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 made a promise to myself: if I healed, I would dedicate my life to helping those in need.
Immediately after my cancer remission one year later 😊, I initiated my journey of supporting homeless individuals and I joined Comunità di Sant’Egidio in Italy. Since 2010 I have been supporting people in need 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, with the goal of helping homeless people by providing them with food and clothes.
I had never really planned to establish an organization but 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 to our Friends 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 this cooperation we were connected to Sophie’s Hostel in IP Pavlova and later on with Hotel Amadeus in Žižkov, providing food, care, and clothes to people in need who had temporarily been accommodated there during the pandemic.
Seeing the success and amazing generosity 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, connecting, sharing and learning from each other.
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 saddest loss of all, is their loss of hope. I come myself from a background of a dysfunctional family, and I have personally experienced the challenges of a very difficult life. For this reason, I try to lead with empathy and a sense of solidarity. I truly enjoy connecting with them and make them feeling they are worthy and that they matter. I believe that these moments of connection, normalcy and humanity are seeds for a potential change in their life. I consider myself to be an unstoppable dream-maker, and I am in love with love, effort, and kindness. I firmly believe in actions over words. I tend not to share my personal story, largely because I prefer to emphasize present gratitude and abundance rather than recall past pain.
Registering an NGO is a challenge for a foreigner like me who does not speak Czech, a full time employer and mom, 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