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An interview with Czech self-advocate, Veronika

Young Advocates

An interview with Czech self-advocate, Veronika

Hi my name is Veronika, 

I'm 18 years old and I live in Czech Republic with my mum and foster sister Vendy. I study Secondary School of Crafts and Services. I can be a postwoman after that. I like animals, I like reading fantasy books the most, skipping on trampoline, belly dancing, watching movies and playing games with my sister. I also like helping other people and children, especially those who were not so lucky and did not have a chance to grow in the family. I like discussing with other young people from Moldava and Bulgaria about advocacy and child participation.

I also like helping other people and children, especially those who were not so lucky and did not have a chance to grow in the family.

1.Why did you decide to cooperate with Lumos?

It started, because we took my sister from the institution to the foster care and then we joined activities in NGO Amalthea, who support foster families. I met many children with similar life stories as my sister had. I was sad about their stories, when they talked about their lives without parents. And then the offer from Lumos came, so I decided to join. I thought it is good idea to help the others via sharing our stories.

2. How was the beginning in Lumos?

I knew many young people already from Amalthea and some of them were new. I did not take it so seriously at the beginning. I went there because of my friends. When I participated on the conference for the first time, I was surprised and it became more serious and I did not expect I would be able to manage speaking on the public.

3. What is the most interesting thing about working with Lumos?

When I was a child I was always dreaming about happy children in families. So the Lumos is the opportunity how to change something. I am still waiting, sometimes it takes too long, but that is the reason I am staying. I should be a part of new Youth Advisory Board. It is exciting for me and I would probably participate on recruitment process of new group.

4. What is your main involvement within Lumos?

I am feeling my role as a self-advocate, who can have her own say from the child´s perspective. I think I can speak up for other children to raise awareness about problems they have and challenges they face.

5. What would you like to change the most in Czech Republic?

I would like to spread the message among people and youth and children that it is better to live with families than in institutions. I have feeling people do not know enough about children with disabilities and about children in institutions. I think, people do not consider this issue as such serious as we do.

6. What have you learned/ what are the changes in your life while working with Lumos?

I think I am able to speak in front of public. I am getting better in self expression. I am able to express my views and opinions. I have learnt about system of care in other countries and met new young people.


Watch Veronika and Vendy in conversation at the UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris, 2015. 

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