International cooperation in Slezská Diakonie
Slezská Diakonie has always been very active in the field of international cooperation concerning social and spiritual work. International cooperation comprises several levels - networking, exchange of experience within internships, international volunteering and education. The management of Slezská Diakonie supports this kind of activity and considers it as an incentive for employees and a great enrichment to Slezská Diakonie's social services as well. All experience gained during business trips are useful and applicable and we try to implement them in our activities as soon as possible. We often invite our partners and guests from abroad to see our work in the Czech Republic and we usually ask them to have a speech at Slezská Diakonie's events. Such speech usually concerns a topic related to social work or spiritual work.
Slezská diakonie is a member of several international associations
In September 2012, the director of Slezská Diakonie Mgr. Zuzana Filipková, Ph.D. was elected as the president of European Association of Urban Missions (EAUM) at a conference in Stockholm. Slezská Diakonie has been cooperating with EAUM since 2000. Main task of EAUM consists in exchanging contacts within associated urban missions. Committee meetings take place every year; in 2013 it was in Bergen. Next conference of EAUM was discussed at the meeting and is supposed to take place in Ostrava in 2016.
Deputy director for social work Ing. et Mgr. Romana Bélová is a member of the Eurodiaconia's committee. Eurodiaconia looks to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society. In 2013 some employees of Slezská Diakonie participated in four Eurodiaconia's seminars: for example Europe 2020, Human Resources, Financing in Brussels and AGM (Annual General Meeting) in Berlin.
Slezská Diakonie is also a member of the European Association of Service Provider of People with Disabilities (EASPD). In 2013, one employee of Slezská Diakonieparticipated in the international conference “Employment of Persons with Disabilities” in Istanbul and introduced other participants to activities of Slezská Diakonie.
Other types of cooperation in Slezská Diakonie
Another business trip was organized in May: our employees presented the work of Slezská Diakonie at the Kirchentag in Germany and they had a nice opportunity to exhibit a classic car which was repaired in the context of social entrepreneurship of Slezská Diakonie. Three employees visited City Mission in Sweden to get experience in the field of social entrepreneurship which has been developing in Slezská Diakonie.
Several employees visited Italy (senior home realized within the Leonardo da Vinci project) and France (centre for people with dementia). Cooperation with ČALS (Czech Alzheimer Society) within the Reminisce with Family project focused on exchange of experience in the field of similar services.
The region of Bruntál sent four employees and two clients within Grundtvig to Cardiff in Wales to participate in a conference “Learning disability Wales”.
We very much appreciate the fact that we have managed to develop several long-term partnerships during the nearly 25-year functioning of Slezská Diakonie.
Every year Naemi-Wilke Stift from Guben brings Christmas gifts to clients of Slezská Diakonie. In spring 2013 Czech delegation went to Guben and had the chance to see social services provided by our partner organization. Stiftung Eben-Ezer in Lemgo, also one of our long-term German partners, invited a group of our employees to participate in the ceremonial appointment of Rev. Dr. Bertolt Haase as a new director of Stiftung Eben-Ezer.
Several times already, our employees had the opportunity to visit Birmingham City Mission: last visit took place in autumn 2013. Our long term cooperation is based on reciprocal exchange stays.