In 2009 I received a final stage cancer diagnosis and experienced a life-threatening surgery. After the initial reaction, “Why is this happening to me?”, I realized that during my life I had never really taken into consideration the hardships and difficulties other people faced.
So, I promised myself I would help people in need once and if I was healed.
Immediately after my cancer remission one year later 😊, I joined Comunità di Sant’Egidio in Italy and since 2010 I have been supporting homeless people in different capacities.
In 2019, when I moved to Prague, I joined a group of locals and expat volunteers who were meeting every Saturday at the main train station, Hlavní Nádraží, with the goal of helping homeless people by providing them with food and other items.
When the main organizers of the group left Prague, I decided to take responsibility of coordinating the Facebook group in order to ensure that the support continued. Thanks to the amazing contribution of the group members and even throughout COVID restrictions, we started cooperating with other existing NGO’s and through these cooperations we were connected to Sophie’s Hostel in IP Pavlova and later on with Hotel Amadeus in Žižkov. Establishing these connections and relationships allowed us to continue providing food, care, and clothes to people in need who had temporarily been accommodated there.
Seeing the success and amazing contributions that were coming in from the Facebook group I started dreaming about launching FriendShip, a united community of expats, Czech people, and homeless people who spend time together learning from each other and connecting over shared experiences.
I consider myself to be an unstoppable dream-maker and implementer, and I am in love with love, effort, and kindness.
The homeless I have met through the years are lonely and desperate people who struggle with health issues and mental disorders, and have experienced employment loss, the loss of loved ones; everything. However, the most disheartening loss of all, is their loss of self dignity and hope.
This could happen to any of us at any time. For this reason, I try to lead with empathy and a sense of solidarity. I enjoy connecting with them and reminding them that they are worthy and that they matter. I believe that these moments of connection and normalcy are seeds for change and a potential rebirth in their life.
Registering an NGO is a challenge for a foreigner like me who does not speak Czech, but it will allow us to become an established and formally recognized organization and to reach a wider population of the homeless community and provide them with the goods and services they need and deserve.
Give a hand, share your heart and join us at FriendShipPrague.com