Markéta Franke is an energetic, goal-oriented woman who does not hesitate to sacrifice all her time, mental and physical efforts to run the C4C foundation. As if her energy could not be exhausted. And she’s still smiling.
Authors: Martina Vaculíková and Markéta Franke
How did you get to C4C?
In 2012 I met Manfred (for the curious it was on an internet dating site 😊). And the very first “date” was at a charity event where he needed the proverbial PLUS. So I jumped right into it. Well, being with Manfred and not being interested in C4C is simply not possible. The first visits to homes, the first fundraising events, meeting the team drew me into a completely new reality. Little by little, I became more and more involved. Today, I devote basically all my working time to C4C.
I became the chairwoman of the C4C Endowment Fund – a sister organization that provides financing for C4C projects (not only). I do organizational work, organize office and communication, but truth be told – C4C´s Springboard to Life program simply stole my heart. I myself mentor several young people from children’s homes and I look for and train new mentors. For the last two years, I have also been fully involved in the HelpMate project – an online educational platform for educators from children’s homes. Conceived together with well-known coach Monika Kavanová, we got the initiative on its feet and then brought it to fruition with actually amazing results and great feedback from participating educators.
Where do you come from and what is your background?
I was born in Prostějov, grew up in Dobruška under the Orlické Mountains, lived in Vysoké Tatry, in southern Slovakia, in Moscow, in Prague and only with Manfred I settled down in Kačice near Kladno. I have been involved in IT management all my life. I have managed teams and projects for the delivery of large systems for large customers around the world.
But the biggest project for me was to raise and send my amazing four children into the world.
Manfred has five kiddos, which adds up to nine between the two of us. They´re all already grown up and independent, a fact that makes us happy. And then – there are the grandchildren! We already have eight of them in total! And we strive to be good grandparents! Our bigfamily is our background and joy.
What lifestyle appealed to you?
As a child, I was very ill and spent months and years alone in the hospital. That’s why I really appreciate health and it led me to the realization that everyone is responsible for their own health. That’s why I’ve been trying to eat healthy for 35 years – that is, fresh, live food, trying to keep fit – at least as far as my handicaps allow, walking barefoot, exercising, breathing and hardening myself. I love nature and everything that is natural and real. I try to be useful and spread comfort, joy and love around me.
Do you have any hobbies?
The biggest hobby is our family. I take care of my sick 83-year-old mother, I try to spend as much time as possible with my grandchildren and Manfred and I love traveling in our old motorhome. I dedicate myself to the garden, I love to make bouquets – and I decorate weddings. This is a real hobby. I like to play instruments, sing, cook healthily, collect herbs…. I am a mentor of Minerva 21 and I really enjoy pushing young people to their full potential.
Do you do sports?
Scooter – it is a synonym for Markéta :-D. I ride it to Kladno, to the office, in the morning to swim in the pond, to the post office and to the offices, and to my exercise class for the elderly, which I regularly lead in the retirement home in Kačice. I like skiing, but it hasn’t worked out for me for several years.
Any last word, thought …?
Working with people fulfills me. The smiling eyes of children and seniors, mutual kindness, responses from directors, educators and young people from children’s homes – all this makes a lot of sense to me.
I don’t like the word HELP – it’s tricky. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to. And trying to help someone just to help doesn’t make sense either. I like the old Chinese proverb: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, if you teach him to hunt, you give him food for life.”
What I try to pass on to everyone I work with, is the knowledge that we are solely responsible for our own lives. And only we ourselves can change it. And it doesn’t matter what cards fate has dealt us. They are our cards in our hands and we play with them for ourselves.