‘Always look on the bright side of life’, sing Monty Python at the end of their film. And this is how I look at life, life in this region, in Ostrava, in my work in the field of education and in recent years also as a co-owner of a successful cafe in Ostrava.
That is why I still see our region, life and work in it as inspiring and motivating, offering countless opportunities in all areas of life. In the Moravian-Silesian Region, everyone has a chance to find what they are interested in, what they enjoy and they have a chance to discover often unsuspected treasures—such as the last to me—forest trails and footpaths in the Černý les near Šilheřovice, including a campsite for a group of our students who completed their training expedition here as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. For many of them, this track and area was a brand new experience.
Personally, even after so many years of living in it, I have not stopped researching Ostrava and its surroundings, even though it is constantly changing so dynamically. Whether I walk or ride a bike, through culture or sports, Ostrava continues to fascinate me. Thanks to my position as director and teacher at the 1st International School of Ostrava, I have had the great opportunity to engage with my colleagues and students in community activities for many years through volunteer projects, whether it is the Outdoor Classes project in Park Čs- letců, the Walkthrough Gallery project for beginning artists, the Book Box project, etc.
Ostrava is an ideal city to live in. It is simply great that you can get from the centre of Ostrava to nature or to the Beskid Mountains in a few minutes. The social and gastronomic life in our city has improved so fast over the last ten years that it is almost impossible to choose wrong. Sometimes it is difficult to choose how you will spend your free time—theatre, cinema, concert, sports or just sitting by the river or going somewhere with friends for a drink in the evening. Based on the feedback from our graduates, we know that a large number of them like to return to the region after studying at universities in the world and thus like to contribute to its further development.
I simply enjoy Ostrava and our entire region and I am proud that I can contribute a little to making it a great place to live for anyone, including many foreigners. There is room for improvement everywhere, I am aware of that, but I will return to my life motto—’always look on the bright side of life’.
Ivo Helebrant, Headmaster of
1st International School of Ostrava