Toronto Foundation Partners with the Czech Helsinki Committee – a Successor Organization to the Work of Charter 77

In May 2008, the Toronto Foundation teamed up with the Czech Helsinki Committee (CHC), which has close ties to the renowned Charter 77 movement in the former Czechoslovakia, on a project to assist the families, and particularly the children, of those incarcerated in the Czech penal system.  These children have particular needs that often go unmet while the family is separated.  The aim of the project is to help children and their incarcerated parents to develop and maintain healthy family relationships, thus making it easier for the family to reintegrate upon the parents’ eventual release, thereby substantially reducing recidivism, and helping prevent the children from following the same course as their parents.  Funding from the Toronto Foundation helped the CHC secure matching support from another institutional donor and ensure the continuity of this important program.  The Toronto Foundation was initially approached to contribute to this project by Ambassador Martin Palous, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and an original Charter 77 signatory, during a visit to Utah.