The Czech Radio Foundation Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
The Czech Radio Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. One of its long-term projects is Světluška (“Firefly”), which helps improve the quality of life of people with visual impairment.
Short-term fundraising campaigns of the Foundation include, for instance, projects like Pomáhejte s námi (“Help with us”), Pustevny (a mountain saddle with precious folk-style wooden buildings), Cimrman pomáhá (“Cimrman helps”) or Pomáhejte s námi Nepálu (“Help Nepal with us”), responding to events both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Ježíškova vnoučata (“Father Christmas’ Grandchildren”) is a new charity project of the Foundation, aiming to fulfil the wishes of lonely elderly people in residential care homes at Christmas.
Světluška is a long-term fund-raising project of the Czech Radio Foundation that has been providing financial assistance to people with severe visual impairment since 2003. It contributes, for instance, towards special aids, personal assistance and respite-care services, the guiding and reading services, training of the guide and assistance dogs and leisure and sports activities for visually impaired individuals. The project also helps to build a system of high-quality care for the visually impaired people by supporting organizations allowing them to implement various projects. Over the 18 years of its existence, Světluška has allocated 165 million Czech crowns. “For 20 years, the Czech Radio Foundation has been delivering on its mission based on the belief that each person is unique and has a special place and role in the society. For 20 years, it has been helping to create an environment in which each person can fully develop his or her potential. On the anniversary, we would like to present to the public a full picture of the activities of the Foundation,” says René Zavoral, Director General of Czech Radio.
Fundraising campaigns that helped both in the Czech Republic and abroad
Help with Us was the first campaign organized by Czech Radio in cooperation with the Foundation, targeting people affected by floods in 2013. At the end of 2014, the total funds raised within this project amounted to 12.2 million Czech crowns. In April 2014, the Czech Radio Foundation initiated fundraising campaign Pustevny for helping restore the national monument Libušín, which had been destroyed by fire. In order to support the campaign, Czech Radio together with the Wallachian Open Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm organized a concert titled “A Day for Pustevny”, where the money from the entrance fee went to the fundraising account. To support the architectural jewel, which re-opened only this year, the Foundation and the audience raised almost one million crowns. The Foundation has also responded to events abroad.
In 2015, it initiated a campaign titled Help Nepal with Us in order to help the Nepalese affected by the disastrous earthquake. The donations amounted almost to 9.6 million crowns and were allocated in cooperation with NGOs People in Need and Namasté Nepál. In 2016, the campaign was awarded the main prize by the Donors Forum. The Cimrman Helps campaign of 2016 was about supporting the project of establishing a psychology clinic headed by Jana B. from Nechanice, who is blind. The campaign was organized in cooperation with Centrum Paraple, an NGO, and Slunce pro všechny (“Sun for All”), a foundation. “Czech Radio has always, from the very beginning, been a reliable partner of the Foundation. Thanks to Czech Radio and its stations we have always been able to reach both the recipients and donors and subsequently also to inform about the use of the donations, which, we believe, is key from the point of view of trustworthiness and transparency,” says Gabriela Drastichová, Director of the Czech Radio Foundation.
Bringing joy to lonely elderly people
The latest project of the Foundation is Father Christmas’ Grandchildren. Launched in 2016, it has been initiated by journalist Olga Štrejbarová, who, during one of her recording, realized that lonely people frequently make up a large portion of people living in retirement homes. Since then, every year, enthusiasts and volunteers have fulfilled various Christmas wishes to the elderly who are lonely. Beginning from this year, Father Christmas’ Grandchildren belong to the family of projects and fundraising campaigns of the Czech Radio Foundation.
In 2018 and 2019 there was also a project called Visits in the DARK (Návštěvy POTMĚ), which was also helping the elderly and which was initiated under the auspices of the Foundation by blind and visually impaired people thanks to their own determination. They were visiting lonely elderly people, spending their free time with them playing games, music, telling stories and doing other popular activities. The initiative has transformed into a non-profit organization Spolu s vámi (“Together with you”), which has been established and is managed by visually impaired people and which continues to receive support from the Czech Radio Foundation.