Project realization: January 2019 – December 2019


Czech families and families of foreigners met on Sunday, November 24, 2019 for unusual lunches. Altogether 31 meetings took place in the whole Czech Republic, when people with different culture, language and customs sat at the same table on the same day and hour. This is the 16th year of the Next Door Family project, which aims to improve relations between the majority society and foreigners, build a multicultural society and understand different cultures. Since 2004, a total of 1,676 families have been involved in the Next Door Family project. This year's project also brought together 3 joint meetings of already involved families in Olomouc, Havlíčkův Brod and Ostrava, attended by 183 people.


Do you ask why these lunches areunusual? This is because families who decide to participate in the project do not know in advance who they will meet. So one family of the couple prepares lunch for the other family in their household and they will host them. Whether Czechs or foreigners are hosted depends on their own decision. Registered families are paired on the basis of age, hobbies, interests, language, and of course the city of residence, simply because so that members of both families have enough common themes for the conversation. This makes the relationship more likely to continue successfully in the future. The participants of unusual lunches had the opportunity to taste traditional specialties, to talk about culture, traditions and life



The project involved families of foreigners from third countries who had the opportunity to get to know the families of the majority society and make new friends. This year they were foreigners from the following countries: Syria, India, Belarus, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Algeria, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Vietnam, Mongolia or New Zealand. The project proved not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad as an effective tool for the integration of foreigners into society.


Since 2004, when the project was began, 1,676 Czech and foreign families have been involved in the project, in total 838 meetings have taken place.


Family meetings alone aim to increase the level of integration and build relationships between the majority society and foreigners in order to continue in the future. The aim of the whole project is to strengthen the multicultural environment and support the establishment of mutual communication between Czech society and foreigners from third countries.



Setkani Alzirska rodina

Joint lunches are held once a year, always on the last Sunday of November, Czech families and families of foreigners legally living in the Czech Republic can apply for the project. The term family also includes a couple who considers themselves a family (they do not have to be married). The project is intended for foreigners from third countries (outside the EU).



Next Door Family project has spread abroad and since 2012 meetings have been held in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and the Cape Verde Islands. This proves that our idea travels across borders as an effective and remarkable tool for the integration of foreigners.









Feedback of direct project participants


Vavříková Ivona (guest):

“I would like to thank you for your opportunity to participate in the Family Next Door project yesterday. We were as guests at lunch with a family from Syria and it was a very intense experience for us, we will think about this meeting for a long time. Thank you for organizing these projects. They are definitely meaningful. We have seen the isolation of the families of foreigners and the prejudices they face in the Czech society.Perhaps, by telling us about this experience, we can, at least with a small drop, contribute to greater understanding and tolerance for our relatives and friends. I know it's just a grain of sand in the whole issue, but again, we feel your project makes sense.”


Linková Markéta (host):

                  “The family was wonderful (Masenka played the piano and Misek was an explorer). It is a pity that Darja did not take Viktor's second son. I admire her how she handles everything. It was a very rewarding meeting (the presentation about Belarus also interesting). I believe that during the year we will meet, we agreed on this Saturday's Advent markets in the museum, the coordinator was a pro, we had enough information and the project is certainly beneficial.”


Panina Anastasiia (host):
“Thank you very much, everything went great. We are very satisfied, the family is very pleasant, we exchanged contacts. I hope we will stay in touch and visit each other. It's a great project.”


Matvijevská Marina (host):
                  “Wonderful meeting, we didn't want to say goodbye at all. We seemed to be on the same wave, and we didn't feel strangers at all. The conversation was balanced on both sides and we are glad for information wealth. It's a very friendly family, thank you! ”


Vávra Stanislav (host):
                  “Everything went well, we liked it, we learned a lot of information, we have contacts, so I think we will see each other”


Šilhavý Jiří (guest):

                  “We spent a pleasant afternoon with second family in Hradec Králové. The meetings were organized without any problems. We exchanged contacts with the Matviev family. Thank you for arranging the meeting.”




Don´t be afraid, ask


The project has already produced 6 humorous educational videos called Don´t be afraid, ask. The author of these videos is the well-known stand up comedian Tigran Hovakimyan originally from Armenia. These videos show the viewers of the general public the culture of selected participants in the spirit of "everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask" (Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia, Vietnam, India and Mongolia). You can watch some videos here.



1st video about Kazakhs



2nd video about Russians



3rd video about Vietnamese




4th video about Indians




5th video about Mongols




6th video about Armenians




Joint meetings of already involved families

This activity was created based on the wishes of the participants in order to discuss personal experiences and impressions. Part of these meetings is always a cultural program with tasting national dishes.The aim is for families to get to know each other and share their impressions and experiences with the project and similar activities to integrate foreigners.


Meeting on September 19, 2019 in Olomouc

This meeting of project participants from the Olomouc Region took place in Jazz Tibet club. As part of the cultural program, the Ukrainian band Korale and Lukáš Mareček with his one man show performed. The dance program performed by Flamenco Aires del Sur diversified the program. Throughout the program, the participants had the opportunity to taste the delicacies of various national cuisines (Balkan, Arabic, Ukrainian and Turkish). A total of 69 people attended this meeting.


Setkání 19. 9. 2019 v Olomouci


Meeting on September 28, 2019 in Havlíčkův brod

Another meeting of the already attended families from the Vysočina Region took place in the Club Oko. The band called Třetí sloka performed at this event and Mongol singers Sukhbaatar Otgonbayar and Chuluunbaatar Altanzul also sang to guests. Traditional Vietnamese dances were performed by dancers from the Vietnamese Association in Jihlava. A variety of Mongolian, Vietnamese and Russian dishes were available for guests to taste. The meeting was attended by 77 people.



Setkání 28. 9. 2019 v Havlíčkově Brodě


Meeting on October 6, 2019 in Ostrava

The last meeting of families from the Moravian-Silesian Region took place at the Plato Gallery. The cultural program featured American singer Collin Rymer, Lukas Marecek with one man show and singer Pavlina Matiova. Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Mexican, Vietnamese dishes were prepared for tasting for the guests. 37 people attended the meeting.



Setkání 6. 10. 2019 v Ostravě 








praha         vnitro logo univerzal

The project is implemented with financial support from Prague municipality.


Updated: 20. 12. 2019