For detail click on the selected photo.
- It has been 12 years since we started the excellent cooperation with the Army of the Czech Republic. During this time we have delivered ambulances to Balkans, the material help, the schools have been reconstructed. The material help as well as school equipment went also to Iraq. To Afghanistan we have sent mostly the money, so the help could be bought at local firms.
- On Saturday April 28, 2012 Mrs. Bela accompanied by Sister Dominika Bohušová OP went to the airport to see off the soldiers flying to Afghanistan. With the soldiers going to Logar Mrs. Bela sent another part of Centipede´s help - 10.000,- USD, the gift of the Centipede children from the Aal school in Norway. On behalf of H.E. Dominik Cardinal Duka OP, sister Dominika presented the soldiers with the medallions of the Holy Mary to protect them from any danger and conveyed them Cardinal´s blessings. All together during the last 3 years the movement On Own Feet - Centipede has donated 100 000,- USD to CIMIC designated as the help to Afghan children.
- On December 6, 2011 Centipede school in Norwegian Aal celebrated 150th anniversary of founding. On this occasion Centipede children's small market took place. The children managed to get fantastic 24 000,- NOK. The whole amount has been sent to the Centipede account.
- On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, Mrs. Běla visited the Centipede school in Norwegian Aal. The whole school, headed by director Kjell Arne Haavaldsen, prepared a wonderful welcome for Mrs. Běla. Mrs. Běla informed the children and teachers about the work of our soldiers of the CIMIC unit in Afghanistan. She accompanied her lecture with photographs taken in Logar. The children were interested in the work of the soldiers very much and asked a lot of questions from the everyday life of the mission. They also learned how their friends in Afghanistan live and how the money collected for them was used. The whole school is getting ready for the Christmas event organized for the Centipede. Mrs. Běla thanked very much for the Centipede day out of which a fantastic amount of 30 000,- NOK was sent to the Centipede.
- 726 mobile phones recycled. On Own Feet receives NOK 23.000 to support children in Afghanistan. Bela Gran Jensen who leads the On Own Feet organization received the good news last week and was overwhelmed. The donation will be used to build a well for a school in the Logar province in Afghanistan. In addition we will buy three school books for each pupil at the school, she says. The donation will come in addition to the contribution Data Respons gives every year.
- Denmark main collector. Data Respons Denmark has made the mobile recycling through Anovo into a national event in Denmark. A lot of attention in local and national media resulted in a various initiatives in the Herlev area and schools, businesses and senior citizens have given their old phones to Data Respons for recycling. Data Respons Denmark received 666 phones for recycling. A school in Řsterbro who collected 110 phones and another school in Gentofte collected 197 phones. A senior citizen club has helpedcollect phones from individuals and have taken over the project when it was completed. The other Data Respons offices have collected around 50 phones which make the total 726.
- On Monday, December 13, 2010, the opening ceremony of the exhibition „My Dream about Afghanistan“ took place in the lobby of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Click here.
- In Roeren, Norway, the children from the Centipede school prepared a celebration in the form of the UN Day. During all the performances (that were very successful) the idea of right of the children for education and peaceful life was promoted. The children from Roeren are very proud that through the Centipede, they can cooperate with the Czech soldiers in Afghanistan. They handed over a cheque for 33 378,- NOK to Mrs. Běla. From beginning of cooperation with the Centipede, more than 250 000,- NOK was collected. Congratulation on this fantastic work !!
- A Different Kind of Army. Posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC—Most children are innocent and naďve. In the best of circumstances, they start off life unaware of its harsh realities. Children in war-torn regions do not enjoy this luxury. They are forced to grow up quickly, often seeing looting, hunger, rape, ethnic cleansing, religious intolerance, and horrific violence. What can people in distant countries do to help children in war-zones? What can children living in safety do to help children facing such difficulties and dangers? Several hundred thousand Centipede Children, and their leader Bela Gran Jensen, know the answer. Jensen, a Norwegian born in Prague, created the Movement "On Own Feet; the Centipede Children." It is a fully-voluntary humanitarian and peace organization which allows children to help other children: www.centipede.org. She founded the group exactly twenty years ago. Czech playwright Vaclav Havel became its first Patron. The project began at one school with a simple fundraising drive. Children made greeting cards and sold them to buy toys and medical supplies for children in need. This effort slowly picked up pace as more schools and more children began doing the same. The group took on the name Centipede Children. It is indeed a project carried forward by many small legs. Ten years ago Jensen enlisted the help of the Czech military to help deliver the supplies the school children had gathered. The Czech Army General Staff, the Czech Defense Ministry and Czech peacekeeping soldiers contribute significantly to the activities of the Centipede Movement. "Not in a million years would I have imagined that the best friend of the Centipede children's peace movement was going to be the Czech military," Jensen says, beaming with pride. Not content with having the cooperation of the Czech top brass, she was invited to address an assembly of all NATO Ministers of Defense where she reminded them of the role her group could play in taking aid to children in war-torn regions. On a visit to the Czech Republic, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan met some of these Centipede Children. They promised to raise enough money to buy an ambulance to send to Prystina in war-torn Balkans. What started with greeting cards became a veritable cottage industry of fundraising activities the children developed on their own. In the end, the children raised enough funds to purchase four ambulances, not one. Jensen knows that teaching children they can make a difference is more valuable that any weapon. After all, she told me, children are innately optimistic and can overlook the seeming impossibility of repairing damage from war and civil strife. Since it began in 1990, the Centipede Movement has spread to Slovakia, Poland, Norway and Canada with a total of more than 2,500 schools participating. Their activities include equipping children's hospitals in Eastern Europe. Since 2000, they have been in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Asia, rebuilding schools and classrooms in war-torn countries. They have also been providing these schools with text books, educational supplies, essential medical care, and classroom technology. In Jensen's home office, there are boxes filled with awards, medals, and certificates of recognition she has received for her work with the Centipede children. But she chooses to keep a low profile. The children determine the direction of most of the activities. When the tsunami struck southeast Asia, the Centipede children decided to help raise relief funds. The Czech Ambassador to Thailand wrote back to the children informing them that the children who received aid sent their greetings and special thanks. Sometimes the children raise $1,000. Sometimes they raise $50,000. Although the idea is to empower children to know they can make a difference, the financial contributions over 20 years from this movement total millions of dollars."The Centipede children send material help, but with that, also their love," says Jensen. Today, thousands of overjoyed school children will gather in a Prague stadium to honor the Centipede movement's twentieth anniversary. A Bohemian proverb states that one generation plants trees so that the next can enjoy the shade. Mrs. Jensen and the Movement On Own Feet have planted a forest.
By Thor Halvorssen
Thor Halvorssen, founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, has been the patron of the Movement "On Own Feet; the Centipede Children" since 2009.
Read the original article in The Huffington Post.
- On Thursday, May 13, 2010, the Centipede children and the representatives of the Army of the Czech Republic met at Dukla stadium at Juliska. Click here.
- Karolína Šedivcová, the student of the gymnasium of Jiří Orten in Kutná Hora won in international literary competition. Click here.
- On October 2009 the children from Norwegian Centipede school in Roren organised Centipede Day. Fantastic 49 000,- NOK (all the profits) - was sent to the Centipede account.
- Mrs. Běla received a mail from Director of Institutional Affairs of Human Rights Foundation Alex Gladstein.
I hope you are well! I write from HRF’s New York offices with news from Thor, who sends his best.
We are absolutely stunned at the quality and beauty of these Christmas cards that you have sent. They are simply amazing. We would love to use them this year. If numbers are not an issue, we will gladly take 600 of them. We will make sure each and every one amazes one of our friends here in America...
Hope to hear from you soon,
- The president of the Human Rights Foundation Thor Halvorssen became a patron of the Movement. Click here.