‘We hope Czechs will be generous as usual’, says People in Need spokesperson

People In Need Hope for Ukraine Gift Certificate

People in Need’s ‘Real Gift’ program is back this holiday season, giving Czechs the ability to support various causes around the world from stocking classrooms in Ethiopia, to providing safe births to mothers in Cambodia. This year, there is particular urgency to support Ukraine and northern Syria, as head of the program Tomas Vyhnalek explained to me.

Photo: People In Need

The ‘Real Gift’ program is an e-shop where you can buy gifts and give them throughout Christmas time. You can help children suffering from malnutrition, support classrooms in Ethiopia, or provide a safe and secure birth for a mother in Cambodia.”

Are there any areas and regions in the world that you’re working with that are in particular need of extra support right now?

“Definitely – we have huge programs in Ukraine, and winter is coming so the situation is going to be very difficult there. If any donor hears us, please support us in Ukraine. But also in Syria we have programs working in refugee camps in the north of the country. The situation there is also quite desperate, and there was an earthquake in February of this year, and it really worsened the situation for refugees in the north of Syria.”

Photo: People In Need

Prices have gone up and life is in general more expensive for Czechs right now, has this impacted your donor’s ability to support People in Need?

“I must admit, in some cases yes. Some donors are basically sending less money than they used to, but we have many new donors. So the overall picture is that we have more donors than we did two years ago, and we are still able to secure funding for key programs in the countries. But we are still in the beginning of the Christmas season, and we aren’t sure how many donations we will receive this year. We are hoping Czechs will be generous as usual, but you are right that the prices are going up and inflation is a really big problem now in the country.”

As you said it’s really hard to predict how generous donors will be this year, but were donations affected last year since it was also a very difficult year for Czechs financially?

Source: People In Need

“Frankly, the biggest impact was the war in Ukraine, and Czechs were extremely generous last year because they felt that this war was also their war. Czechs donated 100 million Euros last year, mainly for Ukraine. This year, we are seeing a dramatic reduction in donations. Last year the new phase of the war started, and there was a huge influx of refugees from Ukraine to the Czech Republic, so the people were really touched by this war.”