Who do you blame when you don’t have enough money? Is there any better solution than hatered?
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.
One-third of the children in Hungary live in unhealthy, damp, moldy homes. This is often because of doors and windows that are not insulated properly, but many families cannot afford to have them replaced. What can you do if you can’t afford to buy new windows, but you have had enough of having to heat the street? With the method of Ökoszolgálat, the draughty doors and windows of a home could be insulated for up to ten years, with a cost of only a few thousand Forints. Anyone can contribute to the initiative even with a little money, giving long-term support to underprivileged families.
While different television programmes entertain viewers with various games set in egzotic locations that have nothing to do with real life challenges, during an interactive theatre play titled „Sociopoly” we can get a glimpse into the situation, the challenges and decisions of people living in severe poverty. So we don’t need to go as far as the jungles of South America if we want to try ourselves in merciless life situations – at least for the duration of a game – that we mostly have no clue about.