We help thousands of people in Czechia who have found themselves in a difficult situation due to COVID-19Published: Apr 23, 2020 Reading time: 4 minutes
At 16 locations, we distribute food aid packages to people who do not have an adequate income to meet their basic needs as a result of the coronavirus crisis. We provide counseling services to people who have lost their jobs, self-employed people, single mothers, the socially disadvantaged, the insolvent and others, and we help them with the processing of applications and documents. Over one month, we helped more than 700 people.
We tutor hundreds of children with poor internet connections, we have lent over 150 computers to the most needy and provided over 70 free internet access points.
Thousands of teachers use our webinars or teaching materials from the JSNS.cz website, which we have also opened to the general public. We have delivered over 11,000 respirators to 60 local organizations in 7 regions. We directly support 3,000 people in social need, helping them find their way around the situation.
We have announced the SOS Česko (SOS Czechia) collection so that, with your support, we can help the people who will be most affected by the consequences of the pandemic and related measures in the long term.
WE HELP PEOPLE IN SOCIAL EMERGENCY
People in Need provides social and educational services to people in more than 50 cities and towns in the Czech Republic. Our team consists of over 350 employees and a network of several hundred volunteers.
We distribute food aid packages at 16 places in the Czech Republic to people who, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, do not have an adequate income to meet their basic needs. According to the estimates of the organization’s employees, thousands of families are similarly affected. People in need has already distributed over one hundred of these packages at its branches in the most affected regions. Specifically, these are Olomouc, Přerov, Prostějov, Jeseník, Hranice, Kladno, Karlovy Vary, Sokolov, Ostrov, Žlutice, Ústí nad Labem, Chomutov, Bílina, Plzeň, Klatovy and Liberec. However, their number will vary according to current needs.
Thanks to a gift from Bushman, we distributed over 11,000 respirators to 60 local organizations in 7 regions. Our field social workers were able to restore aid to socially disadvantaged families.
WE HELP WITH HOME- AND REMOTE SCHOOLING
In response to the preventive closure of schools, the People in Need program One World in Schools made its educational materials available on the Internet. Over 270 audiovisual lessons and 1150 teaching materials can be accessed by teachers and the general public. The number of visits to the JSNS.cz educational has increased many times since the closure of schools.
Teacher education, which is the subject of the Variants program, has moved into the realm of online webinars. These can now be used by both teachers and parents or students.
"We have identified a particularly vulnerable group of children: those who do not have the technical equipment, access to the Internet and lack support in homeschooling," said Zuzana Ramajzlová, head of educational services for People in Need. Most schools communicate by emails in a temporary mode, through the school website and other online platforms, and children without Internet access or without parental support are at risk of neglecting the curriculum.
In cooperation with cesko.digital and other partners, we support families without the equipment needed for teaching on the Internet. We distributed more than 150 computers directly or through partner organizations and provided more than 70 internet access points to them.
WE HELP PEOPLE IN FINANCIAL AND DEBT DISTRESS
Thanks to donations to the SOS Česko collection, we were able to quickly increase the capacity of the telephone debt helpline, for which we recorded an almost tenfold increase in calls. More than 700 people have needed advice in the last month. There are now 18 advisers working on the line, answering questions every weekday from 8 am to 6 pm.
"We get calls from many self-employed people, employees and single mothers who have found themselves in a difficult situation," says Daniel Hůle, an analyst at People in Need. They are most often bothered by loss of income, which is associated with an impending lack of funds for basic needs, the inability to repay loans and instalments to insolvency administrators. A team of more than 50 debt advisers and lawyers approaches individual cases comprehensively and, if required by the life situation in question, repeatedly. We also provide legal services and strive to ensure that our clients are oriented in any claims for social or material need benefits.
We are communicating with the government and deputies about draft amendments to the law, which should contribute to easier debt relief, reduce the risk of new distraints and bring relief to people economically affected by the pandemic. For example, we have prepared a model proposal to postpone distraint for people who become insolvent.