The Pomozte Detem television spectacular will be held in April here in the Czech Republic over the Easter Holiday weekend. The campaign was conceived and directed by NROS, the Foundation for the Development of a Civic Society, but as Blanka Sramkova, their campaign coordinator told me, the original inspiration came the United Kingdom.
"I think that the impulse of BBC Children in Need - a big charity project dating from the 1970s - was very important to us. Society in Great Britain is very used to charity support. We had the possibility to visit the programme and talk to the producers and directors of charities."
And thus was that in 1999 Pomozte Detem came into being. Since that time it has raised over 11 million Czech crowns, or around 300,000 US dollars and funded 104 child-related projects. Blanka Sramkova again..
"For example support for children that are without parents, are handicapped or the children of refugees."
A small army of volunteers will be manning the telephones to record donation pledges from the public, and of course the Internet will be playing an even greater part than last year, as Inge Krupickova from the Internet provider Netcentrum explains.
"This is new thing - help through the Internet. We may pay some money on line to the bank but it's not just a place to pay money. There is also a lot of information about this project."
But these types of high-profile fund raising campaigns are still very much a new phenomena here in the Czech Republic. So are the public apathetic about charity in general, or alternatively can we expect a few records to be broken on Monday April 16th? Blanka Stramova is optimistic..
"I'm not sure of it but we have some date from STEM (public research agency). We know that about 62 percent of people know about our project and where their money is going. About 78 percent of people support us."
You can find out more information about the 2001 Help the Children campaign on the website: pomozte-detem.centrum.cz
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