Czech NGOs active in Beslan
Following the tragedy in Beslan, where more than 300 people died in a school that had been occupied by terrorists, the Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda met the Russian ambassador to Prague, Alexey Fedotov this week. He reiterated the Czech Republic's offer to provide rehabilitation stays for the Russian children in this country, complete with post-traumatic counselling and care. The largest Czech health insurance company has already begun setting up stays by the sea for 180 children from Beslan.
"Of course, immediately when it happened on the 1st of September, I was in touch with the director of the Caritas and we are trying to find out a way to help more efficiently together. Every day we call each other and discuss the proper actions. Yes there is a cooperation with a local Caritas and also we cooperate with UN agencies present in Ingushetia and Ossetia and also with international NGOs here in the area."
Another Czech charity, People in Need, has been working in the Northern Caucasus region since 2000. Livia Kusa is education programme officer at the People in Need's mission in Ingushetia.
For the people of Beslan the Czech support will be little more than a drop in the ocean, but it does at least offer immediate and concrete help to a city in a state of trauma.