When she lost her husband Tomáš (†52) due to an insidious disease in March 2021, money was the last thing Ludmila wanted to deal with. She and her three children were dealing with a terrible loss. In the time of covid, only she and her eldest son Tomáš (24) were allowed to say goodbye to her husband and father.
Daughters Róza (17) and Stázka (9) did not have this option. Although Tomáš fought cancer for three years, covid hastened his departure and it was a huge shock for the family. Stázka wanted to sleep with Ludmila in the bed in her father’s place, because she was worried that her mother would die at night.
They have exhausted their savings
Practical matters had to be dealt with. Official requirements, banks, insurance… As an accountant, Ludmila always tried to ensure that the family had a sufficient financial cushion. But the long illness drained the savings. “My husband was on disability for a year, then on disability pension. It was already a big drop in revenue,” explains Ludmila. Dealing with practical matters When the illness flared up again, Tomáš did not confide in his family. Maybe he didn’t want to stress anyone out, maybe he was afraid and refused to think about the possible end.
“Sick people shouldn’t be afraid to say things straight. If someone thinks that they will summon death by doing so, they will not summon it. And there are also practical issues to deal with. For example, we now have a house and land divided into four parts due to inheritance, and everything we want to do, repair, change has to go through the guardianship court. Few people realize how complicated it is,” warns Ludmila.
For braces and a trip
Son Tomáš already has his own family, but Ludmila had to take care of two daughters. For example, she was forced to save for braces or rings. She tried to ask that there was help for families like theirs, at first she didn’t realize at all. The godmother of Róza’s older daughter, who is a chaplain and cares for the terminally ill, told her about the EP Corporate Group foundation. “At first I thought that we wouldn’t get such support, that it was only for the downright socially weak. But then I calmly read the conditions and tried to apply,” recalls Ludmila.
They could do it, but…
The foundation helps families with dependent children replace the income of one or both parents for a period of two years. “We would have survived even without help. But we couldn’t afford anything extra with the girls. If I buy high-quality or cheap shoes, I would think a lot,” says Ludmila honestly. Rings, trips, the banal joys of life would be hard to come by.
“Recently Róza told me: I know that money cannot buy happiness. But it’s nice to be able to go out to eat at a good restaurant once in a while. For example, we can repair the greenhouse, experience the joy of picking one’s own tomatoes,” Ludmila describes how the financial contribution helped them overcome a difficult period.
Thanks to the foundation’s support, Róza was able to fly to a large international gathering of scouts in South Korea this August. For her to participate in the so-called jamboree was also a big dream of her late father. “My husband really wanted her to go. I also saw in my daughter that she was excited about something after a long time,” says Ludmila.
In order for the younger Stázka to change her mind at least a little, the family started breeding guinea pigs. The originally small breeding has grown and now they go to exhibitions with their furry pets. In addition, they also want to return to chicken farming. “The last hen was taken away by a marten on the day we learned of my husband’s diagnosis. I thought, well, we’ll have other things to worry about,” says Ludmila. But now she and her daughters are said to have said that it’s time to have sex again.
EPCG FOUNDATION DIRECTOR: We are celebrating the first anniversary of aid
We at the EP Corporate Group Foundation also remember the memory of the deceased, through those we supported as part of the Program for bereaved families. The EP Corporate Group Foundation, founded by Daniel Křetínský, is also celebrating the first anniversary of the launch of the grant call for bereaved families.
Exactly one year ago, in October 2022, we launched a grant call for bereaved families called We Can Do It. By the end of October 2023, we have 166 supported families in the program. Families in which only one parent remained or relatives who took care of dependent children after the death of the parents. Through the foundation contribution, we supported 309 of these children and distributed 102,265,598 CZK.
Director of EP Corporate Groupe Foundation Jitka Pražáková.
Author: Family Archive, Blesk
How do we help?
This year, the call for bereaved families is again open year-round. We can do it in 2023. As additional help for these families, we also launched a Scholarship Fund and a Fund for medically disadvantaged surviving children in 2023. In order to help even more where, in addition to the loss, the parents have to cope with the health disadvantage of the children, so that the children do not have to give up their dream of studying due to a sudden change in the family’s financial situation, etc.
Support of hospices
And given that we perceive the support of bereaved families as complex, we also supported 13 mobile hospices from the Program for bereaved families in a pilot grant call for hospices in 2022, when our goal was to support capacity building in the field of psychosocial assistance and accompanying bereaved families.
This year, we have again extended this assistance to all hospices in the Czech Republic, so that psychosocial assistance is even more accessible to everyone who needs it. The public consultation for bereaved families in hospices was open for a grant call until mid-October.
WHAT CAN THE FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTION BE USED FOR?
FOR EXAMPLE TO:
● Housing costs (mortgage payment, rent) ● House maintenance ● Energy consumption (water, gas, electricity) ● Medicines ● Reimbursement of costs associated with treatment (therapy or compensatory aids)
● Psychotherapy costs ● Respite care – reimbursement of respite services ● School fees ● Children’s (suburban) camp ● Convalescent stay ● Leisure activities of family members ● Alimony for children who live outside the joint household ● Babysitting in order to maintain employment
● Groceries ● Travel expenses ● Telephone ● Internet ● Savings ● Insurance ● Purchase and service of a car ● Loan repayments (mortgage loan, car leasing, etc.)
● Purchase of white goods and necessary household equipment ● Funeral expenses ● Purchase of clothes for family members ● Hairdressing and beauty services, purchase of cosmetics
THE PROGRAM FOR SURVIVING FAMILIES WILL CONTINUE IN 2024. CAN YOU ALSO APPLY FOR SUPPORT?
All information about the EP Corporate Group Foundation and the Program for bereaved families and other grant calls can be found on the website www.nadaceepcg.cz.
A memory of a family album.
Author: Tonda Tran