How can an NGO work independently when it receives government funding? How can we activate and make responsible the members of a Roma settlement, if local helpers provide them with aid and donations on a regular basis? How can an educational initiative that holds afternoon workshops for children living in a Roma settlement be sustainable if all the teachers are paid employees? According to Bagázs, there is no way. The organisation that for the past five years has been working at the Bag Roma settlement located 39 kilometres from Budapest does not accept government funding, intends to initiate changes by activating the locals instead of being an intermediary for donations, and manages its development workshops for students with the help of volunteer secondary school and university students instead of paid educators. This way, instead of conserving vulnerability and a state of being under-privileged, they are working on bringing the people living in the Roma settlement and the members of wider society truly closer to each other. However, both parties need to take important steps in order to achieve this. Because if we want to live in an inclusive society, we all – Romas and non-Romas, citizens and decision-makers – must take responsibility.
Small children don’t care who belongs to what groups. Are you nice with me, do you play with me or not? That’s it. Later they learn it from us adults to greet older people differently, not to eat too much candy in order not to become ugly fat and not to stare at disabled people on the street. We teach them our prejudices slowly and also the things that shouldn’t be asked.
On the first of May in Hungary we are celebrating with beer and sausage that we can work under more or less fair conditions: theoretically eight hours a day with social security, paid leave and the promise of pension. Such working rights and conditions are provided for most of this article’s readers which our ancestors couldn’t dream of a 150 years ago. But if we look around a bit more we can see that many people are still not free. While slavery is illegal in every country there have never been so many slaves on the Earth as today.
Blind and visually impaired people have difficulties in doing everyday tasks. Transportation, dealing with official matters or even to do a simple shopping can be problem. The Association of Blind and Visually Impaired in Csongrád has launched an initiative to help visually impaired people in shopping.
If police officers don't trust citizens, citizens won't trust police officers either. If police officers only strive to serve the demands of abstract legislations and their superiors, instead of the public – which they are supposed to be serving – then it's no wonder that the gap between the two parties keeps deepening. If we don't have good experiences with each other – be it the police, doctors, or members of any social group – it's no surprise that we prefer to avoid each other. We're not comfortable with filing complaints, bearing witness, and in cases where we must communicate, we try to keep it as brief as possible. And if we are a member of a group (such as the Roma, gay people, disabled people) that often faces rejection and contempt in other spheres of their life as well, we are even less likely to turn to the police; because the reason why we were threatened or beaten up, the walls of our houses were covered in graffiti, or our bikes were damaged is precisely the fact that we belong to the given group. But is it in the interest of the police at all to inspect the cases of victims of hate crimes as more than just simple vandalism or assault, and do the police even want to gain the trust and cooperation of citizens?