Milan Chab

Ashoka Fellow
Czech Republic,
Fellow Since 1997
Babkova spolecnost

Citation

This profile was prepared when Milan Chab was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1997.
The New Idea
In the Czech Republic, disabled and mentally impaired children are typically removed from their families and placed in large government institutions. This approach has led to widespread misconception about the abilities of these special people. Milan Cháb is spearheading the movement in his country to disband large institutions and to replace them with small community-based organizations and programs that provide the special services and training the children require. For example, he has developed special classes and mainstream education possibilities that have secured the backing of local education authorities in the western Czech Republic where his project began.

One of the most distinctive aspects of Milan's work is the link he forges between services for the children and general community development in the Czech Republic. Working within the parameters of their abilities, his organization is training the children in agriculture and other rural redevelopment skills that enable them to contribute to much-needed rehabilitation of many abandoned villages and farms. Thus the children learn valuable skills and have the opportunity to interact with other people in ways that demonstrate their capacity to contribute to their society. His work is being watched closely by the European Union, which is very interested in its unique and replicable approach to complex problems.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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