SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AT UCB
For the 2020/2021 academic year
1. PARAPLE CENTER
This is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Zdeněk Svěrák and the civic group Czech Association of Paraplegics. Their mission is to help people 16 years of age and up living in the Czech Republic who have suffered a sudden spinal cord injury to change their former way of life so as to enjoy the opportunities common to their peers without disadvantages. They aim to support clients in their self-realization shortly after the accident and during the rest of their lives. www.paraple.cz
UCB students help to open up tourist attractions to people in wheelchairs
UCB experts seek solutions for their sustainable tourism
As part of the course, students of the University College of Business in Prague (VŠO) propose how to make hotels and sights accessible to the disabled. Unfortunately, the findings of experts suggest that tourist destinations, accommodations and restaurant facilities are in many cases insufficiently adapted to allow wheelchair users or families with prams to enter them. The assignment of student projects arose from specific problems, which were pointed out to the school by the non-profit organization Paraple Center, a leading domestic provider of services and counseling for people in wheelchairs.
"This year we have established cooperation with the Paraple Center and together we are preparing a number of mutually beneficial activities," says Iveta Hamarneh, Vice-Rector for Studies at the University College of Business in Prague. Both organizations started their cooperation in lessons and have involved young students in it. These are practical tasks to help future experts in tourism to map out the availability of services, including those for tourists with disabilities, in the regions of the Czech Republic, and to suggest solutions on how to improve them. "We can see that tourism for the disabled is currently increasing, mainly due to the high number of people with disabilities. This target group usually travels with an escort, and the busyness and priciness of hotels lead them to choose dates out of season and to book their stays in advance," explains Hamarneh. This is an interesting example of social responsibility combined with practical benefits. The school helps to find solutions that make the travel experience accessible to people with reduced mobility. And the students of UCB can participate in the real-life experience of changing and developing the movement of tourists at home and around the world in the future. The public will get a look at the results of student projects on the travel options of people with reduced mobility at the Life Is Travel festival in April of this year, organized by the Paraple Center.
Change Tomorrow was founded by Johnny Aird from Scotland and Dana Matějů from the Czech Republic, who now live in Uganda. Before that, they lived in Glasgow, where they worked long hours in jobs without having any time to enjoy life. After much deliberation, they decided to sell everything and voluntarily relocate to Uganda for 3 months. They volunteered at children's homes, schools, hospitals and spent some time in urban slums. Their work for various charities in cities and the countryside led them to witness a recurring problem that they could not ignore. Schools in Uganda are a business that exploit students. They demand outrageous fees, employ unqualified teachers, provide no school supplies, no concrete structures, no food or water, no protection, no electricity, only dirty classrooms, etc. In a country where the average salary is £30 a month and most people are unemployed, these primary schools can charge up to £100 for a three-month period. The result is a huge number of children unable to go to school, left destitute on the streets and in villages searching for food.
As their three-month journey was coming to an end, Johnny and Danka decided that this country and these children would be their future. They started a sponsorship program and are now running a primary school in the rural area of Lusanja, Mityana, where local children attend their classes. They are providing high-quality education with good teachers in a clean, concrete building, with a stable diet of breakfast and lunch for the children, with electricity, clean water, school supplies, protection, nature and sports fields and activities.
The University College of Business in Prague decided to support the great work of these two people who on their own have undertaken to educate children in Africa. Building a school and learning environment in a place where children do not have easy access to education and lack funding is admirable work.
The University College of Business decided to support this project through a volunteer program. We offer all our students the opportunity to volunteer in Uganda. To get to know an African country and try to help out in the field. We are ready to cover all costs of accommodation and travel and thus facilitate the availability of our volunteers. Learn more about the program below:
We welcome all volunteers over the age of 18, regardless of your skills or experience. We usually schedule a video call to talk about what you would like to achieve by getting involved. We can offer you a great opportunity to immerse yourself in rural Ugandan culture, join in the field work of the community, help out with farming, take care of the land, become a classroom assistant, take part in after-school games and sports, and much more. We work closely with our volunteers to show them our projects, the work they will do and their surroundings so that they feel comfortable in the environment.
We will pick you up in person from the airport and take you directly to your new home. Our accommodations are a western-style private mix of volunteers who enjoy running water, showers, toilets, and a fully equipped kitchen to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
We like to think of our charity not just as a job, but as encouragement to you to make a volunteer trip that is part life experience, part vacation. You will certainly have free time to see the beauty of Uganda and with our organization you can get discounts on safaris, gorilla trekking, rhino trekking and more with one of our trusted guides. If you are interested in volunteering with us, simply fill out the application and send it to our email. You will then receive a volunteer contract to sign and send back.
Dana Matějů / Johny Aird – www.changetomorrow.co.uk