Read about a selection of our own and partner projects that the Foundation has been implementing or significantly supporting for a long time.
Children growing up in orphanages struggle with successfully integrating into society in the same way that their peers from normative households might. In the vast majority of cases, they achieve only a relatively low level of education and are often directed to apprenticeships within reach of their orphanage for practical reasons. This means that their interests or aptitudes are not always fully discovered or acknowledged. Whilst adolescence is challenging for any young person, it is even more challenging and complex for young people who have spent most of their childhood in residential care, as they lack social networks, life experience, role models and are generally disadvantaged. Children and young people growing up in the relative prosperity of children’s home environments often find real-life situations unsettling and perplexing. They have very distorted ideas about work-life and lack role models for developing work habits. This unpreparedness often leads to their failure, initiating a vicious circle of turnover, unemployment and dependence on social welfare. This project aims to break this cycle and help them gain independence after leaving home.
The Accenture Academy project aims to help children enter independent life and prepare for future careers. The target group is children aged 15 to 19 (or up to 26) who have grown up in an orphanage and are preparing to leave. Sometimes the support extends into the months after the transition to independent living. This help is much appreciated by young people, giving them reassurance and support during a challenging transition period in their lives. The project offers them a wide range of options and helps them make career choices and navigate the new stage in their lives. Based on children’s need to form a relationship with a caring person, this project promotes a personal bond between a child living in a children’s home and a case manager as their guide before leaving the home. We seek to increase the self-sufficiency and independence of children and young people as they start their independent life through timely preparation, such as gaining knowledge of the world of finance, motivation for interest in quality education, as well as preparation for job interviews, coping with the demands of employment, etc.
Long-term objectives of the project
- To motivate children and young people to improve their education,
- To offer them a wide range of educational opportunities and career choices,
- To support and accompany them in their search for an apprenticeship or part-time job,
- To prepare, support and accompany them in finding and applying for a full-time job,
- Improve their orientation in the world of personal finance,
- Overall, prepare them for independent living and support them in their search for work experience.
The Accenture Academy project was created in 2011 as part of the strategic cooperation between the Tereza Maxová Foundation and the Accenture company and is currently being implemented in 15 orphanages in the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Open Future Association. Thanks to Accenture, the project has also offered the Jobventura app, a job interview simulation which helps young people to practice this key task and thus increases the chances of success in an actual interview.
In a partnership between the Tereza Maxová Foundation and the Centre for Foster Family Care, the project assists not only those interested in adoption or foster care, but also for foster parents who have already adopted a child into their family. The main goal of the project is to provide quality information to those interested in pursuing any form of foster family care.
The Adopce.com project consists of three parts:
- The website www.adopce.com – a portal containing all important information about foster care.
- The information brochure “Guide to Foster Family Care” which walks the applicants clearly and comprehensively through all topics relating to foster care in the Czech Republic; the brochure is downloadable and a printed copy can be ordered free of charge.
- The helpline +420 233 356 701 aims to provide quick advice or information directly from experts.
The project created was founded in 2011 under the auspices of Prof. Zdeněk Matějček, PhD, CSc. We would like to thank Společně dětem o.p.s., and the Nestlé Czech Republic for their cooperation in previous years.
Children’s Crisis Centre – Project “The Journey from Hell”
This project has long been implemented by the Children’s Crisis Centre (Dětské krizové centrum – DKC), a unique professional and medical aid facility in the Czech Republic focused on abused, neglected children. The target group consists mainly of children aged 0 – 18 years and early adults (up to 26 years) affected by physical and psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or children traumatized and growing up in an environment which threatens their healthy development. DKC also provides help to families, i.e. parents, grandparents of children at risk or other significant persons (foster parents, other caring persons).
The DKC’s professional services aim primarily to ensure the safety and protection of children at risk from further attacks of physical, sexual or psychological violence; to provide children and their families with psychological support, emotional stabilization and safe accompaniment in consolidating their situations; to develop their independence and competence to deal with a long-term adverse situation; to minimize the negative impact on the child, to preserve – if in the child’s interest – family ties and to help to reintegrate the family back into society.
Tereza Maxová Foundation is a long-term partner of the DKC and has been supporting the Journey from Hell project from the beginning.
The Lighthouse project
According to an analysis by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, there are around 28,000 children in foster care in the Czech Republic, an above-average number in the European Union. The number of children growing up outside their biological family, whether in institutional care or foster care, is increasing every year. Financial difficulties are a frequent reason for the removal of children. The COVID-19 pandemic, rising energy and food prices, and inflation have contributed to the rising numbers of people facing financial problems and living on the poverty line. These were some of the reasons why the Tereza Maxová Children’s Foundation and ING Bank initiated the Lighthouse project to support parents in need and prevent children from being removed from their families.
The project objectives
The project is divided into several parts.
The first part focuses on prevention and concrete assistance to families where children are at risk of being placed in care. This support is carried out in cooperation with child protection services and aims at a one-off intervention to prevent family breakdown. The cooperation of the parents and, of course, a safe environment for the child are prerequisites.
The second part of the project centers on employment and career counselling. Mothers and fathers in the shelters are also assisted during the job search process and gaining financial independence. The career counselling courses aim to maximize the parents’ potential and help them find suitable jobs. The primary goal of the project is to boost self-confidence and motivation for financial planning, as well as securing employment.
The third part of the project is dedicated to increasing financial literacy through seminars held in shelter homes. These seminars aim to empower mothers to manage their finances and households and prevent financial problems once they are reintegrated into mainstream society. During the theoretical part, clients learn how to create a monthly financial budget, deal with debt issues, and establish a financial reserve. The practical part includes individual personal debt mapping, creating a family budget and repayment schedules, and exploring low-cost shopping options. In 2023, the Lighthouse project was awarded 2nd place in the TOP Responsible Company Helping the Neighborhood category in the TOP Responsible Company 2023 competition. This award is given annually by Business for Society, the largest platform for responsible and sustainable business in the Czech Republic.
“MADE BY” – Financial literacy for mothers in shelter homes
The project objectives
In particular, we aim to:
- Increase self-confidence and motivation for further independent livelihood,
- Provide mothers with children with knowledge in the areas of financial literacy, household care and parenting competencies,
- Help the mothers in acquiring good practical habits in handling finances, household management and childcare,
- Facilitate financial support for mothers with children,
- Help mothers to secure permanent employment.
The project currently involves 4 shelters:
- Shelter Home for Women and Mothers with Children o. p. s. Vsetín
- Shelter Home for Mothers with Children – “Family in Distress Centre” in Osek
- Shelter Home for Women and Mothers with Children in Lovosice
- Agapé Shelter Home for Women and Mothers with Children, Krupka
This tailored program includes financial literacy courses, job search assistance and overall parenting empowerment.
Since 2013, the Tereza Maxová Foundation has been implementing the project in cooperation with the Open Future Association.
To dáš! helps disadvantaged people to start their careers
Young people who grow up in an orphanage lack the same opportunities and advantages as their peers when it comes to starting their lives and entering the labour market. These young people lack role models, experience, have communication problems, often finding various standard life situations difficult. All these handicaps reflect in their skills to find and keep a job, as they struggle to deal with the demands of employment. In many cases, the job interview is already a major challenge. To help them get started, the project called To dáš! has been created as part of the international Youth Empowered strategy, which is brought to the Czech Republic by Coca-Cola HBC Czech Republic and Slovakia in cooperation with the Tereza Maxová Children’s Foundation as the strategic partners. The project To dáš! promotes self-esteem and self-worth of young disadvantaged people by organizing motivational workshops, educating them and, above all, acting as a social recruitment agency. Thanks to the To dáš! they gain knowledge, skills and receive guidance on how to succeed in the labour market.
The project “To dáš!” offers a comprehensive approach to preparing young, disadvantaged people to enter the labour market. In addition to workshops, the project offers professional diagnostics to help them better assess their skills and aptitudes for the chosen position. An important part of the project is the search for employment, which works on the principle of a social recruitment agency. Experts carefully select screened candidates for suitable positions (internships, part-time and full-time), connect them with the employers and accompany them throughout the process of adaptation to the new work-life environment, and then facilitate communication with the employer for several months after. In the framework of this project, young people can work with experts, mentors and trainers who will prepare them for the interview and strengthen their working habits. Equally important is the cooperation with employers who offer job opportunities. It is important to build trust on both sides and also the self-confidence of the new employees. Workshops organised by professionals from Coca-Cola HBC Czech Republic and Slovakia help to clarify priorities for the future and prepare them for the situations that the search for a new job and the job itself entails. The project´s target group is not only young people leaving children’s homes but also mothers at risk currently living in the shelter homes.
The scope of the project To dáš! requires erudition in several areas. Gradually, we have expanded the roster of expert partners to guarantee a high standard of offered services – for example, in human resources or law. Accenture provided the methodology, and at the same time functions as a project management consultant. The common goal of the cooperation is to connect all the dots that are necessary for the young person to successfully find and keep a job. The legal partner providing free legal services and related expertise is the law firm Bříza & Trubač. ICF, the International Federation of Coaches, provides lectures on self-development and self-education for high school students all around the Czech Republic.
The updated Legal Minimum Handbook has been prepared by our project partner “To dáš!” – Bříza & Trubač law firm.
You can download the handbook for free using the following LINK