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The Next Door Family will take place for the sixteenth time in a row this year. At one time, families of Czechs and foreigners will sit down to have lunch together at various places of the Czech Republic. Everyone is still welcome to join in, the event will take place on 24th November.
The aim of the project is is to bring Czech families closer to families of foreigners from countries outside the EU, thus helping to do away with barriers between neighbours of different nationalities. This year, 30 Czech families and 30 families of foreigners will have lunch together. The event takes place under the auspices of Slovo 21 NGO. This year is also supported by the famous Czech violin player Pavel Šporcl.
So far, Next Door Family has brought Czechs to one table for example with Serbians, Indians, Kazakhs, Syrians, Chinese, and Macedonians. At the lunch, there is also an assistant who introduces the families to each other and helps them overcome the initial communication barriers. “When I first came to the Czech Republic, there was no such project. It was difficult to get to know people around me and to make friends in a new country. I would like the Next Door Family to help foreigners feel well and at home in the Czech Republic,” says Jelena Siladžič, director of Slovo 21. The organisers pay a lot of attention to the pairing of the families with regard to their hobbies and professions. “Our goal is to connect families which will want to keep in touch even after the project is over,” adds Ljiljana Batovanja.
More information is available on the website of Slovo 21.
This project focused on the integration of foreigners is funded by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic and the Prague City Hall.