WE’RE 30-YEARS-OLD!Published: Jun 2, 2022 Reading time: 4 minutes
The COVID-19 pandemic, a tornado in Moravia, a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, rising prices in the Czech Republic and food crises in poorer nations worldwide. These are just some of the difficulties People in Need has worked on over the past year, in addition to more “normal” daily tasks. Although our work is far from finished, let’s take a look at our past and commemorate PIN’s first 30 years of existence.
Thirty years ago, a group of war journalists and volunteers banded together and decided to try to help those in crisis. This group of do-gooders has since grown into an organisation with 2,600 employees who help more than three million people a year in 33 different countries worldwide.
“It all started 30 years ago, when a group of volunteers convinced the Czech public that they could make a difference and deliver concrete aid to war-torn crisis zones. Many things have changed since then, but our values remain the same: respect and humility for those we work for and self-confidence and courage in the face of any obstacles that come our way. We focus on results and the impact of our work," says People in Need Director and Co-founder, Šimon Pánek.
An important milestone in PIN’s history was that after we stepped out of the post-Soviet space, we could really establish ourselves in Syria and significantly expand the delivery of aid here in the Czech Republic. Additionally, although we’ve worked in Ukraine since 2014, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, nearly half a million people have contributed over 1.8 billion CZK (roughly €73 million) to our SOS Ukraine collection fund.
“Putin’s aggression against Ukraine is a culmination of pragmatic, forceful and cynical global undercurrents toward human life, which have undoubtedly increased in prevalence around the world. That said, the great sense of solidarity that has emerged acts as a sort of renaissance regarding the ideas that aggression will not be tolerated and that freedom, human rights and peace are not guaranteed. We must take care of them and demonstrate that values like goodness based on helping one another, kindness, truth, and love have not been forgotten. They are, in fact, the most important things we have,” says Pánek.
In the past 30 years, we’ve…
- Helped in 70 countries around the world
- Delivered assistance to 3,300,000 people globally
- Been involved in educational programmes of 4,177 schools in Czechia
- Dispatched 3,250 volunteers to tutor kids around the Czech Republic
- Aided 46,000 gain treatment for malnutrition and access to healthcare
- Provided 2,656 drinking water facilities
- Helped 860 human rights defenders/yearly
- Assisted 7,300 inhabitants following the tornado in the east of the CZ
- Provided professional development training to 51,000 teachers in the CZ
- Sold 1,699,384 tickets to the One World Festival
- Raised 469,340,000 CZK (roughly €18 million) for flooding in Czechia
- Employed 2,669 employees in 2022.
In the Czech Republic, we step in where state support is limited
In the Czech Republic, People in Need operates in more than two-thirds of primary and secondary schools where state support is lacking. We provide teachers with free materials for teaching modern Czechoslovak history and more complex current events. We focus on media literacy, which is key to teaching students how to understand the changes taking place in the world around them and protect democracy.
We’ve assisted over 5,000 teachers, teaching assistants and other pedological staff who undergo professional development with People in Need every year. We support 400 volunteers who tutor children whose parents struggled to receive a good education. In total, we aid in 14 regions around the country. People in Need also runs a helpline for those in need of additional assistance, including pre-schoolers and services that aid with social disabilities and debt-counselling. Our services are available in 57 different locations around the country. In the last calendar year, we assisted more than 23,000 people who found themselves in a difficult situation.
Globally, we provide aid to countries in crisis, economically impoverished nations and places where democracy struggles
People in Need works in war zones and nations with long-term crises. Today, the organisation holds very important positions in both Ukraine and Syria. Our Humanitarian and Development Aid programmes operate in 25 different nations worldwide and focus largely on the transfer of skills and know-how to the most vulnerable individuals. As a result, these individuals learn to deal with adverse natural and social conditions and develop the skills necessary to assist should the same situation arise again.
Our Human Rights department operates in countries with authoritarian regimes, where basic human rights are severely repressed, and civil society is more or less paralysed. They also work in nations undergoing transformation and where the historical events of the Czech Republic can act as inspiration to the emerging civil society. We’ve also opened several new missions around Latin America and in Vietnam, where we help independent journalists, lawyers, and disadvantaged minorities and support various civic and artistic projects. In 2021, we provided some form of direct assistance to 726 people in 18 different countries.