One World is one of the cornerstones of the People in Need organisation. Since its inception in 1999, it has become the most important festival of its kind in the world and in 2007 it won a special mention from UNESCO for its contribution to human rights education.
People in Need was established in 1992 by a group of war correspondents and foreign correspondents who were no longer satisfied with simply bringing back information to the Czech Republic and therefore began sending out aid. People in Need has gradually established itself as a humanitarian organisation that aims to help in troubled regions and to support the observance of human rights around the world.
People in Need provides immediate humanitarian assistance to people in trouble during natural disasters or in conflict crises, both in the Czech Republic (e.g. during floods) and abroad. At the same time, it focuses on arranging long-term assistance for people existing in poverty and poor living conditions (Africa, Asia, and Europe).
The organisation implements development programmes, which strive to improve people’s access to education and healthcare, as well as the availability of potable water and sanitation. These also aim to develop local means of earning a living and to involve people in processes influencing events in their countries. In the 24 years it has been active, People in Need has provided humanitarian and development aid in more than 40 countries.
From the outset, People in Need’s basic activities have included helping dissidents and supporting civil society in unfree countries and states that are undergoing a transition to democracy. Its human rights team focuses on work in several dictatorships, authoritarian regimes, and countries whose experience of the transition to democracy is similar to that of the Czech Republic.
Programmes to support human rights are currently being implemented in Eastern Europe (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova (Transnistria), Russia and Ukraine), Latin America (Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua), Myanmar, Egypt and Libya. Every year, People in Need bestows the Homo Homini award to individuals or groups who have made contributions to the promotion of human rights, democracy and non-violent solutions for political conflicts.
The team in charge of social integration programmes supports the social advancement of poor and vulnerable families through consultancy and educational services. In more than 60 Bohemian, Moravian, and Slovak municipalities, it provides support to local authorities, leading to social cohesion and community development.
It assists children from socially disadvantaged families to get an education, which subsequently improves their chances on the labour market. It motivates parents not only to take an active approach towards their children’s education, but also towards resolving the family’s general living conditions. It seeks solutions in cooperation with schools, local-authority bodies, the police, and other non-profit organisations, and its clients/partners actively participate in all activities.
People in Need raises Czech society’s awareness of poverty, migration, and breaches of human rights. It also strives to reduce racial and ethnic prejudices as well as xenophobia. The Variants educational programme focuses primarily on teachers and university students, for whom it prepares seminars, conferences, and workshops on the subject of intercultural and global development education.
The One World in Schools programme works with teachers, pupils, and students – providing them with documentary films and other accompanying materials for learning about topical themes from today’s world and recent history. The Development Awareness and Migration Awareness programmes strive to increase awareness of serious social issues through the media.
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