Among European countries, Czech Republic has one of the highest numbers of children growing up in institutional care. Tereza Maxová Foundation prevents undesired removal of children from the family environment and helps disadvantaged children and young people to realize their potential through better education, mentoring and personal development. In recent years it has been directly supporting students from orphanages and foster care.
Hana was removed from her family and placed in the orphanage when she was 11. The fact that she found people she could trust helped her to overcome the initial shock. She was always good student and the adjustment phase did not prevent her from reaching her career goals. She successfully graduated from the economical high school. Although only 0.3% of people growing up in the Czech orphanages will study in university, Hana aimed high and this year, she completed her studies for the Engineer degree in the University of Finance and Administration. The foundation helped her to finance her English language courses. “Thanks to your help, I am once again closer to reaching my dreams,” says Hana.
Radek was placed in the infant care home after the birth, later moving to the orphanage in North Bohemia. His problems started in the primary school. As a Roma boy from the orphanage, he stood out and was picked on by his classmates. Conflict with his class teacher finally resulted in the decision to move Radek to secondary school in Prague. Here his grades improved, and Radek found a new confidence that helped him to navigate through the teenage years. In the high school, he studied economy. Then he decided to stay in the orphanage and enter the university classes while the foundations helped him to cover the costs. After finishing his bachelor degree, Radek now studies marketing communication. With other young people of similar fate, he also founded an NGO. Through their personal stories and advice, they help children from orphanages to gain better understanding of their rights and options. “In the secondary school, I would never think that I would one day study in the university. I’m happy that the foundation honoured me with their trust and positive energy. Now I am planning to help other children from orphanages to find their voice,” says Radek.
Since 2010, Tereza Maxová Foundation has received £27,337.59 of funding from DM Thomas Foundation.