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The second annual ‘World of difference’ program saw an increase in the quality of applications

13. September 2009

98 applicants found the courage to apply for the second annual ‘World of Difference’ program from the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation, despite the current economic crisis. The program, whose goal is to connect the commercial and non-profit sectors, pays up to five professionals from the private or state sectors to work for a year for the non-profit of their choice. Journalists were almost one tenth of the applicants. “This year, we had fewer applications than last year, but they are of much higher quality and better thought through. We’re glad that people have the courage to leave their jobs for a year and follow their philanthropic ideals, despite the current difficult economic situation,” says Inga Kaškelyte, Director of the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation.

98 applicants found the courage to apply for the second annual ‘World of Difference’ program from the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation, despite the current economic crisis. The program, whose goal is to connect the commercial and non-profit sectors, pays up to five professionals from the private or state sectors to work for a year for the non-profit of their choice. Journalists were almost one tenth of the applicants.

“This year, we had fewer applications than last year, but they are of much higher quality and better thought through. We’re glad that people have the courage to leave their jobs for a year and follow their philanthropic ideals, despite the current difficult economic situation,” says Inga Kaškelyte, Director of the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation.

The ratio of male to female applicants to the ‘World of difference’ program is otherwise balanced. The age range of applicants to the program is between 22 and 63 years old.

distribution according to current job number %
commercial sector 54 60
non-profit sector 4 4
state employment 14 17
self-employed 10 13
maternity leave 2 2
students 2 2
unemployed 2 2
unstated 10 0
total 98 100

Most applicants came from the commercial sector (60 %), but there were also applicants from the state sector (17 %) and the self-employed (13 %). Most surprising was the interest from professionals in the media. Out of the 98 applicants, there were 8 journalists. Most applicants came from the Czech capital, but among the applicants, there was a Byelorussian and a Czech living in Britain.

The winners of this year’s tender will be chosen by a six-member panel comprising representatives from the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation, the non-profit sector, Vodafone Czech Republic a.s., the media and last year’s program winners. They will be especially evaluated on the quality of the project, the extent of their expertise from the commercial sector applicable to their preferred non-profit, and the sustainability of the project following their year-long involvement.

Current winners of ‘World of difference’ have been working in non-profits already for almost three-quarters of a year:

  • Roman Nenadl, former Senior Manager at the energy concern E.ON, is now helping to build a strategic development plan for 2011 for Charita České Budějovice.
  • Adam Javůrek, guru of the Czech blogosphere, is dedicating his ‘Year Differently’ to public education and teaching non-profits how to use the Internet to their advantage.
  • Hanka Hermová is applying her work experience to the Environmental and Regional Protection of the Czech Republic Agency in the Nature Trails project of the Czech Mountain-biking Association. Together, they are trying to restore old nature trails to be suitable for cyclists.
  • Blanka Rejlková, along with People in Need, is helping to unite the commercial and non-profit sectors with the Employment Office to more effectively find work for the long-term unemployed.
  • Jiří Šťastný – commercial director of EVROFIN Int. is working with the civil society, České Švýcarsko (Czech Switzerland) to help promote sustainable tourism and ecotourism.