usually, one sets off on a highway, which leads from Amman, the capital of Jordan, to the boarder with Syria. Once over the border one usually turns onto the so-called Baghdad road, drives through a mildly hilly desert landscape, and from a distance one can already see a big city. Before 2012, Zaatari described a small village. Everything has changed since the war broke out in Syria. More and more refugees arrived in Jordan. For the establishment of the refugee camp, Zaatari for several reasons proved to be a good place – a source of groundwater was needed, a crucial thing in the desert arid land. The camp was established in cooperation with international organisations and under the supervision of experienced Jordanian authorities; the country has a lot of experience with the arrival of refugees. Continue reading Keeping hope. To whom and how will help a donation from the fast collection
The Cheb kindergarten is unique among the facilities run by the ECCB’s Diaconia: it is their only kindergarten for non-handicapped children. Its key mission is to support children from the Czech and German side of the border in meeting and getting to know each other. Continue reading Border-Free Kindergarten in Cheb
The Diaconia is growing. Its centres and schools are currently running over 130 facilities all over the Czech Republic. It employs more than 2000 people; its schools and kindergartens are attended by 423 children and students. The Diaconia’s Academy, which offers training courses for social service workers, is also getting on well. The courses are designated not only for employees of the Diaconia, but also for other social service providers. At the moment, the Academy is offering 50 educational topics and is the only provider on the market to offer long-term (6-month) training for social service managers, for workers caring for clients with dementia or for assistants to intellectually disabled and autistic clients. Continue reading 2016 Was a Successful Year for the ECCB’s Diaconia
The Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has appointed Jan Soběslavský to be the new director of the ECCB’s Diaconia beginning 1 April 2017. The appointment was based on the result of an open competition and the recommendation of the ECCB Diaconia’s Supervisory Board. Jan Soběslavský (37) is a law and protestant theology graduate and has worked in the Diaconia for twelve years. He began his career as a legal advisor at the Diaconia’s headquarters and in 2007 he became the director of the Diaconia’s centre in Brno, which expanded its range of services under his management, especially services for elderly people and people with a mental handicap. Since 2010, Jan Soběslavský has also been a member of the Diaconia’s Board of Directors. Representatives of the Diaconia’s founder, i.e. the ECCB, thanked the previous director, Petr Haška, for the work he accomplished as head of the Diaconia. “I’ve experienced many wonderful moments with you throughout these past few years,” said Petr Haška to all the workers of the Diaconia in his farewell message, which you can watch in Czech on the youtube.com/diakoniecz channel.
“The Diaconia: Opening Possibilities for Asylum Seekers” – is the name of the project which has been run by the Diaconia for half a year now through its Centre of Nationwide Programmes and Services. Its workers have long-term experience with migrants and asylum seekers and do their best to help asylum seekers integrate themselves into Czech society on various levels in order to prevent their social exclusion, the growth of ghettos and other problems. Continue reading The Diaconia and the Church for Asylum Seekers
People have a conflicted nature and often hurt others just because they have been hurt themselves. This does not mean we should condone their actions. However, we can try to understand them and help them. We discussed the topic with Anna Stodolová, the leader of the therapeutic programme called “Stop Violence in Relationships”.
Anna Stodolová (43) is a psychology graduate from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. She has worked for the ECCB’s Diaconia since 1996 – in the Centre of Christian Aid in Prague and the SOS Centre, where she deals with crisis intervention, psychotherapy and advisory. She is participating in the project called “Violence in Relationships”, where she provides therapy for individuals as well as for couples. In her private practice, she works individually with adults and adolescents and also offers therapy for couples. She is a lecturer of crisis intervention courses and courses working with aggression in relationships. Since 2008 she has also been organising discussions for parents on the topics of partner relationships and bringing up children. Continue reading Therapy for domestic violence abusers. Interview with Anna Stodolová
The kindergarten run by the ECCB’s Diaconia in Cheb, a town in the West of the Czech Republic, has been operating for one year and is about to enter its second year of existence. It was established with the support of a number of German protestant churches. We have asked the director of the kindergarten, Iva Koubová, how things are going at the facility. Continue reading The Cheb Kindergarten. Interview with Iva Koubová
In our world today, when serving others is treated as selling goods, a person in need is a client and providers of social services are competing between each other, it is crucial for the ECCB’s Diaconia to clarify its position among other social service providers: what it is defined by, what makes it specific. How does an organisation providing social services stand up to its competition in a country with an unequal approach to non-state facilities, a country in which 90% of its citizens have no religious confession? How should pastoral services be provided when over 85% of the organisation’s employees and clients are atheist? How do we attract new colleagues when financial motivation is not an option (the available funds are insufficient), and how do we motivate the current experienced and good workers to stay? Continue reading Values and Diaconal Work in Switzerland and in the Czech Republic
The home for seniors in Kostelec nad Černými Lesy was run by the city. The Diaconia took it over because the building was returned to the Diaconia, i.e. to the church, in the framework of the so-called Church Restitutions. It’s all about the return of wealth which was taken away from the church in the times of the communist dictatorship. The home in Kostelec nad Černými Lesy served as a “House of Rest for Czech and Evangelical Deacons .” Now the Diaconia plans to preserve and develop the services for seniors.