The NGO Community
Interested in getting involved in the community - helping the elderly, helping protect the environment or help stop human rights abuses? Then get involved! Even if you don't know Czech, many NGOs (non-governmental organizations) need English-speakers to edit texts, and translate or write documents. By getting involved you'll end up meeting a network of exciting people with the same interests as you. Here are a few NGOs where you can show initiative and get active. Volunteer - what do you have to lose?
People in Need
Sokolska 18, Prague 2; www.clovekvtisni.cz/english/index.htm
This is the leading Czech NGO monitoring and working on human rights, poverty and famine, and other issues in the Czech Republic and around the world. They have major operations in Iraq, Chechnya, Afghanistan and elsewhere in Africa and Asia.
Gender Studies, o.p.s.
Gorazdova 20, Prague 2;www.feminismus.cz/vpriprave_en.shtml
This is the leading (but not the only) feminist organization in the Czech Republic. Besides their work on gender issues, they also have an excellent library of English-language gender-related books you can access.
World Carfree Network (formerly Carbusters)
Kratka 26, Prague 10; www.worldcarfree.net
It can be hard to participate in Czech environmental groups if you don't have the needed expertise on key environmental issues (energy policies, toxic waste, etc). One group you could be active in is the World Carfree Network. Though global in scope, they are headquartered in Prague. Their English-speaking staff (some of whom a re American) could find the right niche for you. It's also a way to get connected with the "environmental scene."
Students of the Spring 2004 program joining the Prague Carbusters on their regular Thursday Car-Free Day protest rides
Greenpeace Ceskomalinska 27, Prague 6; www.greenpeace.cz/english.shtml
Interested in direct environmental action? Greenpeace is also very active in the Czech Republic, is led by Czechs here, and focuses on Czech environmental problems. Participating with them would be a great way of learning about these issues in post-communist countries and what kinds of strategies Czech NGOs use to protect the environment.
Organization for Aid to Refugees
Na Porici 12, Prague 1; www.azyl.cz
This is one of the leading organizations that provide assistance to, and monitor the conditions of, refugees and asylum seekers in the Czech Republic.
Zitna 49; Praha 1; www.romea.cz/english
This is one of the main Roma (gypsy) organizations providing news and discussions about Roma in the Czech Republic. They publish a monthly journal Romano Vodi (Romani Soul). Perhaps they could use your help on their English website - and in return you would learn a tremendous amount about the conditions of Roma in the country.
U Kralovske louky 5, Praha 5; www.athinganoi.cz/
Romani NGO of and for Romani college and high school students, focused mainly on issues of education and integration
Czech Blind United
Krakovska 21, Prague 1; www.braillnet.cz/menueng.htm
Have an interest in learning about the conditions of the blind? This is one of the many organizations working on the conditions of the handicapped in the Czech Republic.
Akord Day Center
We hope you get the picture - this is only a sampling of the many NGOs active in the country. All of you have particular interests, and you could enrich your experience by getting involved in groups with similar interests as you. Though you may have a tough time getting involved at first, you also have the chance to build contacts and friendships with locals and talented activists in Prague.