Approximately 13 thousand people with so-called mental disabilities currently live in institutions, often in impersonal hospital conditions, in the Czech Republic. They are not satisfied there. At the same time, they do not know that they have the right to live in a natural environment, because the government has pledged to provide them with support to live wherever they choose.
“I consider it important that handicapped people should be part of society and have the opportunity to live their own lives,” said Eva, who has become the guarantor of the Quip organisation’s project and acquired 70,000 CZK from the Programme for its activities. “I appreciate the fact that Quip assists specific people and educates professionals so that they are able to assist people to live in regular society,” she added.
How did the grant programmes stack up in 2016?
- 41 client applications for grants
- 15 supported client projects
- 9 supported employee projects
- a total of almost 2 million crowns was allocated
The Česká spořitelna Foundation aims at strengthening the skills and independence of people with mental disabilities and strives to break down stereotypes concerning the perception of these people and to achieve their real inclusion into society. As well as support for the mentally disabled, it supports an active and dignified old age and the prevention of drug addiction.
They stand at the edge of society, they are stigmatised, but they deserve our attention. Through grants we support non-profit organisations’ good ideas for helping people with mental handicaps, senior citizens and drug addicts.
What could an old mill and farm in Ledec from the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century and a non-profit organisation have in common? Help for the handicapped. The Ledovec (Iceberg) organisation has set out the aim of modernising the mill with the help of volunteers and gradually bringing the whole farm back to life, so that it can serve as a tourist destination that offers mill technology and examples of traditional farm activities, with the help of people with mental illnesses or handicaps. It obtained a grant for its restoration from the Česká spořitelna Foundation.
Since 2009 employees have been able to request a grant for a non-profit organisation in which they have been working for a long time as a volunteer. The focus in an organisation has to be in accordance with the ČS Foundation’s strategy. In 2015 we supported 13 employee projects with a total value of CZK 1m. From 2013 we expanded the grant programme to include clients that can ask for a grant for their non-profit organisation. Last year we supported 15 projects worth a total of CZK 1m.
Česká spořitelna Foundation
We stand with those society turns its back on
In 2015 we supported 26 of our partner organisations by donating a total of CZK 15,081,794; we distributed another CZK 2m in two grant programmes. In the 14 years of its existence the Česká spořitelna Foundation (ČSF) has contributed CZK 217m to help Czech society.
We stand with those on whom society turns it back. We focus on three endangered groups in society:
Active Life for Senior Citizens
In 2050 one third of the Czech population will be over 65. We are trying to ensure that senior citizens remain at home as long as possible, with their family and in an environment they love. We accompany senior citizens in the autumn of their life, so that their old age is dignified.
We supported Dny paměti (Memory Days) with a grant in 2015. Thanks to it the Czech Alzheimer Society performed free “memory measurements” for people who have problems with their memory and did not get help from their general practitioner.
Prevention and Treatment of Drug Addiction
We have supported the obtaining and development of services to prevent and treat of drug addiction from their inception. From the start we have been working with the best-known organisations, which have achieved results comparable to those in developed European countries in more than twenty years of their work on drug addiction.
We gave the Darmoděj organisation in Jeseník a grant to buy farm machinery and also animals, because in its treatment centre there are former drug users who care for farm animals, grow vegetables, herbs, and perform other activities that help them obtain and maintain work habits.
Care for People with Mental Handicaps
There are more than 300,000 people with mental handicaps among us. They are a permanent part of our society. There is no reason to not see or overlook them. Our attitude to them is too frequently marked by prejudices, a lack of knowledge or fears. They themselves are not interested in compassion and certainly don’t want to be shut away in institutions. They want to live like the other people: in society, in their family, they want to decide on their own free time. We try to get society to open up to “others”.
Thanks to a grant, mentally-handicapped clients from the Dobromysl organisation can make use of music therapy, art therapy, canistherapy, rehabilitation and other activities headed by a special teacher. The non-profit organisation provides professional social services to handicapped people.
„In 2015 we have taken a big step forward in the provision of therapy as a part of social services for the mentally and physically handicapped and we can also say that we have significantly expanded the options for handicapped people for the sensible spending of time. Thanks to therapy holidays - which also cover a holiday with canistherapy in the project - we can also enable carers to rest and relax,” said the Dobromysl organisation.