C4C and the European Erasmus Fund take youngsters from orphanages travelling all around Europe!



A story how teenagers from children´s homes experienced travelling – something they hadn´t had a chance to do before. Leaving their comfort zones, they learned to spread their wings, fly and test their abilities!

Author:  Martina Vaculíková & Manfred Franke


Together, Petra Erguvanli and Michal Jírů from C4C managed to organize four trips around Europe for young people from children’s homes across the country.

What made Petra decide to take on a challenge like this?

“From the beginning, I believed that this trip would help children in orphanages discover new horizons and realize that the “world” is not just bad news on TV  as it was in most cases. It was great to watch some of them blossom into beautiful flowers along the way. How they gained independence and understanding of other nationalities and lifestyles during the journey.”

A total of four trips are  planned. The first one has already taken place and everyone came back safe and excited. The girls and boys had to take part in the preparations themselves. They had to choose routes, accommodationsand train transfers as a team, and then manage to deal with road closures and alternative connections on the way. It proved to be a real challenge to these somewhat special kids, as they were not used to this kind of planning and it was the first difficult test. As Michal, Petra´s partner, describes:

“I have to admit that I was a little naive at the beginning, thinking that the participants could handle most things by themselves with only our supervision and with a little help thrown in by us. But searching for train connections, accommodation, shopping, moving around a city, finding attractions, etc., proved to be a real challenge for them Like moving around the center of a big city full of people, tasting new foods, and so on. In the end, we found it was all  about spending quality time with them and trying to share and pass on some of our experience to them.”

As the trip approached, the fear of the unknown grew and so the trip coordinators had to help them face their demons and give them the courage to go out at all. The first trip was May 1-7, 2023, and Petra and Michal accompanied them to major European cities: Berlin, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Paris were some of the way stations.

The whole journey took on the form of a game: who could find the way from the station to the hostel, find something to eat with a budget of 20 Euros per day for lunch and dinner, take photos, work with a map and not get lost in a strange big city. The children, as they called themselves despite their age (all age 18), enjoyed the sights as much as shopping, staying in a hostel as well as a luxury apartment in Paris. This was something they had never experienced before. And some even felt that they might never experience the same again.

What did it bring to young people from children’s homes? Confidence! They left scared if they could tackle a challenge like this and most of them felt like chickening out and returning to their home on the day of departure. But then – initial feelings of stomach tightening were gradually replaced by sheer euphoria. During the trip, they experienced many emotions, opened up and vented their traumas, pushed the limits of their skills and even learned to communicate in English. And in just seven days they gainedself-confidence and swagger. One of the boys, known as a problem case in his home, became somewhat of a bellwether on the road and got along great.  Returning home, he wants to sign up for another Erasmus program. His transformation was huge, and it was made possible by travel. And traveling is a significant barrier in children’s homes. No one ever does it.

In the coming months they will go on three more trips around Europe and that´s when other girls and boys from children’s homes will get their chance too.

The second trip will take place June 26 – July 3and it will bring them to four neighboring countries in eight days. The journey will start in Bratislava, Slovakia, continue to Austria (Vienna, Salzburg), Germany (Munich, Berlin), Poland (Warsaw, Krakow) and back to Prague with a stop in Ostrava.

The third trip from June 24th until the 30th will lead to the Baltic Sea. And in addition to the German and Polish coasts, it will take the youngsters  to the two landmark cities of these regions, Hamburg and Gdańsk.

The fourth and final trip will take place  inAugust, from the 21st to the 27th. and the itinerary will be decided mostly by teamwork. The participants themselves choose the destination of the trip and make sure that it is feasible in terms of time and money – and in the end also makes sense.

Feel free to join them in their adventures. We will monitor all journeys day by day on our Chance 4 Children Facebook page. Watch with us as girls and boys learn to overcome their fears and insecurity and grow their wings and fly.

As one of the boys, Honza, said for everyone:

“Thank you very much for convincing me to go. I was very scared and I really didn’t want to. I now appreciate it in retrospect and will remember it forever. Thank you very much indeed!” Honza mustered up such courage that he will participate in the Erasmus+ panel discussion about the benefits of this project to disadvantaged children!

A big THANK YOU goes to the Erasmus program and all those involved in the decision to award the grant to C4C! Together, we changed lives!