We’re All In This Together

IT IS ALREADY HELPING WITH OVER A HUNDRED VOLUNTEERS. THE #BOSMEPARTYJA PROJECT CONTINUES SUCCESSFULLY

The Moravian-Silesian Region #BoSmePartyja (We’re All In This Together) project aims to strengthen volunteering in the region. At the invitation of Region President Ivo Vondrák and other representatives of project partners, nearly six hundred people willing to help selflessly have already signed up. There are already more than a hundred “in the field”, and others can still sign up. The most common volunteers are women between the ages of thirty and fifty.

“BoSmePartyja. The very name of our project speaks for itself. Although the epidemiological situation is gradually improving, there is still a need for people to come together and be willing to offer a helping hand. Because we’re compatriots, BoSmePartyja. Hospitals and social facilities in our region still report staffing problems, so a total of 40 organisations across the region sent us a request for a total of 158 volunteers. I am glad that we could help them. A total of 135 willing people are already helping," said Moravian-Silesian Region President Ivo Vondrák, who thanked all partners of the #BoSmePartyja project. In addition to the region, there is also the City of Ostrava, ADRA volunteer centres, Heimstaden and the University of Ostrava.

To date, 575 people have answered the #BoSmePartyja call. A more detailed completed form was submitted by 390 of these individuals. Training was already attended by 206 future volunteers, of whom 146 people were scheduled for the necessary PCR tests. There are already 135 active volunteers “in the field”. People from Ostrava, Opava, Frýdek-Místek, Třinec, Jablunkov and Příbor, for example, have offered a helping hand. Volunteers help on average twice a week, for two to four hours. In addition to the necessary training, they must also undergo a PCR test for the presence of coronavirus. Volunteers receive free testing.

“The majority of volunteers work with social services, where they help take care of clients – with food, technical support, disinfection of premises, client engagement and their escort to the doctor. Also extremely important is the very presence of a volunteer willing to read something to the facility's clients or even just sit with them. Seniors have not been able to take home visits from their loved ones for a long time. The staff of the facility really have a lot of work to do these days, so the attention of volunteers and their willingness to listen is truly priceless. It has a positive effect on the mental and often physical condition of clients,” said Dagmar Hoferková, head of the ADRA Volunteer Centre in Ostrava, who pointed out that ADRA trains all volunteers through online courses, provides them with the necessary insurance and is available at all times for questions and consultations.

Project partners are also important helpers. The City of Ostrava supports the project in the media, the University of Ostrava actively addressed its students, and therefore 16% of active volunteers are young people from the university. Heimstaden has offered free accommodation to volunteers who are concerned that they may infect their loved ones by working in an infectious environment. Thus, four people are already living in flats in Ostrava, and the offer is still valid; in addition to Ostrava, flats are also available in Karviná, Orlová and Havířov, where the company has allocated a total of 25 flats to the #BoSmePartyja project.

"More than two-thirds of the volunteers are women, the majority of whom are between 30 and 50 years old. However, I am delighted that there are many young people among the volunteers – a total of 14 of them are under twenty. More than half of active volunteers come to social facilities in Ostrava, twenty volunteers help in Frýdek-Místek, eight in Bohumín, other volunteers in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm, Háje in Silesia, Bruntál and Vítkov,” said Vondrák, who noted that in addition to volunteers, volunteer firefighters, soldiers, medical students and students in the relevant social disciplines also help in hospitals and social services: “I truly appreciate the kindness of all these people and I believe that the number of volunteers will continue to grow.”

One of the volunteers, a member of the #BoSmePartyja team, is 18-year-old Pavlína Střelková, a student from the Ostrava Business Academy. “My friend and I go to the Sluníčko Home in Ostrava at least once a week. We work in the COVID unit, where we help serve food and drinks and assist the home staff. I see how dangerous COVID can be for seniors. We have to take great responsibility for this age group and protect these people,” said volunteer Pavlína Střelková.

Volunteer Sylva Bajerová comes to help more often, even five times a week. “Before the pandemic, I worked in tourism as a guide, so now I am out of work and I have a lot of time on my hands. I go to the Kamenec Senior Home three times a week, and I see this work as very meaningful. I take care of seniors – I spend my free time with them. For example, I look forward to one gentleman who will celebrate his 94th birthday next year. We speak German together, we remember, and we often laugh,” said 51-year-old volunteer Sylva Bajerová, who, in addition to three days at the home, visits the senior home two days a week to monitor his medication and help him pass the time. They talk, watch what happens out the window and do memory exercises.

“Volunteering is one of the key indicators of the maturity of human society. The #BoSmePartyja project is well on its way, so we are looking forward to more and more willing people joining us. I believe that this difficult period, which is really tiring for all of us, will soon end. But it would be great if the phenomenon of volunteering and the willingness to help did not fade. I would like the #BoSmePartyja project to continue even after we’ve vanquished this horrible virus,” concluded Vondrák, inviting those interested in volunteering to register at spolu2@msk.cz.