About us

HESTIA - Centrum pro dobrovolnictví, z. ú. (HESTIA - The Centre for Volunteering, z. ú.) is a Czech non-profit organization with more than 20 years of experience in volunteering. HESTIA was founded in 1993. The mission of HESTIA is to promote and develop volunteering in Czech republic.

Our target groups are: employees of non-profit organizations, social workers, youth and seniors interested volunteering, and students and scholars interested in research of volunteering in the Czech Republic
HESTIA - Centrum pro dobrovolnictví, z. ú. is a member of many international organizations and associations like: Big Brothers, Big Sisters International organization CEV or VOLONTEUROPE.

 

FOR NGO´s

WE ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT COURSES AND SUPERVISIONS
At HESTIA, we organize educational courses for coordinators of volunteers. There are a series of courses focused on management of volunteering, accredited by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as a part of the lifelong learning of social services workers. Another series of courses is aimed at the supervision in the helping professions. These courses are organized several times a year.
We believe that through our activity we are helping the moral and civic rehabilitation of Czech society.

WE INSURE VOLUNTEERS
Another one of our services to non-profit organizations is a help with arranging the insurance for volunteers. These insurance policies include accident insurance, liability insurance for damage caused by a volunteer and damage caused to a volunteer while volunteering, also under the conditions of the Volunteer Services Act. Insurance can be arranged as a long-term (for whole year) and as a short-term (for several days) insurance. We also insure volunteers assisting with the zoo-therapy.

WE SERVE AS AN UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION FOR VOLUNTEERING
In 2001, the International Volunteering Year, we participated in the drafting of the Volunteer Services Act and at present we are participating in the preparation of the new Volunteer Services Act. We cooperate with international volunteer organizations and organize annual thematic conferences dedicated to various aspects of volunteering.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia we initiated various volunteering projects focused on children, youth, patients, seniors and unemployed. We helped to establish many volunteer centres. Within the Volunteering Initiatives Coalition we methodically collaborate with almost one hundred organizations. Our main aim is to support volunteering as an instrument for community development, the cooperation of citizens, public administration and other types of non-profit and commercial organizations.


FOR COMPANIES

WE SUPPORT EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS
We have been dedicated to employee volunteering since 2002. The commercial and non-profit sector meet naturally through corporate volunteering. When these two poles unite to create something beneficial, they realise that they are not so different after all, and that they have a lot in common!
We help companies to introduce employee volunteering programs; we provide both individual and team corporate volunteering. We demonstrate the benefits of corporate volunteering to managers and motivate employees to contribute selflessly in the local community. Every year hundreds of employees from companies around the Czech Republic are engaged in volunteering activities thanks to our “A day for a charity” volunteering program.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “volunteer”?
“A person who understands, that they are not alone in this world.”
What comes to your mind when you hear the words “non-profit organization”?
“People driven by the desire to help others.”
What is your own experience from the volunteering?
“Escape from the matrix of commercial sector to the reality. And a bit of a pleasure for the soul, that you left something visible behind you.”
MARKÉTA STRŽÍNKOVÁ, director of Atradius Credit Insurance N.V. Company

For more than 20 years we have been dedicated to development, support and promotion of volunteering. Good interpersonal relationships in our society and willingness to unselfishly help others are always driving force for our work.


FOR VOLUNTEERS

WE CHOOSE VOLUNTEERS AND EDUCATE THEM IN OUR VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS
Pět P (“5P”): Friendship, Help, Prevention, Support, Care
Since 1996 we have been running the 5P volunteer program dedicated to school-age children. The 5P program is based on a long-term friendly relationship between a child and an adult volunteer. 5P offers help to children who have problems finding friends due to health, family, educational, social or other disadvantages. This program includes summer camp and one-time activities for program participants.

KOMPAS (“COMPASS”): Communication, Partnership, Cooperation  
Social-preventive volunteering program COMPASS encourages communication and social skills, meaningful spending of a free time and friendship in a group for school-age children in need. It has been running in Prague since 2009 in the form of friendly group meetings, where three volunteers dedicate their time to a maximum of eight children.

3G - Tři generace (“3G – Three Generations”)
Since 2011 the 3G – Three Generations volunteering program has tried to create positive long-term relationship between a 50+ volunteer and a child and possibly also child’s family. It supports inter-generational cohabitation, solidarity and cohesion between generations. The 3G program was initiated by HESTIA and it is being successfully expanded to other centres in the Czech Republic.

WE HONOUR AND MOTIVATE VOLUNTEERS
Křesadlo (“Tinderbox”) Award – ‘Award for ordinary people doing extraordinary things’. We have been awarding Křesadlo Volunteer Award since 2001. Every year, in cooperation with volunteer centres in ten cities or regions in the Czech Republic, we give this award to almost one hundred volunteers. ‘Award for ordinary people doing extraordinary things’ serves as an encouragement for volunteers to keep on helping and spreading joy to others, but at the same time it is also a presentation of the non-profit sector and its significant role in  society.
Volunteers help to strike sparks of humanity.

WE CONNECT VOLUNTEERS AND ORGANIZATIONS TOGETHER
We make it easier for volunteers to find suitable organizations, we provide information about volunteering opportunities and we offer a library for studying.
“Volunteering is a unique opportunity to fulfil other people‘s dreams and to come closer to fulfilling your own dreams.”
MARTIN SRB, one of volunteers honoured by the Křesadlo Award

We run www.dobrovolnik.cz and www.volunteer.cz portals, informative websites about volunteering and volunteering programs. Volunteering opportunities database in the Czech Republic and abroad is a part of this website. This way we present the volunteering opportunities in hundreds of organizations to people interested in volunteering and to organizations we provide the space for presentation of their activities and requests for cooperation with volunteers.

WE PROMOTE VOLUNTEERING
We prepared dozens of articles, radio and TV documents, guidelines and publications for general public and professionals. We collaborate with media and appear in radio and TV programs. In the media we try to gain for volunteering the space that it undoubtedly deserves!

If you want to know more about our activities, please see our leaflet.