Café AdAstra in Prague 2, an initiative from the local charitable organization Zajíček na koni, currently employs around 30 workers with disabilities among their kitchen and waitstaff, including those affected by Down syndrome, epilepsy, autism, and other conditions.
“They grew up and needed to do something, so we set up a café where they can work,” Veronika Musilová Náměstková, who has worked with Zajíček na koni for the past 15 years, said in a Facebook post yesterday.
“Not only those who are really capable of doing things [by themselves], but also those who need constant supervision and assistance and their main activity and pleasure is folding the napkins.”
But Café AdAstra is in danger of shutting down at the end of the year. Yesterday, Musilová Náměstková reached out to the local community through Facebook for help.
“Now there is a risk that our youth will not have a place to return after Christmas, and that’s why we are asking for [your support],” she wrote.
In the Facebook post, she estimates that an additional 30 customers per day are needed for the café to maintain operating costs.
So far, the response has been enormous. In less than a day, the post received 25,000 likes and more than 60,000 shares.
“Supporting a good thing by getting some food or a coffee is probably the least one can do,” commented Czech writer Pavel Renčín.
In updates to the Facebook post, Musilová Náměstková has been overwhelmed by the support of the community.
“The café is full thanks to YOU,” she writes. “My surprise and words of thanks can not be described!!”
If you’d like to support the cafe but you’re not in Prague, you can also contribute with a donation; bank details are contained within the Facebook post above.
You can also donate to the project through the charitable fundraising site darujme.cz.
If you’re in Prague, you can visit Café AdAstra on Podskalská Street in Prague 2, a stone’s throw from the popular summertime embankment Náplavka.