She has an active approach to life and one day she would like to go to Brussels and Croatia. Her favourite things to drink and eat are chocolate milkshakes and tomato sauce, while she would most probably choose pink as her favourite colour. Zdenka works at the Bílá vrána café, which employs people with handicaps.
The cafe is backed by the Pohoda non-profit organisation and it has received the Floccus Prize for both the café and its other activities. Zdenka was there when the organisation presented its social enterprise to the jury and she was also at the award ceremony. And what activities does she like most at the café? Cleaning.
The prize is awarded by the Česká spořitelna Foundation, which supports organisations which assist people to overcome the barriers which are placed in their path by old age, mental disability or addiction. The Floccus Prize is awarded to organisations and individuals who provide long-term support for the same target groups. The winners are chosen by the public and an expert jury.
The symbol of the Floccus Prize is a fluffy dandelion head (floccus means “a tuft” in Latin), which is fragile, but also durable and viable. These are exactly the qualities associated with the activities undertaken by organisations and individuals in order to support the people on the margins of society.
The awards in 2016
The following organisations received awards:
- Saint George’s Hospice, Cheb (an active and dignified old age)
- Pohoda – an association which helps handicapped people to have a normal life, Prague (care for people with mental disabilities)
- Proxima Sociale, Prague (the prevention and treatment of drug addiction)
The following individuals received awards:
- Mgr. Nina Janyšková (the prevention and treatment of drug addiction)
- Mgr. Jiří Richter (the prevention and treatment of drug addiction)
- Mons. Josef Suchár (care for people with mental disabilities)
The special jury award: Quip ČR
The prize awarded by the public: Diakonie ČCE – a centre in Myslibořice
The prize awarded by the employees of Česká spořitelna: the Hradec Králové Area Charity
We like to highlight the courage and work of individuals and organisations that stand with those on whom society turns its back. The Floccus Awards are for them.
Their work is brave, socially-needed and not always appreciated. But they have managed to build something that others were convinced was impossible. Through the Floccus Award the Česká spořitelna Foundation highlights organisations and individuals who devote their time, care and energy to senior citizens, people with mental handicaps or the prevention and treatment of drug addiction.
The border village of Neratov is characterised by its church with a glass roof. Life was returned to the dilapidated church and abandoned village in 1989 by Rokytnice priest Josef Suchár. He swore to restore the church, pilgrimage tradition and whole village. His enthusiasm won people over, and he even convinced several young families to move to the village permanently. In addition to their own children, they progressively took abandoned children from children's homes into foster care. The Neratov Association was founded in 1992 and, in addition to restoring the church and life in the village, it focuses on help for foster families and people with handicaps through sheltered housing and protected workshops.
„For me courage is a step into the unknown, where ordinary people do extraordinary things. When Jarda serves as a minister with glove puppets and Roman with a lion and a monkey, who also have to have religious vestments, or when Jirka brings offerings, puts them on the altar and asks me, ‘Hello, what are you going to do with it?’ it’s not easy to maintain the dignity of the moment, but working with them is a real joy.” Josef Suchár won a Floccus Award for his journey and for his help for others.
MUDr. Zdeněk Kalvach,
first deputy chairman of the committee of the Czech Gerontological and Geriatric Society of the J. E. Purkyně Czech Medical Association, member of the Government Council for Senior Citizens and Population Aging and member of the Committee for Biomedicine and Human Rights
We live in times of bloody conflicts and tragic exoduses to foreign parts, as well as domestic foolhardy flirting with the supposed worthlessness and social burden of these people or those, some too incapable, others too old, too foreign, different and otherwise “strange and not useful.” We are witnesses to a swell of remorseless xenophobia and the conviction that the “strange and not useful” can and should be sacrificed to the benefit of the whole—no worries, most importantly that they don’t cause much trouble and don’t cost much.
Against this trend stands the admirable efforts of individuals and small groups of those who, for various reasons, out of personal experience or from a deep conviction, offer a helping hand and provide hope to “those on whom society has turned its back.” Hope in a fate less unjust, in life less hard and abnormal, in integration, participation, for someone a new chance. Today, in these troubled times, we are also maintaining the continuity of humanity and kindness, one of the keystones of the human race, and also our anchor in the European society of countries developed not only economically, but also morally. This makes the activities of foundations and other philanthropic efforts all the more important today, without them good intentions could not be realised—it is about more than charity, it is an investment in the social capital of society and its standard of conditional political development.
Today it is not only about, no matter how fulfilling it might be, helping specific disadvantaged people—or tens, hundreds or even tens of thousands of them. It is about a common attempt to prevent the collapse of a universal system of moral values, the development of a concept of modern humanism, a revision of Albert Schweitzer’s ideal profiling people with “respect for life” where “the essence of humanity is that nobody be sacrificed for any common goal”—today we should add all the more for any comfort, shallow fear or selfishness.
In the middle of these dramatic events, it is very fulfilling and enriching to participate in the activities of the ČS Foundation, to have the chance to see the determined support of desirable aims and to meet those who give a helping hand, who are admirably brimming with humanity in the field conditions of the front line.
I wish the Foundation much success when disseminating general awareness about the supported and appreciated projects and organisations, and also as many new groupings as possible arising from the form of such good practice—as though they grew from a dandelion’s floccus.