American Chamber of Commerce in the CR helps to eliminate language barriers

This coming Saturday, November 20th, The American Chamber of Commerce is conducting its annual Thanksgiving Ball at Palác Žofín. Each year this Thanksgiving Ball serves as the venue for a Silent Auction to raise funds benefiting the American Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Social Responsibility project, “One World, Many Voices”.

Operating within the Czech Republic, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), believes it is important to give back to the Czech community. AmCham’s Executive Director Weston Stacey recognizes the importance of CSR projects and says, “Companies have capabilities and resources that the rest of society needs. And if we want progress, but do not contribute, we should not expect others to carry the load.”

In 2003, AmCham created “One World, Many Voices” which focuses on providing Czech schools with technologically advanced language laboratories to assist students with learning new languages. Acknowledging that communication is an essential part to success in the ever globalizing business society, the “One World, Many Voices” project aims to provide Czech schools with the necessary tools to help students in achieving this. “AmCham has to be an example, a catalyst, and a facilitator.” Says Stacey. “One World certainly shows what can be done, and if we build on it, we can expand it to other areas of education, we can come ever closer to realizing the full potential of the talent in our schools.”

Each year AmCham conducts a fundraising event through its Annual Thanksgiving Ball at which members and their guests make donations of Silent Auction items, and bid on these items throughout the evening. Over the past seven years this event has risen more than 2.400.000CZK and has helped to provide language labs to sixteen schools in various Czech regions, including Ostrava, Prague, Brno, Klatovy, and Zlín. This year, proceeds will go to schools in Plzen. While the language laboratory donations certainly benefit the schools on an academic level, there are benefits which reach those participants who made those donations. Stacey says, “I really enjoy seeing the enthusiasm and curiosity of the kids, and how some really talented teachers finally have the tools to channel that energy.”

The American Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest business chambers within the Czech Republic, with over 450 member companies connecting roughly 1600 top executives and business owners, all working toward the common goal of increasing economic competitiveness in the Czech Republic.

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