Komunitni centrum Kampa is a small Czech NGO that provides a community centre on a fully pedestrianised island (Kampa) right by the Vltava and a haven for local families. It is also home to a thriving community who, over the years, have built up an integrated network of support, influence and resources to ensure that the very oldest part of this Central European city remains vital rather than merely a tourist attraction. At the family centre, local children benefit from early years daycare as well as developmental courses and older children enjoy weekly workshops and games as well as their own after school club. The community centre is funded by City of Prague though heavily subsidised by local volunteers and families who congregate at the community cafe throughout the year.
Local mothers recently campaigned to change legislation regarding foster care of newborns who, historically, had been left from birth in institutions in the Czech Republic. Others have organised a weekly market in the local square to support small businesses. Yet others run an informal local produce chain, supplying city families with organic produce direct from local farms.
The community cafe (Sala Terrena) has no fixed prices. Local families tend to have their own running tab and children come and go independently, grabbing a lemonade and healthy snack, tennis rackets, a football or scooter as and when needed. Older residents have their own “chair” and blanket put out every evening and are checked on on a daily basis. Students come after lectures and chat with politicians, artists, musical legends and whoever else is on site that day. Evenings tend to be dominated by cultural events, talks, cinema screenings, gigs. Locals welcome visitors openly and international links are strong.