Today in Mailbox: baby-boxes in the Czech Republic, the status of Kosovo, response to One on One and the Sunday Music Show. Listeners quoted: Lynda-Marie Hauptmann, Joe T. Vosoba, Siegfried Rambaum, David Eldridge.

Baby box
Hello and welcome to Radio Prague’s Mailbox, a show which gives you, the listeners and readers, a chance to voice your comments and ask questions regarding our programmes and life in the Czech Republic in general.

Earlier this month, Radio Prague reported on three newborns who were left at different baby-boxes around the country within less than a week. The monitored facilities have already saved 53 unwanted children since being introduced in the Czech Republic several years ago. Recently baby-boxes came under criticism from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which says they violate several provisions of the UN Convention.

Lynda-Marie Hauptmann from the United States responded to the story:

“I just read the story about the baby girl left in the box in Frýdek-Místek. I'm glad to read that she is in good health, and I hope that she will be placed for adoption with a loving permanent family.

“But why is the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child condemning the so-called Baby Boxes? How do these violate the rights of the children who have been placed in them? While it is true that the children would be with their birth parents, and know their families and their heritage, wouldn't it be so much worse for them if poor, desperate or even (possibly) mentally unstable parents abandoned them where they could not be found in time to save their lives?

“I think before condemning the Czech Republic's ‘Baby boxes’ the UN really needs to look into WHY children would be abandoned by their parents, and what happens to children who are abandoned in places that are exposed to the elements, or worse, when children, who are unwanted for whatever reason, are murdered by their parent or parents.

“WHY would a parent want to be rid of their child – is it poverty and the inability to afford to care for the child? Is it a cultural taboo, such as the child was conceived out of wedlock? Is the child of an undesired gender, such as many cultures which strongly desire sons? Is the parent or parents mentally ill? Are the parents too young, such as teenage parents? Are there ‘too many’ children in the family already? Do the parents know they are unable to care for the child, and hope that their children can be placed for adoption with someone who can take care of them as they deserve?

“There are so many reasons someone might decide to give up their child. Discovering the WHYS of this phenomenon, and how to prevent these whys from happening would be a better strategy.

“The Baby Boxes might not be the best solution to the problem of a child that is unwanted for whatever reason, but at least it is better than the tragedy of finding a murdered child in the trash.”

What do you think about the controversial issue? Please let us know at [email protected] or leave us a comment on our Facebook page.

Petra Pospěchová
On a lighter topic, Joe T. Vosoba comments on an interview with food writer Petra Pospěchová:

“I enjoyed Sarah Borufka's article on Petra Pospěchová. Many of us in the US, especially we of Czech descent, are interested in Czech food and Czech recipes.”

And Siegfried Rambaum comments on the same story via Facebook:

“A great report! One that actually made me want to read one of Petra Pospěchová's articles. With the help of online translation sites like TranStar, it is not too hard.”

David Eldridge from the UK made this comment on a recent news report:

“In your news item on Czech soldiers in Kosovo (30 June 2011), I think your reference to Kosovo being a state is incorrect. It isn’t a state, it is a NATO protectorate. It is true that NATO tries to present Kosovo as a state, but in reality it is ruled by imperialists of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and others working through their organisation NATO.

“NATO is determined to rule Kosovo, not only for its strategic location but because it has rich reserves of lead, zinc, cadmium, silver and gold as well as a significant oil reserve. NATO imperialists are not going to let themselves be out-manoeuvred into losing control over those assets without a fight.”

Radio Prague’s recently introduced programme, the Sunday Music Show, is becoming more and more popular, judging from the feedback we are getting:

Siegfried Rambaum writes:

„Nice to have another feature about Xindl X. I first encountered his music in one sequel of SoundCzech.“

Lynda-Marie Hauptmann responds to a different edition:

“Thank you for making the information on Ms. Kubišová available, as well as playing clips of her music. She is a FANTASTIC performer, with a lovely voice. I hope you decide to broadcast more of her performances in the future.”

Thank you very much for your comments and please keep them coming. You can also take part in our monthly listeners quiz and if you send us the correct answer, you may win a Radio Prague prize:

This month we are looking for the name of a Prague-born novelist who left the country at the age of 22 and moved to England in 1938. She later lived in India, France, Switzerland and other European countries and died in Italy in 2006 having published a number of novels and a travel book.

Please send us her name to [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic by the end of July. In the first August edition of Mailbox we will announce the lucky winner. Thanks for listening today and take care.