S. O. S.
Dům Šance
Projekt Šance, o.s. and the Case of the Municipal District of Prague 5

At a press conference to mark the grand opening of the THERAPEUTIC WORKSHOP, László Sümegh, the coordinator of Projekt Šance, o. s., received a letter from the Municipal District of Prague 5, in which city administration terminated the contract of lease for the building where Projekt Šance had realised its project Dům Šance, the first preventative and humanitarian programme for commercially sexually exploited children and adolescents, victims of human trafficking, living in oblivion in the Czech Republic… Prior to this, the Mayor of the Municipal District of Prague 5 had presented a series of reasons for ending the lease in the media. In the course of later events, other city councillors commented on the case and their statements changed or contradicted each other. In an Analysis of Media Reasons for Termination, Projekt Šance representatives analysed and commented on these reasons.

Prior to the press conference, MUDr. Džamila Stehlíková, the Czech Minister for Human Rights and National Minorities, joined attempts to resolve the situation and contacted the Municipal District of Prague 5: “Let me urge you to reconsider and give this unique and vital social project long-term certainty. I can promise expert consultation and assistance in finding resources for the creation of a dignified, specialised community centre at Dům Šance, to fully develop the social activities of this unique…”

László Sümegh, who has been actively trying to help children and adolescents living in oblivion on the streets in the Czech Republic for more than ten years, considers the district authority’s step as discrimination of “children in the care of the state”, who were unable to cope with the transition to normal life. “It’s an insensitive act and an attack on the community work Projekt Šance has been doing in the Municipal District of Prague 5 since 2003.” I haven’t seen such callous behaviour since 1996, when Projekt Šance was launched and began its activities.

Thanks to the support of the Municipal District of Prague 5, Dům Šance ran from 2003 to July 2008.

  • Projekt Šance won the tender for the building at Nepomucká 5, Praha 5 at the end of 2002, when the building was handed over to us for use.
  • We expected the building to undergo complete reconstruction prior to opening, in order to increase capacity and adapt the building to client needs.
  • We were in long-term negotiations with the Municipal District of Prague 5 regarding the planned reconstruction. However without a long-term lease or ownership of the building, it was impossible to finance the project from European Union funds.
  • The result of negotiations was notice of termination, without explanation, in April 2008.

But Projekt Šance has not and will not abandon its vision of DŮM ŠANCE! We moved the Dům Šance project to makeshift premises in July 2008 and Dům Šance projects and programmes were not disrupted for even a day. Except for the change in location, there were no changes for Projekt Šance clients.

The centre is open for clients:



At informal meetings with Lászlo, the centre offers:
  • a chance to chat with Lászlo about what’s troubling you, your problems, if you want to deal with them
  • professional psychotherapy
  • art therapy
  • animal assisted therapy (therapy involving contact with animals)
  • computers and internet
    (personal e-mail, work, housing – free, the rest for a symbolic fee)
  • fish (just for looking)
  • food programme (WARNING: with Lászlo you’ll also have to eat Hungarian dishes)
  • drink programme
  • play station
  • virtual sports (boxing and tennis)

we are also preparing: drama therapy

As part of the WORKSHOP, the centre offers:
  • alternative education
  • pay for work, once a fortnight on Friday
  • food programme
  • drink programme
  • finding work and housing with the help of Start people and ANNONCE

Clients have gathered to enjoy Christmas dinner at Projekt Šance each Christmas Eve since 1997 from 11:00 to 22:00.