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When the government fails to help, people help each other

Are you broke due to the coronavirus? These fund-raising campaigns are currently trending in the Czech Republic!

Karolína Lišková
03.Apr 2020
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3 minutes
Lidé pomáhají lidem.

Due to government measures that aim to prevent uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, many people found themselves in a difficult life situation practically overnight. Few have financial reserves for weeks or months without income. And because the state has neither the capacity nor the funds to help everyone right away, the Czechs have once again shown a prime example of teamwork, proving they're not indifferent to the fate of others. A number of fundraisers have been launched to help everyone in need.

People in Need calls SOS

People in Need is one of the organisations that launched a fund-raising campaign: „SOS Česko“. It is intended to help the most vulnerable groups of people in difficult life situations: freelancers, single parents, socially disadvantaged people, people in insolvency or people who have lost their jobs.

"We want to lend a helping hand to those who‘ll fall victim to the current situation, who‘ll lose their jobs or businesses and are in danger of falling into unsolvable debts and major social and family problems. We help schoolchildren and their parents who cannot handle online homeschooling. We are already fighting the threat of executions and massive indebtedness of people and we‘re strengthening our helpline. In addition to this, we are leading a discussion with the government, the parliament as well as the banks, and we‘re coming up with proposals that will help to systematically prevent debt growth. We are determined, in the most urgent cases, to provide food aid to families who fall through the state aid network, alone, in cooperation with food banks and other organizations. And as always, we want to be where we can help in a meaningful way,“

says Šimon Pánek, director of People in Need

Prodej exkluzivní vily, Praha 4 - Kunratice
Prodej exkluzivní vily, Praha 4 - Kunratice, Praha 4

You can contribute to the fund-raising campaign under the account of SOS Česko 3789 3789 / 0300

Open in gallery (2)
Rodiče s malými dětmi, které jsou nemocné, jsou v nelehké situaci.
Rodiče s malými dětmi, které jsou nemocné, jsou v nelehké situaci.Source: Pixabay

Families with underage children

The patron of children primarily provides long-term aid to families where a child has fallen ill and one of the parents immediately had to stop working so as to be available to the minor 24 hours a day. Due to the coronavirus, even the working parent lost their paycheck overnight.

"We have launched a new emergency aid for families with minors who find themselves in financial need as a result of the government measures on our website. We offer direct financial assistance to those who have been hit by a significant reduction in income and unexpectedly find themselves in a situation where they don‘t know what will happen in a few days, a week or a month. This time, we are not offering the things and services to which you usually contribute; we are sending money directly to desperate families,“

representatives of the organization explained.

The exceptional aid is intended exclusively for the purchase of hygienic supplies, necessary medicines, medical devices (e.g. face masks, disinfectants, etc.), but also foodstuffs for which, as you know, we typically do not provide gifts.

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Hudebníci se skládají sami na sebe.
Hudebníci se skládají sami na sebe. Source: Pixabay

The hard life of an artist

Na webu se mohou hlásit jak podporovatelé, tak zájemci o podporu. Podle našich informací tam už významnou částkou přispěl dirigent světového renomé Daniel Brenboim.

Musicians, stage folk and actors have also lost their regular income. One fundraiser was established by French horn player and conductor Radek Baborák. Both the supporters and those interested in receiving support can register on the website According to our information, the world-renowned conductor Daniel Brenboim has already made a significant contribution.

On April 1, Hana Třeštíková, Councilor for Culture of the Capital City of Prague, in cooporeation with the online cultural overview GoOut, launched a nationwide project to support theaters, concert halls, clubs and artists in general.

"It's not an April Fool's joke, it's a serious matter. If we fail to keep our artists afloat, popular theaters or clubs may cease to exist. And because we Czechs like to play, I decided it wouldn't be an ordinary fundraiser. We'll be offering tickets for NOTHING. The idea came to me right after the recent speech by President Miloˇw Zeman, who unfairly criticized Czech artists. I want to show him that we support our artists. They are helping as much as they can during this crisis, and now it's our furn to help them,"

explains Hana Třeštíková.

The NIC will take place on May 1, 2020. "It is a holiday of love, so we will symbolically show that we love culture on this day," adds Třeštíková and concludes: "Are you curious if NIC will reall be nothing, or if it turns out being SOMETHING? Wait and see! Tickets are available until May 1st, noon."

Hard-to-get equipment as a gift

Even giant companies with billions of turnover don't want to stay behind. Those that don't make a direct financial contribution, donate at least hard-to-get equipment, which is a valued commodity on a par with gold these days. "We are also actively trying to provide help across the Czech Republic. The company donated one million crowns to the development of CoroVent lung ventilators and will distribute thousands of face masks and respirators from its stock to nonprofit organisations. Furthermore, we support various regional initiatives against COVID-19 in the form of direct donations as well as our own production of 3D printed protective shields, which we offer to organizations in need free of charge, and through joining the Constellation of Assistance charity platform. In March we listed 30 new projects in it,"

said Alza spokeswoman Patricia Šedivá.

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