Lata — Programs for Youth at Risk
Lata is a nonprofit organization based in Prague that is offering support to children and youth (age 13 – 26) in situations that they cannot handle by themselves. Lata's clients face various difficulties with peers, family, and school or with activities in their spare time. They have to overcome psychological obstacles related to adolescence, need help strengthening their identity, or face difficulties growing up in institutional care. Lata's services are based on volunteer peer support as well as regular care by social workers.
Lata's key project is called “In two it's going easier,” which is focused on at-risk youth. This project is similar to and inspired by the U.S. Big Brothers Big Sisters programs.
Besides interacting with clients, Lata staff has to deal with a lot of administrative tasks like sharing case documents among employees and with other institutions. Therefore it is necessary to work with computers on a daily basis. “Before we received the donation, we faced obstacles every day due to different Microsoft Office versions installed on staff computers,” says Gabriela Ryšánková, social worker at Lata. “These versions were not compatible, which meant we had to re-save all the Microsoft Word or Excel documents over and over. All these issues made our work take longer and be less effective.”
In spring of 2011, Lata requested five Microsoft Office 2010 Standard licenses from TechSoup Czech Republic. Each of the five computers in the NGO’s office was upgraded to the new Office suite. New software helped Lata employees to make their work more efficient, mainly regarding documentation and administration, which is a core part of a social worker's job. New software enabled easy communication with cooperating organizations (institutions, schools, psychologists, NGOs, and so on) and also among Lata staff.