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The Vodafone Foundation announces five winners of the Year of Difference 2008 program

30. October 2008

A Blogger, a business director, a ministry official, a manager, and an environmentalist. These are the first winners of the Vodafone Foundation’s Rok jinak (Year of Difference) program. Thanks to support from the Vodafone Foundation, for one year these individuals will leave their positions in the commercial and governmental spheres in order to carry out their own philanthropic projects in cooperation with selected non-profit organizations. “We launched the first annual Year of Difference program in May and received a total of 122 applications from throughout the Czech Republic. In September, a panel consisting of representatives of the Vodafone Foundation and non-profit organizations selected five specialists who proposed the most interesting projects.

A Blogger, a business director, a ministry official, a manager, and an environmentalist. These are the first winners of the Vodafone Foundation’s Rok jinak (Year of Difference) program. Thanks to support from the Vodafone Foundation, for one year these individuals will leave their positions in the commercial and governmental spheres in order to carry out their own philanthropic projects in cooperation with selected non-profit organizations.

“We launched the first annual Year of Difference program in May and received a total of 122 applications from throughout the Czech Republic. In September, a panel consisting of representatives of the Vodafone Foundation and non-profit organizations selected five specialists who proposed the most interesting projects. Over the next year they will have the opportunity to apply their experience in the non-profit sector,” says Robert Basch, Director of the Vodafone Foundation.

The Vodafone Foundation will pay each of the five winners a salary of up to CZK 45,000 gross per month, and will cover other costs that will enable them to function in their new roles effectively. The winners will begin to carry out their projects in December of this year and January of next year.

The Year of Difference program is the Czech version of the global “World of Difference” program, which is the flagship program of the Vodafone Foundation throughout the world. With it, the Vodafone Foundation of the Czech Republic is trying to bring the non-profit and commercial spheres closer together.

This year’s Year of Difference winners are:

Hana Hermová is a cyclist and a doctor of environmental engineering. During the next year she will endeavour to discover and restore defunct forest trails for terrain cyclists. In doing so, she will work with the Czech Mountain Biking Association. While working on this project, Hana will use the experience she gained during her doctorate studies as well as during her work for the Agency for the Protection of the Nature and Countryside of the Czech Republic.

Adam Javůrek is a young blogger, journalist, and lecturer who has decided to work with the Online Media Centre to increase the Internet literacy of Czech non-profit organizations. With the help of a portal, he wants to present the Internet to non-profit organizations as a tool they can use to their advantage and show them simple, inexpensive methods that will enable them to use the web effectively.

Roman Nenadl is using his several years of experience in project management and business strategy development, gained from concerns E.ON and Pilsner Urquell, to stabilize the financial management of the Diocesan Charity of České Budějovice and help it create a uniform plan for development until 2011.

Blanka Rejlková is an education and human resources official with the Ministry for Local Development. She also studies philosophy. In the Člověk v tísni, o.p.s. (Person in Distress) organization, she decided to develop a program for the motivation, education, and employment of the long-term unemployed in socially disadvantaged environments.

As the business director of EVROFIN, Jiří Šťastný is attempting to put the Czech Switzerland region on the path to economic progress in the travel industry. He will work with the generally beneficial company České Švýcarsko and will attempt to bring elements of marketing and ecology into the local tourist industry and register this region into the UNESCO Global Natural Heritage list.