30 years of People In Need: a grassroots story

Photo: Daniela Honigmann, Radio Prague International

People in Need is one of Czechia’s most well-known NGOs, providing humanitarian relief to crisis-affected regions and implementing long-term development projects and educational and human rights programmes around the world. It has been 30 years since it adopted its current name on 21 March 1994, so on the occasion, I spoke to the non-profit’s founder and director, Šimon Pánek, to find out about its beginnings and how it got its name.

It’s been 30 years since Člověk v tísni (People in Need) got its name, but the organisation has been around a couple of years longer than that. Could you tell us briefly about its very beginnings and how you got started?

“Soon after communism fell, conflicts popped up like mushrooms in many of the multi-ethnic former communist countries. Because communism, besides everything else, pretended that we have a new, stronger, better identity – the socialist or communist identity – not Czech or Slovak, or Croat or Bosnian, or Russian or Chechen. So unfortunately, along with newfound freedom, conflicts appeared.

See the rest here.

Author: Anna Fodor