Parents, teachers and students think about school like that: the bad students are lazy and the good grind their teeth and perform. In most cases it doesn’t even occur that learning might be a joyful creative activity that can even be attractive for the youth and not only for those who want to impress and perform. Yet a number of initiatives show that disadvantaged and middle class children can both learn with good spirit and perform better if we offer learning as an adventure and not a constraint.
Velvet curtains, classy architecture, champagne at the buffet – that is how a direct marketing treatment would kick off. All you need to do is stay put in your seat, and applaud politely when it's done, like you would an acceptance speech. But is that what theater really is? Could Shakespeare, and a bunch of theater activists be right in asserting all the world's a stage, and all the men and women players?
The number of really child-friendly cafés in Budapest can be counted on one hand, making it a special challenge to get out and relax as parents and taking our boisterous kids along. HellóAnyu! (Hi Mom!) is a pro-family community space featuring diverse programs, an organic café and child-friendly interior, to enable fun for all, big or small, while maintaining a community focus.
Only a few minutes' walk from Oktogon, the two-storey HellóAnyu! building is a busy, teeming treasure trove. The place is basically a great big playhouse, with diaper changing table, study corner and yoga room facilities available as well as hot food and a range of sweets and desserts for the whole family. This special space accommodates a wide range of age groups: six-month toddlers can crawl around or doze off on the huge baby mat, kindergarten age kids have a dynamic assortment of toys and games at their disposal, school students can take their homework into a quiet nook or take tea with friends, while parents can finally meet up with their own friends and socialize.
Although we often experience that people who are distant in terms of age, geographic location or social status hardly understand one another and approach the matters of the world and one another along different values and attitudes, in fact, generational and other gaps are not as scary as they may seem. If we try to foster understanding not only through theoretical lectures and campaigns, but through real-life, positive encounters, it’s easy to experience outlandish strangers become friendly acquaintances. Magosfa Foundation has been organising meetings for elementary students and retirement home residents for several years, through which they have a chance to get to know each other, as well as learn about environment-friendly solutions. Many individuals, teachers and social care workers have had the chance to learn about the methods of this initiative that was created based on a Dutch model.