In the 19th century, Kladno became one of the Bohemian industrial centres while experiencing a rapid growth in population, area as well as significance thanks to the construction of a horse-drawn railway track and the opening of the Lucerna Mine, and Poldi Steelworks. Nowadays, Kladno is a statutory town, and with nearly 70 thousand inhabitants (as of 2011) it ranks as the largest city of Central Bohemia. The unemployment rate is comparable to the country’s average.
Throughout the history of the city, several areas have become socially excluded, with people living in poor housing conditions and facing numerous interconnected problems that they are usually not able to solve on their own. The localities like Dallas, Lesík, the Na Vysokém railway house, or Velvarská and Rakovnická Streets can be presented as typical examples of this problem. Some may even be acquainted with the former football changing rooms at Na Vysokém; however the most notorious place, known to the locals and visitors alike, is the former lodging house called Masokombinát.
This was the very first place where People in Need sent their field social workers in 2000, thus establishing the Kladno office. Our experience proved that mere field social counselling for adults was insufficient and, consequently, in 2005 we launched our programmes for children. The scope of our services has gradually expanded, covering individual tutoring, educational and leisure activities, careers guidance, social activation services, and, most recently, also a pre-school and mothers club as well as a low-threshold club for children and the youth. Furthermore, we have also organized trainings for teachers in selected schools that we cooperate with or round-table discussions on the improvement of conditions in the education sector, to name just a few.
For our Kladno clients, housing still remains the most pressing concern. Since 2010, people living in socially excluded areas (owned mainly by the municipality) have been relocated to private lodging houses. As a result, the problems symptomatic of the aforementioned areas have emerged even in the neighbourhood of the lodging houses.
People dwelling in these places have usually more difficult access to institutional resources and tend to join the ranks of the long-term unemployed. Moreover, they are also in want of appropriate education and qualifications necessary to enter the labour market, or possibly discriminated against on the labour market. They also face the threat of a debt trap; undoubtedly, a major obstacle in finding a legal employment. Life in social exclusion has an impact even on younger generations. Living in inadequate housing conditions and in families that do not value education sufficiently, they are exposed to numerous socially pathological phenomena such as usury, procuring, drug sale and abuse, etc. All these aspects affect children and the youth in a negative manner. They tend to repeat their parents’ patterns of behaviour and lead an equally risky way of life. Lodging houses dwellers constitute the majority of the Kladno branch clients.
The regional branch of Social Integration Programmes in Kladno employs eight people, covering six areas of social and educational services with the help of twenty volunteers. Every year we serve several hundred clients, both children and adults. While being administered by the branch director and a service coordinator, two of our employees provide field social work in the concerned areas, two operate in the low-threshold club for children and the youth, one runs the pre-school club as well as the mothers club, and one provides careers guidance and education support.
Apart from our day-to-day work defined by the services offered by the regional branch, we also organize the One World Film Festival, for the 6th time this year. Besides, we participate in the community city planning and strive to cooperate with relevant institutions in Kladno and the surrounding areas.
In Kladno we provide the following services:
- field social work
- pre-school club
- mothers club
- low-threshold club for children and the youth
- tutoring and careers guidance
- leisure group activities and camps
You can get more information on particular services from the Kladno Office Director Petra Lelovičová (firstname.lastname@example.org).
+420 311 320 700
tel: 311 320 700 - 703