Partners Czech Republic
Partners Czech o. p. s.
Partners-Czech was founded in 1991 to support the development of democracy in the Czech Republic. Today, Partners-Czech focuses on education, ethnic and national minority issues, NGO development and local government reform to further encourage the evolution of democratic practices in the country. Partners-Czech specializes in working with Roma and non-Roma populations to resolve differences and improve representation of marginalized groups, and in strengthening democratic governance through increased cooperation between police and communities.
Highlights from Partners-Czech’s programs include:
Ethnic and Minority Issues: Partners-Czech conducts training, consulting, and capacity building for Roma and non-Roma groups in areas where tensions between Roma and non-Roma populations are high. In particular, Partners-Czech offers trainings in cross-cultural communication and conflict resolution to local government officials, unemployment officers, and social workers who work frequently with Roma citizens. Partners-Czech coordinates and facilitates public policy dialogues, provides small grants to improve Roma access to social services (such as education and housing), and establishes inter-ethnic ‘Conciliation Commissions’ which serve as sustainable structures capable of mediating community disputes.
Crime Prevention and Law Education: Partners-Czech fosters the integration of juvenile criminal offenders into society. Through encouraging and supporting these youth to become productive members of their communities, this program contributes to the reduction of risk behavior and relapse. Partners-Czech conducts educational programs for at-risk youth, teachers and police officers to strengthen social competencies, knowledge of legal rights and responsibilities, and proficiencies in basic communication and conflict resolution techniques. Complementing these programs, Partners-Czech provides training programs on topics of crime prevention for police officers and teachers in middle and high schools.
Civic Education: Partners-Czech focuses on integrating democratic values and processes into all levels of education, from pre-school to university classrooms. Understanding that a healthy democracy requires citizens to express and exchange ideas among themselves and with their governmental representatives, Partners-Czech works to increase the knowledge, ability and attitudes of teachers, students and policy-makers to effectively participate in deliberations related to democratic principles. To achieve this, Partners-Czech provides long-term seminars and training programs in a variety of topics including free speech, equal representation, rule of law, and cooperative conflict resolution.
In November 2012, Partners-Czech implemented the "Millennium Development Goals at Schools" project. Through this initiative, 35 students and 6 teachers discussed controversial issues regarding the developing world. 17 students from an elementary school in the town of Steti then had the opportunity to learn about ecological footprints and analyzed the effect that their school had on the environment. Partners-Czech also hosted a Teacher Exchange Study Visit, in which teachers from Poland and an NGO member came to the Czech Republic to share their experiences in development education.
Third Sector Development: Partners-Czech provides ongoing training and consulting services for the development of and cooperation among NGOs. These services include training programs for staff in strategic planning, fundraising, meeting facilitation, team building and team management, cooperative decision making, and conflict management; consultation and assistance in the development of sustainability plans; and the facilitation of cross-sectoral negotiations and cooperative activities.
In September 2006, Partners-Czech was recognized for its work promoting democracy in the Czech Republic, and in particular for its work on the Roma Integration Program. Cardinal Miroslav Vlk, the head of the Ecumenical Board of Churches, and Miroslav Sobotka, chairman of the Czech Senate, presented Director Dana Rabiňáková with a medal commemorating the day of Czech patron Saint Wenceslas.