She is young, she is motivated and she is volunteering for Humanitas AFRIKA. Jana Bartova is a native Czech who cares about building peaceful and harmonious society where everyone can fulfil his or her potential.
Where are you from and what are you doing in HUMANITAS AFRIKA?
I am a student, doing my Phd. in International Relations. I have been volunteering in Humanitas Afrika for about three years. I have learned about the organisation at the university and rapidly became interested in everything they do on the ground. Being curious by nature, I am passionate about African culture and HUMANITAS was an excellent opportunity to discover, learn, and expand my knowledge about the continent and its people. I am not an African, but Humanitas is an organisation that welcomes Czech and African people with the same values and willingness to contribute to the development of both, Czech Republic and the countries of origin.
Tell us about the HUMANITAS AFRIKA. What are they doing?
Humanitas Afrika was founded in 2000 as an African-Czech civic association. It provides information on the African continent through library services and a variety of educational and cultural events for the general public. It raises awareness, facilitates the integration of newly arrived migrants in the host country, but also contributes to creating a positive dialogue between people, cultures, countries and continents. Humanitas Afrika implements many educations and cultural projects in the Czech Republic. It focuses on youth engagement and educational activities for children in schools. In Africa, Humanitas is currently present in Ghana and Kenya, implementing development projects for children and young women, and represent interest of all African countries.
Our members are coming with diverse backgrounds, cultures and ideas. They are of all ages, but our motivation and willingness to contribute and be part of a more global process of learning, discovering and sharing, bands us together in HUMANITAS AFRIKA.
What are the most common challenges the ADDOs like HUMANITAS are facing?
The organisations like HUMANITAS have a very important role to play in the welcoming and integrating for example migrants. They serve as an information and connection focal points where people can exchange, meet, create bonds and feel fulfilled. One of our crucial missions is to speak about migration and, through our example, send a message to the general public that migrants are different from what most of the media say and feature. Our most common challenges are time and funding, as our work is based on the volunteering of our devoted members. We have great ideas and plans, but very often we lack time and sufficient funding to implement them.
Why it is important to associate youth to this diaspora engagement?
Young generations are full of innovative ideas, creative solutions and willingness to move the red lines. Very often, their voices are not heard. It is important to give them space and opportunities to voice their needs and visions. We also believe that youth should work together with older generations in order to learn, share knowledge and create an inter-generational dialogue.
Only together we can build a harmonious society where no one is left behind. In HUMANITAS AFRIKA we are striving to make this come true.