On Tuesday 1 November, the low-threshold facility for children and youth, the Blue Cat Club, celebrated 20 years since its foundation. On this occasion, the staff of the Club organized an open day connected with a rich accompanying program – dance performances by children from the Blue Cat Club, a discussion with the director of the organization and psychotherapist Mgr. Petra Večerková on the topic „How to help children manage their emotions“, workshop Bc. Petra Paterová focused on artephysics for children and adult visitors or preventive eye and blood pressure tests, spirometry tests and others realized by lecturer and teacher of the University of Ostrava Mgr. Petra Macounová. The children also had their turn, for whom face painting, cotton candy, children could make pancakes, a quiz and making were prepared for them. And as it happens at a proper celebration, there was also a cake. The event was attended by former employees of the Blue Cat Club, former clients who are now adults and starting their own families, colleagues from cooperating organizations and institutions, current clients and their families, and the public.
We also used this opportunity to present the ongoing project TRANSFORM – Strengthening the activities of EUROTOPIA.CZ, o.p.s., which was supported by the OSF Foundation within the Active Citizens Fund program, which aims to support civil society and strengthen the capacity of non-profit organizations. The programme is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants. This project is aimed at improving the overall functioning of our organization by introducing new communication and online tools for working with data and developing fundraising, communication and PR strategy and training system especially for the organization’s leaders.
Many thanks to all who came to celebrate this important event with us, for their interest and support, which they expressed to us and also to our sponsors who donated refreshments and drinks – GASTRO TYLŠAR s.r.o. and Kofola ČeskoSlovensko a.s. A big thank you to the staff team not only for the preparation of the event, but especially for their enthusiasm, work and commitment, because they are the heart of the Blue Cat Club, without which this service could not exist and fulfill its mission.
The Blue Cat Club is the longest running social service within the EUROTOPIA.CZ, o.p.s. organization and also the longest running service for disadvantaged children from the age of 6 in Opava. For 20 years several generations of Opava children have passed through the gates of this service. While the name of the club has remained the same over the years, its location has changed several times. However, at its current address, Hradecká 16, it has settled in and the children of Opava know where to find the Blue Cat. Throughout its existence, the Blue Cat Club has offered services to disadvantaged children and young people aged 6 to 15 from Opava and the surrounding area. It offers them a safe environment and a protected space where they can spend their free time meaningfully and free of charge, and they can always find help and support from the club’s staff if they find themselves in a difficult life situation or do not know what to do. A number of other activities are linked to the club’s activities, such as tutoring and support with children’s school preparation, follow-up leisure activities – adventure stays and suburban camps during holidays, trips and interesting excursions, regular interest groups focused on dance or environmental education, etc. The aim of the Blue Cat Club is mainly to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged children so that they can become part of society and to provide preventive activities aimed at preventing the emergence of risky behaviour in children and the development of socially pathological phenomena such as truancy, various types of child addiction, child crime and delinquency, etc.
The Blue Cat has been there for kids who needed it for the past 20 years. She has offered them a helping paw, helped them through difficult times, and has been at the heart of many friendships. Although we would most like to wish that this service did not have to exist at all and that in an ideal world only children would be happy, this wish remains in the realm of the unattainable. We, the staff of the Blue Cat and the whole EUROTOPIA.CZ, o.p.s. organization, wish the Blue Cat on its 20th birthday to always be there when a child needs it and to be the light that will help him/her find the right direction in his/her life.