In this year’s Easter edition of the Ecumenical Bulletin, we reported about the help that Diaconia has been providing at the refugee camp in Zátarí, Jordan. A Lent collection was taking place in the ECCB’s congregations at the time, the proceeds of which were designated for the people at this camp. 1 million Czech crowns were raised in the collection, also thanks to our partners from the United States (Diaconia Connections). The funds from this collection will help enlarge the “Peace Oasis”, the Diaconia centre at the Zátarí camp. This will give the inhabitants of the camp more room for meeting with people, as well as space for specific aid programmes organised by Diaconia in cooperation with other organisations. In addition to this, a playground is being constructed for the local children, protected from the sharp desert sun, providing swings, slides and climbing frames.
Diaconia’s centre in Valašské Meziříčí runs (among other things) two clothing stores and a cleaning company. This autumn, a chocolate-candy producing factory has been added to the list. The trouble is, not all workers are able to keep their job, especially those with a learning disability. They are often unable to handle all the demands of the job, such as working independently, and decide to quit, despite being skilled and motivated. Diaconia’s centre in Valašské Meziříčí is now striving to find ways to help these people keep their jobs. Continue reading The ECCB’s Diaconia helps prepare people with disabilities, even those with alcoholic dementia, for work.
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