“By foreigners and for foreigners”: Youth Included promotes migrant youth integration in Prague

Youth Included, a grassroots organization founded in 2013, has been providing opportunities and support for migrant youth in Prague. Managed by foreigners for foreigners, the organization aims to bridge the language gap and create a sense of belonging and community for individuals seeking to explore their talents, engage in projects, and integrate into Czech society.

Back in 2009, right after moving to Prague from Russia, Ekaterina Kokkalou started volunteering for different education-related organizations. Within a year, she joined the NGO sector in the city, and it wasn’t long before she decided to start a grassroots organization herself. By 2013, Youth Included had become a reality, Ekaterina explains:

“It’s quite unique because it’s managed by foreigners and for foreigners. And the reason was that in Czech NGOs, there is one very interesting specificity, that it’s always just in Czech, so that was the reason behind our organization. We wanted to have the possibility to open this world of NGOs to locals who don’t speak Czech. First Youth Included’s official language was English, and from 2018-2019 Russian also became an official language. This was also a big deal now because of the influx of refugees.”

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Author: Marina Vidal Rico