We show that helping others can be a normal part of every day. That's why we have a lot of students volunteering. In return, they gain a sense of responsibility for the world they live in and learn to look at complex social situations through different eyes.
Volunteering accompanies our students from Prima to Octave. They get involved by their own choice, otherwise of course it would not be volunteering. We have been showing students the beauty and meaningfulness of volunteering since their first year. As a result, we are able to involve most of the high school students in it on a regular basis.
We offer activities to each year group in a way that is as meaningful to the students as possible given their age. We select new volunteer opportunities so that each student can choose to help in a way that suits their character and feels good about it. For older students, we appreciate it when they come up with their own projects. In recent years, volunteering has been part of the International Baccalaureate programme, a section called CAS – Community, Activity, Service.
Helping at School
Help in the School Grounds
We guide our students to become academically strong individuals while remaining a strong part of the community. Volunteer activities on campus help us to do that. For example, students help maintain the school library, tutor younger students, or care for classmates in the after-school program. They also organize various events, such as the Valentine's Day celebration, Christmas dinner or Children's Day, which have been adding to the homely atmosphere at Open Gate for many years.
- Recycling Company – consistent recycling and cleaning up the school grounds.
- Tutoring – assisting underclassmen and fellow students.
- Assisting teachers in the school, in the daycare, in the library or on the school farm. Helping to organise open days, guiding visitors, etc.
- Buddy Programme – older students accompany newcomers.
From the beginning of our studies we also build interest in public affairs. Therefore, we cooperate with the Babice municipality and help, for example, with cleaning up the garbage or organizing various events in the village. When you come to run a quarter marathon with us, you will experience it for your feet.
Helping Other Organisations
Olive Children's Treatment Centre Říčany u Prahy
Here our students tutor young patients in English, German, French or Spanish.
Primary School and Kindergarten Mukařov
Students here help children to learn new skills in a playful way.
Cardinal Beran Home for the Elderly in Mukařov
Older students of the grammar school come here to read to the seniors from their favourite books, play chess or ping pong with them... ...and sometimes just listen to stories. It's the time spent together that counts. Over the many years of working together, many strong intergenerational friendships have been forged.
Doubrava Care Centre
Here our oldest students help seriously ill seniors. It is a tough encounter with reality, but also a place that evokes deep emotions.
NEMO Primary School
Publishing a school magazine is not easy. Our students give the pupils of this Říčany school the experience of writing, formatting and editing a magazine.
One of two regular foreign missions that our students have the opportunity to participate in. In the villages they help with the restoration of local infrastructure, while in Mumbai, India, they are involved in teaching PC work or English. Fourteen days of concentrated experience with a completely different culture and extreme poverty reveals to the students who is a true global citizen – a person who is aware of the favourable conditions for life that fate has bestowed upon him, but at the same time is sensitive to the problems of those who do not have such a background.
Our septimans learn about the life of the Czech community in a remote part of Europe. They help in every possible way – for example, they brought school supplies, computers or bicycles to local children. They helped build a playground to support young families who are fighting hard to preserve the traditions and life of the local community in Banat. They have also helped to mark out nearly 100 km of hiking trails through the local beauty spots.
Support of Charity Projects
Volunteering is not the only way for us to help – we also get involved with students in various charity projects. We select them so that they fit in with our concept of volunteering and so that our students get a different experience through them. We show the students the breadth of help needed, where everyone can choose what interests them and where they personally want to help.
Run and Help
Run Help was started years ago in our school. Over time we handed over its organisation to the Barriers Account and today hundreds of other schools, institutions, companies or groups of friends are involved in addition to us. Every year we „run" together to raise money for children and young people with disabilities.
Rozum a Cit (Sense and Sensibility)
We regularly help an organisation that supports foster families by selling products. But Open Gate students are also involved in producing the annual foster family reunion.
Kapka Naděje (Drop of Hope)
On several occasions we have sent proceeds from our volunteer work to this particular foundation, which helps children with hematopoietic disorders and cancer.
We also regularly participate in the September Světluška (Firefly) Days. We sell small items at the stand in front of the primary school, and the older students go all the way to Říčany with them. We also teach the students how to organise such an event, how to address people when selling, how to ask questions and how to handle negative reactions with clarity. In addition, we take the seconds to the Potmě café, where they can literally feel their impaired vision. There they will meet blind people and learn directly from them how to approach them to offer help on the street or in other situations.
Šance Foundation and Vánoční Hvězdy (Christmas Stars)
We help with the pre-Christmas poinsettia sale. The proceeds go to help hematologically, oncologically and chronically ill children and their families at the Children's Clinic of the Faculty Hospital Olomouc.
The Beauty of Helping
Proceeds from some of our charity sales go to the foundation, which specialises in helping the elderly. This is to show students that it is not only people with disabilities or sick children who need our help. In addition, our volunteers were involved in the organisation of a fundraising evening at the R. Brzobohatý Theatre.
By selling hearts we raise money to help seriously ill children.
A camp for children of parents in detention and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, some of our students participate themselves. Some of our Sextans and Septimans, in their roles as camp counselors, help bring the idea of learning to create a „family“ from the people around them to life.
Hope for the Four Paws
We also raise money for animals in distress. They need not only regular care and walking, but also food or vaccinations.
Some of our students come up with their own projects to help others.
Donate a Bag
Our student Martin collects used but preserved school bags and briefcases from classmates and gives them to children from orphanages.
IT for Girls
Our student Nela is helping to bust the myth that girls are not as good at IT as boys.
Food for Life
Klára and her classmates Adéla, Kačka and many others, whom she has introduced to baking, offer visitors to our campus a variety of treats for a voluntary donation. The money is then handed over by the students to a pre-selected organization.