What does People in Need do?
We focus our efforts on four basic areas:
- humanitarian aid and development cooperation,
- supporting human rights,
- social work,
- educational and informative activities for the public.
As for humanitarian aid and development cooperation, we provide immediate humanitarian aid to people in need in the event of a natural disaster or military crisis. In various countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, we implement development programmes that attempt to improve access to education, healthcare, drinking water, observance of hygiene, development of local food sources and also encourage the local people to become involved in the processes that influence what happens in their countries. Our humanitarian team has also been repeatedly deployed during serious flooding in the Czech Republic.
As for human rights, we help dissidents and support the civil society in countries without political freedom and countries undergoing democratic transformation.
The Social Integration Team assists disadvantaged or threatened families improve their status in society with the help of advisory and educational services. We devote much of our energy to children who represent about 40 per cent of our clients. On the basis of our experiences and what we have learnt from direct field work, we encourage positive changes and good practice in public policy, primarily concerning debt and education, because we are fully aware that only a change in the system can bring lasting improvement in the lives of the people we work with.
We also organise an annual international human rights documentary film festival, One World; during the festival we supply films and educational systems addressing modern Czech history to more than three thousand schools, we educate educators and the general public in topics such as poverty, development cooperation, migration and xenophobia.
For more information about People in Need, visit our homepage.
How do we ensure economical and effective use of finances?
Every humanitarian operation, as well as isolated programmes and projects in other sectors, is implemented on the basis of an assessment of needs and resulting budget plans. These then undergo an internal and external review. We monitor direct and indirect costs as well as administrative expenses. In addition to budgets and timetables, we also create what is known as a logical framework which clearly defines the aim of a project, anticipated outputs, planned activities, anticipated risks and also success indicators. In the course of implementing of a project, we collect implementation data and evaluate its efficacy. If certain expectations are not fulfilled, we always look for a way achieve the intended goals. That said, if an activity proves unnecessary, we do not carry on with it.
How can I help?
The most important form of help is regular financial donations (perhaps just 10 CZK a day), which enables us to react quickly in the event of natural disaster or war and to support human rights activists in unfree countries and to support further development of the organisation. If you would like to make a donation, please click here.
You can also help as an employee or volunteer – we need the latter particularly for our educational and social activities in the Czech Republic. If you would like to work with us, take a look at the list of vacancies on our website. You can also help us greatly by sharing news reports and information about our activities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram and read our website. If you have the chance, come to one of our events held at our Centre at Langhans.
Why should I donate in particular to People in Need?
We have nearly thirty years of experience providing humanitarian and development assistance in more than 50 countries around the world and our long-term focus is on social work, educational activities and defence of human rights. We are capable of using your donations effectively and with minimum overheads directly in the field so that they really help and improve the lives of the needy.
Our activities and accountancy are completely transparent and we will keep you informed about how we are using your donation. You can find detailed information about who we are on our website. Of course, there are many other high quality but perhaps otherwise oriented non-government organisations to choose from. The important thing is to gather as much relevant information about an organisation before choosing and to choose from among those which publish information transparently, particularly financial. The nongovernment sector is like any other – you can find organisations and individuals that are capable and incapable, modest and boastful, honourable (which most are) and other.
How much of my donation is tax deductible?
Natural persons may deduct a maximum of 15 % of their tax base per calendar year. Legal persons can deduct a maximum of 10 % of their tax base after previous deductions have been made.
Can I also donate things, e.g. clothes, a sewing machine or bandages?
In the vast majority of cases, we buy material aid on the spot and only very rarely do we accept material donations. And when we do, we require large quantities. The reason is the high cost of administration, transportation, customs clearance and other activities connected with use of material donations which all means that this form of donation is not generally very effective. We conduct public collection campaigns for specific projects. if you would like to make a suitable material donation, please contact our fundraising department at the emai address firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel. +420 226 200 437.
Where do we operate?
We currently operate in more than 50+ cities in the Czech Republic and in more than 25 countries around the world. You will find a list of our branches on our website. There you will also find a detailed and updated overview of our current and completed missions.
How do we choose the countries and places where we help?
We choose the regions and priorities ourselves, according to the urgency of the situation and realistic opportunities for us to be able to change things. We cannot reach everywhere and we consider the real impact of our activities to be most important. We decide on the basis of the level of urgency and we choose the most affected areas, remote, long-term dangerous or otherwise stricken places. It is also important for us to know if other non-government organisations are effectively operating in the chosen sector or region. In the Czech Republic we concentrate on complex issues burdened with prejudices and emotions. We try to help in areas where we can share our experiences and where our activities can bring quantifiable results (for instance currently we are not able to offer meaningful help in North Korea).
Each of our foreign missions also has its story. The first impulse is often a humanitarian catastrophe. This is how the missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Haiti started. Sometimes the initiative of a specific person who just needed help is what lies behind the origin of a mission. Support provided to human rights defenders in Cuba or Belarus on the other hand points towards our experience with the Communist dictatorship and with the aid provided to Czech dissidents. We are not nor have we ever had the ambition to become an organization which commits to and helps in all humanitarian crises or in all cases of human rights violation around the whole world. That would be far above our personnel and financial resources.
How do we differentiate between humanitarian and human rights aid?
Working for People in Need
I want to work for People in Need
We regularly take on new workers for various positions in the Czech Republic and in foreign missions. Follow the job vacancies page on our website and if you are interested contact the relevant department of People in Need.
I want to help as a volunteer
But we need help in the Czech Republic. Almost three hundred volunteers regularly coach socially disadvantaged children and help them improve their performance at school. Under the guidance of our coordinators and in cooperation with the school and the family these children often manage to improve their school results by several grades. If you feel like helping us with this task, please contact your nearest branch (see their list here).
I am a student and want to gain work experience
In our Prague office and exceptionally also in other branches in the Czech Republic, we sometimes offer jobs for student interns. All vacancies can be found on our job vacancies page on our website.
What qualifications must I have to work for People in Need?
We employ workers in a wide spectrum of positions – management, coordination or administrative positions or expert positions such as construction specialists, educational methodologists or field social workers. Qualification requirements are always specified in the relevant advert on the job vacancies page. Generally we can say that for most of the positions we need the relevant education, knowledge of English and work with IT technologies and usually also previous experience in the chosen sector.
How many employees do you have and what is the structure of the organization?
In 2013 People in Need had 835 of employees, 530 of whom worked in foreign missions, 305 in contractual employment in the Czech Republic, including short term work agreements.
The organisation is headed by the Director and the Executive Board, consisting of the Section Heads and the Financial and Operations Director. To the extent defined by the law, the main parameters are approved by the Administrative Board and monitored by the Supervisory Board of the organisation. The statutory representative of the organisation is the Director of the company according to law. You can see the People in Need organisation structure chart here.
What do human rights represent for us?
We consider human dignity and freedom to be fundamental values. We believe that people everywhere in the world should have the right to decide about their lives and share the rights expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In certain dictatorial, authoritarian or transforming countries we offer assistance due to the recent experience of our own country’s transformation. In the same way as the democratic world supported the struggle for freedom in Communist countries, we support people who attempt to be critical of or to initiate a dialogue with the authorities, the struggle for observance of human rights and freedoms and for a more open society. We support civil society to prepare it for becoming one of the pillars of administration of public affairs in the newly established societies and countries.
Our concrete activities are determined by situation analyses of the given country and on the initiative of local people and organisations. In places where we operate we try to concentrate on the main reasons behind the problems and at the same time on localities where we are able to change something. We do not provide global monitoring of human rights violations, but concentrate on practical assistance for dissidents and activists – especially in countries with similar experience as the Czech Republic.
We annually confer an award Homo Homini on individuals who have significantly contributed to defending human rights and the support of democracy. We also organise an international documentary human rights film festival One World.
Where do we fight for human rights?
We currently operate in Myanmar, Cuba, Transnistria (Moldova), Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, Libya, Venezuela and Nicaragua. For the latest information about our human rights activities see the overview map here.
Why we don't we work in the EU and USA?
Violation of human rights, repression, torture and execution of critics of the regime in authoritarian and semi-authoritarian states is far more widespread and sometimes organised systematically and performed by the regime itself which tends to be secretive, must not be publicly criticised and is almost never investigated or tried by an independent court. That is the fundamental difference. It should be said, however, that every year we organise the international human rights film festival, One World, where documentary films bring testimony to violations of human rights and perpetration of crimes by democratic governments, institutions and systems, including their armies.
How do we choose the countries and regions in which we work?
Otherwise, we try to look for places where we have special added value. In Ukraine, Mongolia or the Caucasus we build on the trust we are shown from local people as an organisation from the Czech Republic, which is perhaps greater than that shown to Americans, for instance.
Inside individual countries, when providing humanitarian aid we try to work in areas that are more difficult to access, which do not tend to attract the attention of the large organisations.
How do we plan individual projects?
The projects and programmes we implement abroad are not designed in Europe; they are formulated directly in the target areas. On the basis of a needs analysis and experience from previous projects and in cooperation with the local people, representatives of local governments and local authorities and other partners, we look for ways to help in the best and most effective manner possible, so that we will be able use the potential and initiative of the local population as much as possible. The methodologies and approaches we use are, however, often tested in other countries either by us or by other organizations, and we draw on that experience to the maximum extent.
What disasters do we respond to?
One of the missions of People in Need is to help people afflicted by a humanitarian disaster get back on their own feet. If such a disaster happens, we consider whether our presence will have an added value. That is, whether we can obtain the required funding, whether we have good experience with the specific region, whether any assistance is actually desired and whether we have something to contribute. We almost always respond to large-scale disasters in poor countries (the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan), and as far as smaller disasters in regions where we are not present are concerned, we prefer to consider supporting the work of our partners. Unfortunately, there are also situations where help is sorely needed, but we would not be able to reach the disaster victims, for example due to restrictions of the local government.
Why is the Section called "Humanitarian and Development"?
The difference between humanitarian assistance and development cooperation is mostly in primary motivation. If people anywhere in the world are afflicted by natural disasters or armed conflicts, we believe it is human nature to try to help them. The farther these people are, the more difficult it is; therefore we specialize in this type of assistance and provide it professionally. In many countries, unfortunately, it is not enough to help people ensure the basic necessities of life and then to recover what has been damaged because they are struggling with poverty, lack of education, poor health and other problems. We try to deal with them through so-called development cooperation, where we stress the sustainability of results accomplished in projects undertaken in cooperation with local people, organizations and institutions. In reality, however, both of these approaches are closely linked (the impact of disasters is greater on the poor and disasters keep many people in poverty), so we try to look at our work from both sides and combine the approaches.
Do we work with undemocratic governments?
Due to the fact that we engage in development aid, humanitarian aid and human rights support, we can choose from a wide spectrum of approaches. In countries where our human rights section operates (for example in Cuba) we consider lack of freedom and an authoritarian regime to be the main cause of problems. Even though expertly directed development activities at the level of specific schools, villages and communities can encourage free thinking in people and contribute to change, it is often not possible to perform our services in such countries for fear of the safety of our employees.
Elsewhere, on the other hand, even though we are aware of the lack of democratic principles in a country, we consider the education support or the struggle for the rights children to be currently most important for the long-time development of the country. When we are focusing on development or providing humanitarian aid in a country with an openly non-democratic regime, we cannot at the same time operate as an organisation openly criticising the regime. We monitor and continually analyse developments in individual countries to assess whether the situation demands a change of approach. In any case, we always protect the rights of the people we help and we always attempt to pursue democratic principles in our activities. In both cases we prefer meaningful work for people than just passive approach towards poverty and lack of freedom.