Akce Cihla, such a great way to spend few minutes while wandering around the city center of Prague. Thinking of fundraising but don’t want to give your money to a random stranger on a street, or just you don’t need all those pencils, magnets, etc., you can get while supporting some organisation you don’t even know?
So why should you support Akce Cihla anyway? Akce Cihla, aka Beneficial BRICK, is an international street art fundraising project for people with special needs started in the Czech Republic in 1999.
For me it is more fun than just giving money to someone, it is a place where you can be a bit creative and show your talent. They have been supporting people with special needs since 1999 and helped to open more than 26 facilities to do so. Those facilities are for people with special needs where they can live, work or relax.
Since 1999 more than 235,000 people have supported the campaign by buying or donating. So can you! It is about people who have some mental disorders and the project is helping them to be more independent. Their main aim is helping them with finding accommodation or a job as well as giving them the chance to get them out of the institutions they have to live in.
As a person who loves traveling, meeting people or just going out and talking to strangers, I can’t imagine living in one place all the time with the same people around not being able to get into “normal” life. That’s why I love helping people if I can and the Brick is the best compromise that combines donations and painting/art.
You can find the brick wall in more cities than just in Prague, but the main brick stand is a huge street art installation made by over 40.000 peoples painted bricks situated at the street Na příkopě, which goes from Wenceslas Square to Republic Square. You can paint anytime, you just need to come, make a donation and start painting.
The first Akce Cihla fundraising event happened in the year 2000 in Prague, but since then you can find brick stands in more than 20 cities around the Czech Republic. They occur every year from May to September.
The first time I saw the stand I was just curious; then you see people painting during the weekends and eventually after a few more days the wall was full of painted bricks into the shape of a maze. You could go through and look at all the paintings. They usually start building the wall in spring and as people paint more during the summer time the wall becomes huge by the fall.
If you just have a look at the wall one day, you can see many small pieces of art. Some of them are just names written on the bricks to say who bought it but some of them are really pieces of art. From flags, animals, sometimes you can even find a portrait of the painter. Often you can find a greeting from a country you have never been to.
Don’t just paint your brick, but talk to the others. This fundraising project is not just about giving money and supporting people with special needs, but it is an opportunity to meet some other people with the same interests as painting or helping the others. Talk to them because where else you can find the opportunity to talk to many people from around the globe. I have met many foreigners there as this project seems really interesting to everyone.
What a great way to support those who need our help, so let’s go out and paint a brick!