Generosity and goodwill spread amongst the city of Prague, as FriendShip Prague shows that a little bit of kindness can go a long way and do the world of good.
FriendShip Prague is a new organization that connects Czechs and expats together, provides support and friendship to people most in need, especially in the homeless community.
With thousands of people living rough in the streets, this non for profit organization shows compassion and friendship for those who may need it most. The cooperation between volunteers and the organization brings a helping hand, not only through donations but with guidance and support for vulnerable people.
Founder and director of FriendShip, Renni, started the organization after experiencing life-threatening surgery during her cancer treatment which made her take a step back in life and value how lucky she has been.
“It was the first time I had felt real physical pain. Before I had never really taken into consideration the hardships and difficulties other people faced,” she said to Prague Morning.
After her recovery, she promised herself that she would strive to do a better job in helping others and giving back to people in need. With this new desire to offer her support to the vulnerable, she set out on a remarkable journey which led her to where she is today.
Never having volunteered before, she began this new journey in Comunità di Sant’Egidio, Italy in 2010 where she volunteered and began supporting homeless people and offering guidance.
After relocating to Prague in 2019, she continued this journey when she offered her hand in helping the homeless by joining a group of locals who met every weekend at Hlavní Nádraží to offer support, advice, and donating food and clothing to the homeless community.
This led her to begin FriendShip, an online community which aims to bring people together of all nationalities, whether local to Prague or expats and give them the opportunity to volunteer and be a form of support to vulnerable communities.
Renni is inspired by the touching stories she has heard over the years of people’s hardships and the wonderful people she has met who inspire her to do what she does. She is driven by compassion and friendship and wants to ensure everyone she meets is there to listen and offer her support.
FriendShip aims to remove the stigma and stereotypes that exist against homeless people and urge people to support their fellow man with empathy, respect, and understanding.
She adds: “This could happen to any of us at any time. I like to connect with everyone in this position and remind them that they are worthy and that they matter.” She believes that these raw moments of openness and connection is what could plant a seed for those looking to turn their life around.
There are currently over 5000 people living rough in Prague, with growing figures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With many people living in at-risk situations, it is more important than ever that FriendShip gains followers in support of their cause.
FriendShip encourages those to help in any way they can, whether that is in donations, volunteering, engagement with the community, or spreading awareness about the issue at hand. Any generous donations are welcome and will go a long way.
They are focussing on running events and initiatives which bring people together and have a positive influence on the homeless community. They organize a weekly food distribution at Sophie’s Hostel and Amadeus Shelters around Prague, and a monthly food distribution walk where volunteers can bring donations, their support, and their smiles to those who need it.
“We are seeing younger participants volunteer often. It is so refreshing to know the younger generation cares and are compassionate in their surroundings,” Renni said.
FriendShip values compassion, cooperation, and inclusion. They welcome people of backgrounds and beliefs and want to unite people in helping a hand to the people that need it most.