People in Need in Moravia – On the Way

People in Need in Moravia – On the Way

13. 9. 2017

In 2013 I was on a study stay in Bangladesh as part of my magister degree in International humanitarian and social work. At the time I returned I saw an ad for a social worker position for People in Need. Taking this as an opportunity for personal development, I soon found that nothing expands one's horizons quite like social work in the field. I remember my first day at the Olomouc office of People in Need as if it was yesterday.

I knew I wanted to work for People in Need ever since I started my bachelor's degree at Caritas in Olomouc. The culture of the organization was and still is very significant to me. I admired especially its overseas missions and dreamed about becoming a humanitarian worker. However, I found that work at home is just as important as work abroad.

My work can never become dull

I came in as an activation worker for families with children. What is great about this work is that the whole structure of the family comes into play. You discover how it functions as a whole and simultaneously observe the singularity of each member, their specific role and position. The family is a vigorous, constantly transforming system of human relations, which makes it impossible for this kind of work to ever become dull.

In 2016 I started working part-time as an activation worker for the On the Way programme, which targets young people who face trouble with the law or behave problematically at home and in school. I had to take on a new role – that of a lector. I take each youngster through a programme of 14 lessons on various topics such as self-reflection, conflict resolution, emotional control, communication, and addictions. I see my role as an accompanying one, approaching those I work with as a partner who helps them reflect on their own actions. It is essential that I listen to these young people so that they feel they can confide in me with anything. This is enjoyable work, a constant source of understanding and inspiration.

Small changes may seem a small success to society at large but they are often major personal victories for the families and children we work with.

I often hear in various discussions that even though our organization works abroad, we should focus more on work at home. However, in the Olomouc Region for instance, social integration programmes have already been going for 10 years. The work they consist of is very demanding. It is based in small changes, which may seem a small success to society at large but are often major personal victories for the families and children we work with.

Like the hatching of a butterfly

My work for On the Way strengthened my ethical priorities, constantly reminding me of what is most important in life. I hold the values of respect, freedom, partnership and compassion dear and hope that my children will once pass them on to their own.

Working with People in Need unfurled me, like a butterfly hatching from its chrysalis. The insecure girl who faced two fines on her first day on the job transformed into a confident helper who holds by her work. I am very happy to be a part of a great collective working towards a common goal and I wish to stay with the On the Way programme, which stands for open possibilities. Right now I am looking forward to a trip we are organizing to present young people with a set of exciting challenges.


People in Need helps criminal offenders and others in trouble with the law in the Olomouc region around Olomouc, Prostějov, and Přerov.

The „On the Way“ („Na cestě“, CZ.03.2.60/0.0/0.0/15_022/0001023) programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Czech government.

Author: Iva Musilová