Call for Help to Chechen children, women and families!
This is an appeal for support of our community educational program for young women of Chechnya.
For more then ten years we have been building and cultivating mutual relationships within the chechen-czech community on the grass roots level. At the beginning there was a spontaneous solidarity movement between Czechs and Chechens, victims of war and since then we have learned a lot. from each other We have managed to build the educational, social and community program for women, orphans, elderly people and others who were most damaged by the recent violent decade in Chechnya. MORE
10 years of Berkat's activities in Chechnya - general report
Beginnings: aims and profile of the activities
The Berkat association was founded as a reaction to the sympathetic response that resulted in the autumn of 1999 from the extreme violence committed during the Russian-Chechen armed conflict against the civilian population in Chechnya. The initial aim of the newly founded association was to systematically begin transforming the emotional solidarity that the people of the Czech Republic felt into clear, practical action and to create the space for ideas and to involve individual people willing and able to help gradually improve the living conditions of people who did not want or could not escape from Grozny before the war. Another important aim was to learn, through meeting and helping people in Chechnya, about their character, culture and traditions and, in so doing, to try to avoid the myths and prejudices that arise through media propaganda. MORE
The Practical Family Institute - the first year for real (January 2011)
End-of-year exams for the 1st year of an experimental education project for girls from poor and broken families known as the Eva Practical Family Institute were held in Grozny on 18th and 19th December 2010.
The girls met up with the commission of instructors at the Doezal Community Centre to prove to themselves and to the commission that they are taking this two-year general education course seriously and responsibly as students and teachers and as pioneers of a project the likes of which Chechnya has never seen. MORE
Dreams, visions and wishes are like seeds – they have to be sown at just the right time to gather the energy that brings about results. This is certainly the case in the dream of the Aluminium Queen about a patisserie in Grozny. The destinies of Elza and the patisserie could not be joined, but the idea remained and during this year’s Ramadan our ladies decided to really get moving with making the dream a reality.
Every sponsor that makes a contribution to fitting out the Patisserie will have the chance to eat well and learn about the preparation of Caucasian specialties when they stop off in Grozny! MORE
Support a recording of Chechen eyewitnesses!
(26. 9. 2010) You can now listen to five narrations by Chechen eyewitnesses at the Memory of Nation website. Three men and two women speak of deportation from Chechnya in 1944, life in exile and the most recent wars. The project of recording Chechen eyewitnesses, bringing closer in a unique way the troubled fate of this Caucasian nation, has been up and running since January this year. Recordings of the interviews are available in the original language, with some parts of the transcript translated into English and Czech. You will find the Chechen eyewitnesses at http://www.pametnaroda.cz/project/witness/id/15.
The idea behind the project, originally entitled “Memory of the Old”, came about as a result of long-standing cooperation between Berkat and Roza Muzajeva, director of the Semja charity organisation in Grozny. The idea was brought to life in cooperation with the Memory of Nation website, which brings together and makes accessible to the public the results of various oral history projects.
Czech-Chechen events, summer 2010
Chava and Doctor Lena have entered into discussions at the Department of Neuropathology at the hospital in Grozny about the possibility of starting up a project involving rehabilitation exercises for families with children suffering from complex nerve disorders. This would involve an exchange of practice in rehabilitation that draws on the well-known Vojta method. It would appear that this method is not unknown in Russia, but is used extremely strictly only at hospitals and not within the family environment, meaning that the conditions for its genuine effectiveness, based on the systematic and regular nature of exercise, are not met.
Mrs. Roza Muzajeva, "longest-serving" Berkat colleague in Chechnya, to visit the Czech Republic between 21st and 28th June 2009
She was apparently one of the first women to return to the city after the worst bombardment of Grozny to find out what was left of her home. She managed to get home in February 2000, to her half-demolished house full of rubbish (this place by the river was possibly used by a group of Russian soldiers as a temporary base), to find the words "Death to the Czechs" on the wall. (The difference between Chechens and Czechs would appear to escape certain less educated minds in Russia and Europe alike, but this particular piece of graffiti is quite remarkable given the circumstances of the time and what was to follow to this day...)
Trust is a very fragile thing
(Concept of recapitulated thoughts to the title "Distinct charity" of the magazine Metamorphosis)
The beginning of Berkat's energy was emotion - pity for people suffering in conditions that are for us unimaginable. We wanted to tie something with this emotion that would have a visible effect - so we started to find ways to do something even though we didn't have anything and we didn't know how.
Caucasus as such means for me an essence of the term crossroad. In modern world history a similar role is played by areas such as Balkan, Israel or South America. What happens in Caucasus is not only a matter of the region itself, but reflects a conflict that is a key for western civilization.
The Doezal Centre in Grozny: January - August 2008
By way of introduction I would just like to again reiterate for the umpteenth year that what we do in Chechnya is not humanitarian aid. For eight years now we have been working to the benefit of and together with the women of a city that was almost completely levelled those eight years ago. Together we come up with ideas and bring them to fruition to help these women and others find lost balance and tackle the difficulties of a life marked by disaster. ...MORE
Children from Grozny again visit the Caspian Sea
(27. 08. 2008) Last year we and our colleagues from Grozny resolved to bring to fruition a bold idea - to allow children from broken or the very poorest families the chance to take energy from the sea, sun and vitamins for a week at Izerbash spa by the Caspian Sea. I have just received an SMS from Roza Muzaeva, our longest-serving colleague and local icon of helping the needy, to tell me that the group of women and children arrived safe and sound, the weather is fine and they are all happy. They have promised to send pictures as soon as the Internet is working. They send their greetings and a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the event this year (special thanks go to the Šebera family and to Sarah Brock).
As administrator of the Friend-to-Friend Aid programme, from which we are financing this trip, I should point out that we have only taken in around one quarter of the required funds for this event this year. We have had to take the remaining money from unresolved contributions to the programme (subject to agreement with families from Grozny, of course), and therefore from the funds that we would normally invest in autumn in buying school equipment and clothes for children from "friend families" or in helping families with essential repairs to housing in emergency condition. I would therefore like to remind you that if you do decide to contribute to the current "Recuperative Holiday for Children at the Caspian Sea" programme, you will be delighting us and the children of Grozny and helping people for whom your assistance means a great deal.
(Account number: 911676001/5500, Raiffeisen Bank, constant symbol 558, variable symbol 111111)
Recuperative holiday by the sea for children from the ruins of Grozny
(4. 7. 2008) Almost thirty children from the ten worst affected families in Grozny are again able to plan a recuperative holiday by the Caspian Sea this year. With this we are building on a project from last July, when our colleagues in Chechnya organised this holiday for the first time with our financial assistance (details HERE). It was one of the most successful projects run by the Community Centre in Grozny and you now have the chance to help the sequel, as it were.
Last year's holiday took place by the Caspian Sea at the Priboj sanatorium in neighbouring Dagestan. This is a treatment centre for children with anaemia, lung diseases and immunity defects. For Chechen children whose health is none too good the visit to the seaside was literally a dream come true. The overall enjoyment of the event was helped by the stance of the manager of the sanatorium, who took excellent care of the children and provided the whole group with a considerable discount.
SOS operation as part of the Friend-to-Friend Aid to Families in Grozny project
26 children from the ten worst affected families will again be chosen this year to go on a recuperative holiday by the Caspian Sea. The accompanying team will consist of a doctor and three assistants. We plan this year's trip for the end of August.
The price of one day's stay, including treatment and meals, is 800 roubles, with a 200 rouble discount for Chechen children. The total costs therefore come out at 18 800 roubles per day. The minimum length of stay is 5 days; in other words 94 000 roubles (2550 EUR, 5400 USD).
Name of account number: Obcanske sdruzeni Berkat
SWIFT COD: EBNKCZP
Account number: 911676001/5500, Raiffeisenbank, constant symbol 558, variable symbol 111111
The "Friend-to-Friend Aid for Families in Grozny" project run by Berkat, an unincorporated association, was set up in 2003 and has been run in cooperation with the local Doezal community centre (Semja, Rodina (Family)) since 2005. The project is based on aid provided by Czech donors to Chechen families living until now in broken or alien, half-demolished houses or apartments. The families involved usually have a number of children, a single breadwinner, sometimes adoptive, and have lived through the entire war in Grozny. They have lost family members, their breadwinner, their health and the roof over their heads. Aid for these families relies on the organisation of so-called SOS campaigns: a team of women at the Doezal centre recommends an individual way of helping a specific family based on their acute needs at that time.
Translated by Channel Crossings
News from the Chechnya section from winter to spring 2008
(2. 7. 2008) The beginning of July is a time for great uncertainty and mounting problems to come to an end as a payment from the Ministry of the Interior for the 1st quarter of 2008 has arrived in the Berkat account, bringing an end to the period of waiting and uncertainty as to whether we would be able to continue with our projects at all.
Nebyl nalezen žádný článek.
Translated by Channel Crossings