Meeting of mentors, teachers and clowns at the end of the academic year



On Sunday June 15th, the second meeting of Chance 4 Children team took place at the Mamaison Hotel in Prague, where all teachers, mentors and clowns, who cooperated with us during the school year 2018/2019 and delivered laughter and encouragement wherever they went, were invited.

Since during our busy year there is hardly time to express much appreciation, the main purpose of these team-building meetings is to show our hard-working personnel that we truly value the time and effort that everyone puts into their work – and to highlight what we achieved together during the past school year.

Looking at the accomplishments of the past year, one can easily overlook that being a teacher, mentor or clown for C4C frequently comes with its own set of challenges. Truth be told, it takes a real lion-heart of a mentor or teacher to face-down a class of children in a children’s home, some of them with poor social skills and attitudes. Or, as a hospital clown, to improvise and adjust to a room-full of critically ill children, severely affected by what we call the “Hospital Blues”. To these ends each teacher, mentor and clown working with C4C is carefully selected and specially trained.

“As far as I’m concerned, all our folks are heroes”, smiles Petra Erguvanli, program manager of C4C’s Springboard to Life initiative. “With them ‘business as usual’ simply doesn’t exist.”

On the other hand, we did not want our meeting time to be just a pat on the shoulder in combination with a delicious meal and drinks.  Therefore, as in our previous meetings, we tried to spice up the time together with some inspirational workshops around topics relevant to the challenges our folks face.

Almost legendary actor and director, Daniel Brown, talked about The power of improvisation. Tomáš Adam, founder of the Go Freedom platform (which I have already mentioned in previous articles), discussed the question of How not to burn out, and Pavel Wieser, with whom most of us met for the first time, advised us where to search for the Inner motivation for children.

A separate article could be written about all of them and during each workshop, we learned and heard something new that could be applied to our daily interaction with the children benefitting from C4C’s programs. Of course, one drawback is always that there never seems to be enough time to dive deeply into each topic and time truly flies during the workshops. With this in mind, we are thinking about setting up further meetings that could afford us to delve into greater depth on the various important topics we discussed.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the management of the Prague Mamaison Riverside Hotel, who has generously provided us with a wonderful meeting place at the last minute. We very much appreciate the kindness and openhearted approach that we have received, the great organization and kind welcome.

The Indian food donated by Namastaey India Restaurant was quite out of this world (as is India…) and super delicious. The cakes and pies from the Kladno Kompek bakery helped to create a warm atmosphere, and even now, when I think of these buns, I drool – I really like poppy… Ha! Thank you !!!

And a big thank you to all those who came – mentors, teachers, clowns and Daniel, Pavel and Tomáš who proved to be a inspiration to all of us.

A special mention and as big a thank you is deserved for Kaufland Czech Republic, our general partner, for their generous support of C4C’s Dr. Clown program.

It was once again a beautiful afternoon, and we are already looking forward to the next one 😊


Zuzana Šrámková