Hungarian NGOs in Norway

19 NGOs supported by the Hungarian NGO Fund went on a study trip to Oslo between the 6th and 10th of October. The participants were inspired by the visits at the organizations and related museums in the Donor State. Besides the common programs they have also visitied initiatives related to their own profile individually.

The NGOs represented by the participants work mainly with vulnerable groups (eg.: disabled, Roma, homeless, drug users, homosexuals): they provide services for these groups and try to strengthen them, they shape the public's attitude and relationship towards them with educational and sensitization programs. The visited organizations in Oslo are working on similar fields as well.

The colleague of LLH - a Norwegian LGBTQ organization - introduced an education program targeted towards the employees of the institutional system (teachers, policemen, etc.). Instead of ideological beliefs this program focuses on helping the employees work more effectively in their institutions. They believe that humor can be often more effective than a warrior approach. The European Wergeland Center's staff presented their work done for the development of democratic education across Europe, emphasizing that meaningful change can only be achieved if we work together on a partnership basis, and on the long run, with the teachers, parents and children. They recommended the Compass and Small Compass publications issued by the Council of Europe in which you find helpful interactive excercises on the topics of human rights and democracy education. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee presented their activities in human rights education as well. They believe that human rights education of young people can only be effective if we connect it with intercultural learning and interactive excercises related to their real life. A film about a former international project in a camp for young Serbian and Albanian people also proved that hatred and prejudices against one another can be easily dismantled through real encounters, understanding, honest discussions and games. 
The Norwegian People’s Aid informed the participants about international developments and services provided for refugees. They have also discussed the international challanges and opportunities of the current refugee situation. Frambu, a center of rare diseases organizes year-round groups for people living with rare diseases and their families, focusing  on the development and support of independent living. Bymisjon is a church organization and provides services for groups which fall out even of the dense safety net of Norway. Among many other they organize Norwegian language courses, as well as sewing and knitting courses for Roma people coming from Eastern Europe. The goal is to strengthen them and help them start revenue- generating activities. Their colleagues provide housing and support in the house of Kafé Saba to Eastern African people who are suffering from drug and psychiatric problems.

The participants have also learned about the history of Norway in the Intercultural Museum and in the School Museum. The exhibition presenting the history of the handful of Roma minority showed that the Norwegian state has contributed to the deportation of Roma people to German workcamps and also that sterilization of Roma people happened even in the fifties - for which the government has apologized the community just this year. In the School Museum the groups could see that thousands of teachers have been imprisoned already during the Second World War for showing resistance against the Nazi occupation. At the same time cooperative, experience-based education already appeared in the fifties and it has greatly contributed to the development of cooperation and a culture of debate among the citizens.