Petra Francova - life through a child's eyes
Petra Francova grew up in a Czech military family, in the days of the Cold War. This may seem an unlikely beginning for someone who has since spent much of her life helping to develop the non-profit sector in this country. Almost single-handedly she has established a network of 20 offices throughout the Czech Republic, which anyone who needs advice on a particular problem can visit at no cost. The offices are run largely by volunteers and they are based on the network of Citizens' Advice Bureaux in the United Kingdom. Petra Francova's work has been a major contribution to the development of civil society here in the Czech Republic. Here she talks about a very simple and common experience that made her realise that she wanted to help to change the environment around her.
"One of the peaks of my life, or the most important changes, was after my first child was born, because it was a big change in everything, not only the immediate feeling after the child was born, which was very nice - big happiness - but it was the change in attitudes in the way how I looked at the environment, at food, at attitudes of people, how they behave - everything. I started to look around, because I live in Prague - cars everywhere, the grey asphalt which is terrible, and I realised how our life is very unnatural and how it affects our children in a very negative way."