The idea of establishing a community centre for migrants and the Czech public came to existence in 2005 thanks to a group of people helping as volunteers with activities aimed at helping foreigners integrate into the Czech society, and was primarily concentrated in the civic association Berkat. Our vision was to create a safe and open space where not only foreigners looking for a new home in the Czech Republic would come for support and help but also Czechs, who are interested in the life of foreigners in the Czech Republic or are otherwise affected by the topic of integration. At the same time, we wanted InBáze to offer job opportunities to foreigners. Thanks to ESF support, we opened the first “house” of InBáze community centre in May 2006 in the courtyard of Rumunská Street in Prague 2. This also included the social enterprise Ethnocatering, which had its first kitchen in the community room of the centre.
Much has changed since 2006. The basic services have remained and gradually expanded, as has the number of employees and the operational background of the organization. In 2007, thanks to the support of Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, we were able to expand our programs to South Bohemia to the Rakovice farm, which we gradually modified so that our community and children’s programs could take place there. The community and children’s programs were implemented there from 2008 until 2016, when we left the area. With the gradually expanding services of InBáze, it was necessary to obtain a larger space. Since 2010, InBáze has internally divided into the social and legal department, the community department and the social entrepreneurship department. At the same time, the organization was renamed to the civic association InBáze Berkat. Subsequently in 2012, it was renamed to the civic association InBáze. In 2014, the civic association was definitively transformed to registered association InBáze. Thanks to the support of Prague 2, we were able to move to a beautiful new community centre in the courtyard in Prague 2, in Legerova street in 2010. In the same year, the Ethnocatering kitchen finally acquired professional operating facilities in the gastronomic establishment at Strossmayer Square (Strossmayerovo náměstí), from which it moved to new larger premise in Prague 4 in Hrusická street in 2019. This facilitates not only a professional kitchen and corresponding facilities, but also social spaces for holding events.
In 2011, we hired the first socio-cultural mediator for Arabic-speaking clients and we currently have 6 members of intercultural staff for clients speaking Arabic, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Russian, English and French, working at three branches of the OAMP foreigners’ residence department in Prague. In 2012, we became a partner organization of the Prague Integration Centre and a guarantor for work with families of foreigners, and we expanded our activities to the Modřany branch in Prague and the SAPA market. In the same year, we also opened the Mozaika art STUDIO in Belgická Street, where regular creative activities can be held for children of foreigners, their Czech friends and parents. Since 2013, we have been implementing a pilot project aimed at shaping the intercultural profession career worker. As of 2014, we have been collaborating and working with schools and teachers on projects, which focus on multicultural upbringing and education and support for teaching children with a different mother tongue (OMJ). In 2017, due to the increasing number of our activities, we partially moved our counselling (legal, social and psychotherapeutic) to a new branch office in Jaromírova street in Prague 2 and a year later, we completed the relocation to a new branch office in Prague 4, Krumlovská street.
InBáze currently employs around 40 people, including foreigners from Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Mongolia, Ukraine, Russia, Vietnam, Bosnia, Mexico, Spain, and there are more than 30 volunteers who participate in InBáze’s activities. We are indeed proud of what InBáze has become.
InBáze has been developed thanks to the work, help and inspiration of the following and many more people not listed but without whom InBáze would not be as it is currently.
Bedřiška Kotmelová, Hana Prousková, Zbyněk Prousek, Věra Roubalová-Kostlánová, Dana Němcová, Tamara Akulashvili, Jana Hradilková, Bára Smetánková, Radek Smetánka, Pavel Tvrdý, Zdeňka Švestková, Jovanka Wijsman, Juanita Cansil, Markéta Vinkelhoferová, Anna Darashenka, Lela Kukava, Alexandr Zpěvák, Parisa Zargari, Petra Procházková, Alexej Smrtchkov, František Kostlán, Pavla Pijanová, Eva Vaškovičová, Alice Müllerová… and many other friends, volunteers and former or current employees. Thank you to all of you!