AN IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH A MODEL, BUSINESSWOMAN AND THE FOUNDER OF VERONIKA KASAKOVA’S ENDOWMENT FUND
Veronika Kasakova is one of the most popular and media-sought-after personalities. The prestigious Forbes magazine named her one of the most influential women in the Czech Republic. Her life‘s mission is to help children from children‘s homes. In 2015, she founded the Veronika Kasakova’s Endowment Fund, through which she supports adolescents on their journey to the real world that awaits them behind the gates of children‘s homes. Qualified therapists and psychologists working with the endowment fund prepare young people for various life situations. In addition, they help them cope with traumas related mainly to abandonment by their biological parents or other difficult experiences and memories from their childhood and adolescent years. Although Veronika Kasakova is mainly dedicated to helping children from children‘s homes, her life story is in many ways a huge inspiration for all of us. Thanks to its authenticity, it is also a manual on how to properly understand and handle even the hardest things that can happen to us in life. Regardless of the background we come from.
Veronika was born to two young people who were not mature enough or ready to handle the roles of parents. Her mother was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Her father was not strong enough to cope with the whole situation and left the family. The rights of custody were assigned to their mother, who fully devoted herself to an unbridled way of life and frequent change of partners. Childcare was severely neglected and undervalued. Veronika and her siblings lived in wretched conditions since their birth. They were prematurely drawn into adult dramas and often had nothing to eat. It’s obviously a good thing Veronika was too young to consciously remember everything that happened in the early years of her life.
Veronika was just 4 years old when her mother left her and two other siblings in a taxi, telling the driver she just needed to get her bag. She never returned for her kids. There was no other choice but to bring social services into the whole situation. Veronika and her brother Karel were placed in a children’s home in the small village of Vysoka Pec near Chomutov (North Bohemia). They had no contact with their other siblings.
Veronika Kasakova spent 16 years in the children’s home. Although everyone tries their best, with the large number of children living in the children’s home, it is not possible to provide everyone with the attention and care that a child receives in a functioning family. Fate deprived her of the opportunity to live together with her biological family. On the other hand, it actually saved her life. Who knows what else would have happened if it hadn’t been for the incident in the cab? Although this may seem incomprehensible to many, sometimes a children’s home is a better option for a child. Veronika lived in a friendly environment where she was safe and where, from a material point of view, she certainly did not suffer at all.
Veronika is not only a successful businesswoman, but also the face of the cosmetic brand Oriflame for the Czech Republic. Since 2017, she has also been working on the “Transformations” project with Oriflame. She offers a unique all-day experience to children from children’s homes, where they are cared for by professional hair stylists, make-up artists and photographers. Through her experiences and failures, she inspires others to achieve their goals and gives them courage on the way to fulfilling their life’s dreams. This is the fulfillment and purpose of her life.
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“Life is a precious gift. The way we approach life, is the way it approaches us in return.“
I N T E R V I E W
After leaving the children’s home, you underwent a large and visible personality transformation. What was the biggest motivation for you to make such a change?
After I left the children’s home, the change did not happen that fast. It took another five years to put myself together. The circumstances of leaving were very difficult for me, and I found myself under real pressure. At this stage of my life, when I entered the Czech Miss competition, I began to surround myself with a completely different type of people. This was not always beneficial, but I had to be even more assertive. After the competition, I set aside a few friends who surrounded me, the company of people who molded me. I never wanted to go back to being a victim or a loser after that. At the same time, I have been educating myself for several years and progressing on a spiritual journey. I was wondering what was going on, why it was happening to me, and how I was constantly drawing on the traumas that had happened. I wasn‘t comfortable with it anymore. I was able to realize them, I could see them and I could feel them. I was already visiting a therapist at the time. All these things happened naturally from the age of 20 to 30. I asked myself how I could change my life. At the age of 25, it started happening. The theory is really easy. Reading dozens of books on how to be happy and think positively is easy. To transform the change into your real life is not that easy at all. The change mostly came through some great pain. I always had to fall to discover the wisdom that changed me. I‘m not saying that people who don’t experience pain aren‘t wise, but I think it‘s individual. It enlightens me when it hurts.
We usually progress the most through pain or while coping with difficult situations…
I have met a lot of people who lived high quality lives in their childhood and live the same way in their adulthood. They have been a huge asset to me. My belief is that we all have our own destiny. My journey was about living in a children‘s home. Someone, on the other hand, grew up in a happy family and currently lives a high-quality life. Yet the conscious intelligence may be the same. Anyway, it is a fact that pain and falls bring huge feelings of humility. These situations are wake up calls for the one impacted by them. At the very least, pain brings humility that is healthy.
What spiritual path do you follow? What kind of therapy do you consider the most effective for yourself?
When I was 17, I was lucky to meet a woman who was a therapist. It wasn‘t part of the care in the children‘s home. It just happened coincidentally two years before I left. I‘ve loved her a lot since the beginning, and we‘re friends to this day. She started working with me naturally. Because I was interested in the topic of spiritual development, I began to search for related literature myself and read various articles as well. I researched on my own, so it was a huge plus for me in my own change that it appealed to me as a person. There have been a lot of therapies I‘ve had over the last ten years. I‘ve tried individual and group therapy. I have undergone various methods such as SRT, regression therapy or family constellations. I‘ve written down everything I‘ve been through. If I had to highlight something that really helped me, it was definitely always about an individual approach. Not group therapy, which is also a huge inspiration in terms of getting information, but one needs to deal with one’s own case and feelings. If there were ten children from children‘s homes sitting here with us, the feelings would all be different according to their own personal settings. I was never relieved by any esotherapy that was about exchanging energies or systems. I think working on yourself is hard work. It‘s important to focus on your downsides and start doing something about them. No pebble or cards will solve it. Although I tried it all. Regression is also about the knowledge and information that comes to you, but then you need to work with them. It‘s all about learned habits. It is necessary to realize that they bring you nothing anymore, and you consciously need to get rid of them. It‘s like working with a little baby, but it‘s getting harder because you‘re 30, 40 or 50 years old. It‘s a conscious work on yourself, and nothing happens by magic. Nothing really helped me more than knuckling down, being truthful and being honest with myself. The biggest therapy for me was writing my book. For me, writing it all down and putting it on paper was like ridding my body of a heavy burden. I really recommend this form of therapy.
The offer of different methods is currently truly overwhelming, but not always of good quality. You can easily swallow the bait this way and complicate your life…
Certainly, because in the desperation and the search for help, one believes in anything. I myself like esotericism; it‘s close to me and I‘m interested in it. These are traumas that are not only relevant to children from children’s homes. They are emotional codes that many of us have been living with for years. Codes such as victim, terrorist, eternal child or eternal parent. These are destructive memories, negative opinions and learned habits. Learned means you need to unlearn something. I can‘t do it right away. Every time there is a situation in which I am not comfortable, it is necessary to realize that I have behaved in the same way again. In a way I do not like it anymore, and I am determined to change it. There are a lot of therapeutic or psychotherapeutic methods that can help with naming and recognizing these codes.
What phases have you been through in the ongoing process of forgiveness?
People ask me about forgiveness quite often because they naturally wonder if I have already forgiven my parents, and whether I have already cleansed myself of hate. I always say I am doing my best, but I can never 100% say that my inner child is no longer angry. Then suddenly there are some situations when I find out my inner child is angry, and it is a surprise to me, too. I think that getting rid of the sense of hatred, injustice or revenge that was in me at certain stages of my life is one of the greatest reliefs. Just deciding and realizing that hate is actually destroying me, not my Mom, my Dad, or my family. You realize you are hurting yourself, so logically, why prolong the agony? Scientists have found that if we are filled with hatred for a long time, a woman does age faster, has more wrinkles, and is weak and sick. I said to myself, I do not want to be like that because I want to be pretty. I just laughed about it and made it a little easier. It helped a lot, and that was kind of the first step for me. Then there are examples that you do not associate with the fact there is a connection to some kind of hatred or pain from your Mom. One of the methods I have tried is kinesiology. Neuroscience claims that in front of the brain there is the present, and in the back is stored our past. For example, when there is a situation going on around you that stirs a memory of something you have experienced, and it hurts you. I‘ll explain it by using one example. Once upon a time, I might happen to be in a car accident, and because of that, the sound of the siren can cause me fear or pain. Even now years later, because it conjures up my past. In these moments, in fact, everything that has been seen by the eye, heard by the ear, is stored in your body. If the trauma was not processed and suddenly an ambulance comes around, I am going to have a headache, and I would not know what is causing it. If I went deep into kinesiology or therapy, I‘d find that every siren reminds me of, let’s say, worrying about my brother. The present is shutting down and the past is working, but it is already manifesting itself in the way that I get a headache or get uncomfortable. I am not crying because I am not a little child anymore, but I am going to be rude to my partner, for example. If I move on and get out of this situation, I will realize that my behavior was inappropriate. I‘m going to start looking at why this was happening, and maybe I am going to realize that I actually experienced some pain back in time that has not been processed yet. Then I will start forgiving and letting go of a particular fear. That‘s how I am going to relive it, but thanks to therapeutic techniques, without the pain.
“I realized we are just playing games because we do not have any self-confidence. In fact, it is lack of humility and great lack of respect towards the Universe, God, or the Higher Self that created us.“
In your book, you describe that you have struggled with low self-confidence for a long time. What helped you the most in accepting yourself?
Low self-confidence is also a challenge for life because society is putting huge demands on us nowadays. There‘s always something else going on, such as what we women should look like. It‘s all about being solid in yourself. Nevertheless, we tend to slip into it, because a woman is above all a great critic of herself. What might have helped me? At the time, I thought it would help if I joined a beauty contest. I thought the judges were beauty experts, and when they tell me I am beautiful or they pick me for the final ten, I am going to feel the beauty all over my body. Of course, it did not happen that way, and I was shocked. I understood that I had not gained any self-confidence there. In the kind of contest such as the Czech Miss is, things are even more demanding in order to have you meet certain requirements, and pressures are constantly being put on you. It‘s still a competition. I was more likely struggling with the fact that I got there probably because I have had an attractive story for the media. When I looked at the other finalists, I thought I probably did not belong there. It‘s been pretty challenging for me. There‘s no specific point for me to tell you that I started liking myself for example when I was 25. It comes gradually with some therapy and knowledge about yourself because you do not just open relationships to your parents. You also open up such situations where a tutor or parent said to you, “Someday you‘re going to have ass problems“ or “You‘re going to have bow legs from your Mom.“ At the age of 12, this is stored away as true, because the parent or educator is, of course, always right. Actually, you start living it. And even though you have a beautiful ass and beautiful legs, you do not have a positive relationship with them at all, and you do not wear skirts. I accepted it that way. It manifested itself in the way that for a long time I even masked who I really am. I dyed my hair peroxide blonde and my eyebrows black. After my payday, I always went to the solarium. I used a lot of makeup back then. I‘ve tried to disguise everything I am. Over time, as I put myself more and more together, I used it less and less, until I came to the conclusion, I liked myself more without it than with it. At this point, I realized I loved myself. It‘s been like this for the last couple of years, when I am not terrified while seeing myself in the morning, and I am fine with myself. It is a gradual process over a long time. A particular example of when we devoted attention to my appearance was working with photography. In fact, in the alpha state or hypnosis, you disconnect and comment on your body. I felt that the fact that I did not like myself was equal to a great deal of ingratitude for the Lord God giving me such a face or such legs. I had one experience which helped me greatly. I‘d been working out a lot because it is in the family. We‘re all very sporty. I thought I had muscles everywhere, and I had volume. Those 18-year-old girls were all very skinny. I was 24 years old at the time of the Czech Miss contest. I was unhappy because I kept saying my legs were thick, and I did not know what to do. I was in the gym once, and there was a story on plasma TV about people without legs. I thought I was stupid because I have beautiful legs that take me where I want to go and who I want to go to. I realized we are just playing games because we do not have any self-confidence. In fact, it is lack of humility and great lack of respect towards the Universe, God, or the Higher Self that created us. In the evening, I went home and stroked my body, because, of course, it lacked praise and caresses from its parents. I have my own methods of complimenting myself and trying to tell my body through a mantra or affirmation how beautiful it is, how much I love it, and how grateful I am for being healthy. My body began to change immediately. I felt like at one point people thought I had plastic surgery. The change was really visible. You get beautiful when you like being with yourself.
From your date of birth and life number 8, it is obvious you had to deal with a heavy karmic burden. When I watched your participation in the Czech Miss contest, I felt that it was a completely different and much deeper intention on the part of Fate, which is more about the path of knowledge than about being elected beauty queen…
That‘s right. I had tried the Miss contest about three times before, and it never worked out. I‘ve never even gotten past the first casting. I asked myself why I was doing it if I did not belong there at all. Suddenly, it worked, and I got my fateful number 8. It was at a time when I was struggling with health and social security debts after leaving the children‘s home. When I participated in the Miss contest, in my head I believed that it was something fatalistic. I‘m a very religious person, and I have prayed to God since I was a kid. I thought I was going to win the competition because that is the way it is supposed to be, and that is what God, or the Universe wants. I‘m going to pay off my debts, start a big company, and help all the kids in the children’s homes. Of course, that is not how it happened, and I did not make it to the final three. It was a huge let down again. Not because I thought I was the most beautiful girl there, but rather because I was close to winning the contest. I did not just fall to zero, I actually fell past it into the minus. After six months in the Miss contest, I was once again the girl deep in debt who had to face the situation without millions and a winning crown. At that time, I clarified my thoughts enormously. Looking back, it is interesting for me to see the contrasts in the situation I was in back then. To all the journalists and reporters who came to see and interview me as a Miss finalist in September, I served as a cleaning lady to all of them after the contest to earn money. That was really a huge paradox. Since March 2014, I have actually changed positions, and in the next six months I had written a book between these jobs. I had a huge burnout problem at the time. Everything you learn in life and in therapies, all together it is what the Universe tests you with in these situations. If you really believe that because that is exactly the kind of situation you stop believing in. You say, nothing works, I did everything exactly the way you told me, and it still does not work. There were more moments like that in my life. I‘ve also had a very tough year in 2019. Lessons come, but they are maybe harder, because you have progressed a little further. You then have the strength to conquer them. I was not laughing back then at all but thank God for the way it all happened. Thanks to it I paid off all my debts myself. Maybe it would be easier to find a rich man who would help me. I cannot act like this. I‘ve always been very true in love and in relationships. For me, a relationship is all about love. When I was competing in the Miss contest and someone showed an interest in going on a date with me, I could not take advantage of them to put myself in a better situation. I just could not do that. I‘ve always had my heart as a compas.
“I feel that if the intent is good, Universal forces support us, but it is not easy. The goal does not change, just the paths to it. When we really want something and are persistent in a faith, that is usually a huge test, we cannot affect the way or the time it will come.“
Beautifully said. Maybe you would not be supported by Fate that way and it would not help you, anyway…
Like you just said a while ago, it was a journey of knowledge for me. What is interesting about the whole story is that my goal was to do charity work, and that is exactly what I am doing. The goal has not changed, just the journey was more winding. You have to change something else about yourself in order to reach your goal. I feel that if the intent is good, Universal forces support us, but it is not easy. The goal does not change, just the paths to it. When we really want something and are persistent in a faith, that is usually a huge test, we cannot affect the way or the time it will come. How many times do different people test us if we really believe in our dreams? I already had all I wanted while in the Miss contest. I wanted to have it back then, but apparently, I was not ready for it. I had to wait until I had the strength to realize my dream. Now a lot of people think I won that year’s contest, which is a big paradox because I am getting a lot of attention.
After your book was released, your father said he would never read it. Is this still the case or has he changed his mind over the years?
The beginning was very difficult. I was quite surprised there was no one in the publishing company who would have advised me to change the real names in the book. I wrote the book when I was 19, and I did not realize something like that. I would never really do that again to describe real people in a book. Be that as it may, this is my point of view and my truth that does not have to merge with the truth of my father, my mother, or my brother. The truth is relative. If my brother was sitting here with us, and we were both describing the same childhood experience, he would describe it differently, because he perceives it through himself, and so do I. The book, of course, evoked a lot of emotions. I think it is still true that Dad will never read it. Anyway, he is amazing because he is a huge fan of mine, and he recommends my book everywhere. That is very funny, because I am thinking that if he read the book, he might not recommend it to anyone. My relationship with my Dad is beautiful at the moment, which many people find strange after all. I think that in my personal evolvement I have come to understanding, and I also see a little wounded boy inside him. His mother was an alcoholic and his parents often shouted at him. He is following the victim‘s patterns, and he cannot behave any other way. I could not understand it when I was 10 years old. He always used to say he yelled at me because he loved me. It was horrible for me because I was a fragile girl, and it did not work with me that way. On the contrary, it created a lot of stress inside me. My Dad is getting older, and I am growing up. The winning part of working on yourself is that you become immune. Daddy can behave the same in some situations, but it does not hurt me anymore. I am changing him through my change, and he is not treating me the way he used to back then. He looks at me like I am a princess. He often tells me exactly the kind of things I longed to hear as a child. He tells me I am the most beautiful daughter in the world and that he loves me, and he wants me to come for a visit. I go there, and sometimes it happens that I am more stressed about seeing him talking to younger siblings. I see myself through them, and he keeps raising his voice. He is still young, but it is not the same as him having kids when he was 20 years old. I am a big fan of his, and he is a big fan of mine. I always love seeing him. There has been a huge and beautiful shift in our relationship. He is even capable of expressing his emotions.
I guess it was more complicated with your mother due to her history. Was she able to stand up to it and read a book? What kind of relationship do you currently have together?
At first, I thought it would be easier. Mom‘s family was not there for me at all. My Dad used to come for a visit to our children‘s home and somehow, he was a part of my childhood, but my Mom was not. When my book was out, there were huge discussions in the context that it did not happen the way I wrote it. It was not just my Mom‘s reaction, it was my grandmother‘s, my grandfather‘s, and everyone‘s. It was a kind of discussion that did not make me feel good. One day, I burst into tears in front of the whole family and asked them if I had ever been to that children‘s home at all. I felt like I had to defend my own feelings. My book is based on my thoughts and my impresions. Whatever it was, none of them explained it to me. I wrote everything down based on my feelings. In their eyes, my book was a lie, from my point of view I wrote the truth. We are again getting back to the fact that they have their version, and I have mine. After one such visit, I was very upset. On the way back home, I called my boyfriend and shared with him how sad I was about everything. He told me that every time I visit my mother, it took me at least another three days to get myself together. I do not go there that often, but we make phone calls. I needed to process it and become strong as a person. I was not strong enough back then, and I was weak in conversations like these. Although the potential to be myself has been inside me since I was a kid. When I was 10, I was able to tell my Dad I was not going to go to his place. I am an individual who does more of what I want than what others want me to do. It feels the right thing for me to do, but of course not everyone understands or accepts it. I have very little free time and, if I do have some, I spend it where I feel good, such as spending time with my aunt from the children‘s home. She will be the grandmother of my children. Mom read the book. At the time, I came to her and read the chapter “Mom“ to her. I still see a girl in my Mom who is 19 years old and started taking drugs, even though she has been around for over 50 years. But again, it is my point of view, the reality may be different. If a person has such a history, it shapes their intellect and their overall personality. When I talk to her, I see a girl inside her who was definitely very cheerful, kind, funny, and people enjoyed her company. But at the same time, she was vulnerable because she had no self-confidence. She fell in love and, through men, she started doing everything she did not have to do. She went through drug addiction and prison. With her intelligence, she does not reach the level to blame herself for what happened as much as my Dad does. I think Daddy suffers more from what happened. He‘s much more aware of it. He cannot really admit the mistake as he cannot see one. He‘s punishing himself, and, of course, it is already influencing his health. My Mom started reading interesting books in prison which I also read myself. She set her mind to believe it was better for us to be without her than with her. She knew she would not give us anything in her life. She assessed that we were happy, successful and healthy. I think she feels more guiltless and is better with herself than Dad. In my opinion, she processed it well.
To be able, as a Mom, to admit that her own children are doing better without her, requires tremendous courage…
I thought she must have been strong. If she truly means what she says and realized that we would have better lives without her than with her. As you say, giving up your own children, saying it will be for their good, takes great courage and strength. I always say we were lucky kids because we did not stay with our mother. We would never have become who we are now. I just feel like I am disconnected from my mother. It feels more natural for me to live without her than with her. My brother feels differently about her and visits her quite often. I do not have that need. I used to feel our disconnection through shame. I was ashamed of her or uncomfortable. I see her as a total stranger. I answered the question of who my mother is, and when I think of her, my emotions are completely fine.
What were the most difficult issues you had to confront yourself with in life after leaving a children‘s home, issues you were not prepared for?
It‘s very individual. The situation is changing, and it is different nowadays than it used to be when I was in the children‘s home, and when I left it in 2008. If you would have asked me that question when I was 19, I probably would not have answered. Maybe I would have said, everything is fine. I was a teenager, and if there was a real problem, I did not see one. Rather, when I left that small village and moved to Prague, I felt sadness about being alone. I‘ve grown up in the company of people my whole life, and I like people. Even though teenage kids sometimes annoyed me, loneliness hit me. Kids cannot be alone. I found myself in an apartment with no TV or radio, and I was just with myself. Moreover, I did not like myself at the time. I had some pretty crazy thoughts, so it was more challenging for me in that respect. Even my aunt, who was there with me the whole time, suddenly did not call and ask how I was doing. I also watched the lives of other girl friends who had their own families. Although they became independent, they were supported. Whether it was financial support, or maybe their parents brought them some food. I thought it was unfair, and I was angry that I was on my own. At the same time, there was a sense of freedom and the fact that I was free. I‘ve always balanced things somehow. Over a period of time, the financial aspect became the harder issue. As a child from a children‘s home, I did not know the value of money, and I was not able to manage it. It was very hard for me. When I got into debt, I preferred to buy food, or I paid my rent because I did not really see the debt. In the children‘s home, everything worked automatically. When the toilet paper was finished, my aunt replaced it. I come from a home where our food was delivered by lift. Currently, the children in children’s homes are more connected to real life. It did not work like that back then. I was lucky to get a job as a babysitter. The children’s parents noticed I was out of money two weeks before payday. They started paying me weekly. If I have been truly fortunate in some way, it was always about having great people around me in my life. It was not until I took part in the Miss contest that I finally started to face what was really happening. A new man came into my life at the time, and we are still together. He helped me a lot in that situation. I finally had the strength to face up to the debts and started paying them myself.
Well-known personalities usually start foundations in connection with the implementation of charity projects. You‘ve decided to set up the endowment fund. Of course, setting up a foundation is more complicated. Have you decided on the endowment fund purely for practical reasons?
Yes, of course. When you start a foundation, you have to put in capital worth 500,000 Czech crowns and that I did not have. I did not even have any assets, so it was not possible to get a foundation charter. We set up the endowment fund because there were no such obstructions.
Your vision is a lot about real help and love. How do you manage to stick to this strategy at a time when uncompromising, calculating and manipulating business models, are winning the world?
Currently, the situation is better because like attracts like. In this way, we attract like-minded people. Of course, I meet such pragmatic people. After a few years in the non-profit sphere and after a lot of meetings I go through every day, I can naturally adjust to the person sitting next to me. If I am sitting with someone who wants numbers and data, I am going to give it to them because I have learned and detected a lot of stuff in that direction. It‘s often all about words. If I sit with the kind of person you are, I will naturally communicate in the way close to my heart. On the other hand, having the endowment fund also means mastering a lot of managerial skills that I had to learn on my journey. A huge plus, of course, is my story, which is authentic and trustworthy. Setting up a fund was the best thing I have ever done. Although, if someone had told me before how difficult it would have been, I probably would not have had the courage back then. I did it purely because I feel connected to this issue; I want to help because I know how to help. Suddenly there was a lot of administration, contracts, and numbers in front of me. Exactly everything I am not good at. I had a lot to learn on the fly. I never thought I would give up. There were moments when I was very tired or felt sad because someone did not feel things the same way I did. Again, these are tests of faith. In these situations, I again asked myself why I was angry or why I needed to defend myself when only I know the truth, and no one else knows me as much as I do.
How does it work in reality? What kind of services do you offer to children from children‘s homes?
We did a lot of things naturally in the beginning. We used to bring diverse items to children’s homes or just went there for a visit. Since I studied primary and preschool pedagogy myself, the children are close to me. When I sent my book to all the children‘s homes in the Czech Republic, of which there are 142, I got huge feedback. More from educators than children. They invited me to come over and tell the kids what was waiting for them behind the gates. Since I like to talk and share, I put together a presentation that my therapist and the people around me have helped me with. I based the concept on my story and also on the fact that the children talked about their own stories. I focused on the process of forgiveness, emotions, harmonizing with the Universe and other aids that helped me a lot. When I went to the first children‘s home back in 2015, I was very nervous. The minute I went in there, I felt as if I had come home. I feel like I am coming home in every children’s home because my sisters and my brothers are there. The presentation lasted four hours and there were about seven girls there. It was very natural for me, and I felt this “aha“ moment about myself when I thought, aha, that is what I was born for. This is exactly my mission. Time was running out, and I did not care what time it was. It was a perfectly natural thing, and I felt like a fish in the water. From that day on, I started going around all the children‘s homes. We had been constantly working on the presentation and were improving it. While being on the road, I realized that this is a short-term inspiration, when one can influence and motivate a lot of people. When I drove 350,000 kilometers, I thought in my car that the moment a young person leaves a children‘s home, they may have the same or even worse feelings than I had. On the way to the next children‘s home, when I went to tell them what was coming next, it suddenly seemed very little to me. Again, I remembered how much my therapist Helena Bedrnova helped me. We put together a project where I have a team of guides. We call them guides because they accompany the children on their journey. We do not want to call them therapists, psychologists, or educators who, of course, professionally need appropriate qualifications. We accompany young people at the most critical point before and especially after leaving. We stabilize them and make sure they do not get into drugs, debt, or other adverse situations, such as criminal activity. We also do questionnaire surveys throughout the foundation‘s existence. We compile customized questionnaires for the young people who currently live in children’s homes so that they are not all based only on my story. We really create the questionnaires based on the feedback we get from the young people themselves.
What do you currently see as the biggest problem in children’s homes? What kind of support do children lack there the most?
Currently, the biggest problem is that psychological assistance is not provided in children‘s homes. Children receive social and material support, but no one works with a soul that is sick. Even though the child was abandoned for their own good by their biological parents, it‘s still an abandonment. Such a memory needs to be grasped and healed. No one‘s taking care of it. Legislation does not work for me in this regard and is failing. It‘s very interesting to me when you look at my mother, who was in prison, for example. She was an adult woman who consciously committed crime. In prison, they provide therapy to people. Of the five children to whom she gave birth, none of them had been raised by her, and all of them were placed in institutions. No one actually processed how their mother treated them, and of course, it influenced them in fundamental ways. I reflect on how we think as a society, and I try to do what is best from my point of view. To balance education, diet or a visit to the gym is equal to investing in your own thinking and in your soul. Our society is not familiar with this kind of attitude yet. People have not figured out that we should be more concerned about who we really are when no one is watching.
Your mission is not only beautiful and valuable, but definitely needed. What are the most precious values of life for you, whether in private or in working life?
The most precious value in life for me is to be happy with myself, to have a great family and to be a good Mom. Being a Mom is going to be a big mission for me, and it is definitely going to fulfill my life. On a private level, a beautiful and loving family is the essential thing I want. In my working life, I leave things open. I always say that opportunities will always find me. In the endowment fund, I would like to get to the point where we can offer our help to everyone without having to put the brakes on the plans because maybe we do not have the money to accomplish them. We would like to open other projects that we cannot open yet for the same reason. I want us to organize camps and work more with the educators. I am doing this mainly because I live a good life. I want all the children from children‘s homes to be well and able to live fulfilled lives too. Life is a precious gift. The way we approach life, is the way it approaches us in return.