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Since September 2019, the Organization for Aid to Refugees has been implementing a project to support host care, focused on the search for, training and continuous support of those interested in host care for unaccompanied minors in the Czech Republic.
WHO ARE UNACCOMPANIED MINORS?
An unaccompanied minor (abbreviated as UAM) is a term referring to a person under the age of 18 who arrives in the EU unaccompanied by an adult who would be responsible for him/her. In recent years, around 30 to 60 unaccompanied minors come to the Czech Republic every year. These are mostly minors from Afghanistan, lower numbers of children come from Vietnam or Iraq, other countries such as Pakistan, Syria, Morocco are more individuals. Due to the numerous dangers and risks that minors face along the way, these are mostly boys, girls come only exceptionally. For the same reasons, most children are over 15 years old.
As well as Czech children, lonely foreign children are materially taken care of in the institution. Due to the fact that most unaccompanied minors come from a functional family that has remained at home, their social ties have been broken but not completely, and they are often in occasional contact with their families by telephone. What these children lack is orientation in Czech society and psychological support.
OPU meets all unaccompanied minors in institutional care, describes their life in the Czech Republic and their options in terms of their stay, study, housing, work and other aspects that interest them and are important to them. However, we know that practical experience and at least occasional encounters with the family and the creation of a mutual emotional bond are essential for these lonely children.
In 2020, 66 foreign children without parents came to the Czech Republic, all of whom are placed in institutional care. As part of the implemented project, OPU offers these children the opportunity to spend time in the family, to participate in the daily life of an ordinary household and to better manage complex beginnings in a new country. But we can’t do it without you.
WE ARE CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR NEW HOSTS
Offer your help and support to young foreigners and show them a life in ordinary families in the Czech Republic and help them find their way in our society.
You will not be alone in this! Throughout the process, OPU will professionally train you and then offer continuous professional support throughout the involvement in the project.
Who can get involved?
Family, individual or partner couple, Czech or mixed, with place of residence in Prague.
What does host care entail?
Regular meetings with a minor foreigner during leisure activities and then at your home, getting to know each other, spending free time together, learning a language, new culture, sharing, enrichment, new friendships.
Thanks to the host care, the family will get:
- Feeling good about being able to help others and being able to experience someone’s transformation
- Awareness of the value of one’s own family
- A new dimension of life
- Your own children will learn to accept children from other backgrounds
WHY IS HOST CARE IMPORTANT?
Host care involves long-term and recurring contacts of a child living in an institutional setting with family, couples or individuals (usually on weekends, possibly with an overnight stay). The purpose is to help the child with integration into Czech society, to provide an opportunity to experience the functioning of an ordinary family and relationships in it, to develop an emotional relationship. Within the established relationship, the child’s sense of acceptance, support and awareness that he belongs somewhere and is accepted deepens. Among other things, enrichment with knowledge of another culture, customs, thinking can be beneficial for the family. For both parties, the time spent together means expanding the social and cultural background. At present, this is the only way in which foreign children can spend their time with their families in the Czech Republic and become, at least for a while, part of it.
If you are interested in more information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +420 608 063 090.