Elis joined the People in Need pre-school club in Prague when she was 2 and half years old. She and her mum had just moved to a second transitional housing. She was quiet. She didn’t pay any attention to the outside world. You could see right away that she had very low self-esteem.
Things improved after few months. First, she herself came to sit with the other children. After, she began to communicate. She even managed to go through a fabric tunnel which children in the club play with. It always had been an insurmountable challenge for her but one day she didn’t want to be the only one who couldn’t do it.
The true deal breaker was, however, when she used scissors for the first time in her life. “Her cutting a piece of paper was one of the strongest moments that I have experienced in my career. Her eyes were shining. She was laughing and was so excited. She couldn’t believe what she was actually doing. It was the ultimate joy. I will never forget that moment,” Elis’ teacher Vera says.
The Prague pre-school club is one of 12 that People in Need runs in the Czech Republic. All of them take care of the youngest children from poor and vulnerable families. The clubs help children get ready – ready for kindergartens and primary schools and ready for learning and exploring because they discovered what joy that is.