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.
Although currently most services are ordered from companies at rather high prices, more and more NGO’s also offer high quality services. The event management group of the Hungarian Williams Syndrome Association – young peole living with Williams syndrome who are very easy-going and have excellent communication skills, and their helpers – are happy to do the catering background for any event. Based on the experiences of the past year, this team of young people living with a mental disability is competent in managing children’s programmes, registration tasks and offering tasty appetisers. Because as the Scandinavian say: no one is worth more than the other, only our strengths vary. Thankfully Hungary also has a few people who believe that people living with disabilities, who are usually marginalised, can also be a useful part of the community they were born in.
The new restaurant in Pécs has been operating for a couple of months, almost always with a full house. People travel long distances, from other regions of the country and some visitors come even from abroad. Guests often come back after their first experience at the restaurant. So what is the secret recipe of the „Colourful Pearls” Association?
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.
Members of the Public Workers Movement handed over a letter to the Ministry of Interior in September 2015. Although resignation and fear keeps an increasing number of public employees from raising their voices for their rights and humane work environments, the members of the movement brought to life by the Hungarian Anti-Poverty Network (Magyar Szegénységellenes Hálózat) still have the courage to play, ask, and represent their demand that they as people in employment should also be granted viable conditions.
It’s not only ponces and gangsters that tap a single sex worker for up to ten million each year, but the solid protectors of order as well - police officers - who, since a new regulation came into force three years ago, may impose fines of up to HUF 300.000 on sex workers, several times a day. The map of violence created by the Advocacy Association of Sex Workers raises awareness to the regulatory gaps, abuse and discrimination that cause a lot of undeserved suffering in all spheres of life to the boys and girls in the trade, most of whom did not choose this vocation as the most attractive one out of a huge array of excellent options, to begin with.