Food for life at Christmas

2014. december 19., péntek

With its Christmas campaign "Give food to give life" the Reformed Church Aid wants to raise the issue of malnutrition of children, a widespread social phenomenon in Hungary. The Foundation extends a helping hand to the community in several different ways; through trainings of service personal, emergency response and social projects throughout Hungary and the Carpathian Basin.

Give food to give life - Chistmas campaign 2014

The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) will provide food for 200 children during the Christmas holidays. The organization wants to raise awareness of the problem of malnutrition among Hungarian children with its advent campaign. Currently there are at least 10.000 children in Hungary who cannot eat every day, 40% of the children under the age of seven live in poverty and these numbers are rising year by year. The only place where they can eat frequently is the kindergarten or the school – for them, the winter break is not about Christmas or presents, but hunger.

The HRCA serves hot meals for the needy people in December and January, provides warming places and hot tea on several locations and helps families by giving them food with long shelf life.

Furthermore, the HRCA launched a campaign to help the children in need: the organization is going to give Christmas presents to 1200 children and provide food for at least 200 children every day during the winter break, but this number can grow in accordance with donations to HRCA.

In Hungarian the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid is called, literally, the “love service.” This is fitting because their main aim in society, sharing God’s love through service to others, whether that be at home or abroad. The Church Aid extends a helping hand to the community in several different ways; through trainings of service personal, emergency response and social projects throughout Hungary and the Carpathian Basin.

A survival point has been opened

On the last day of January, the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid established a survival point in Debrecen.

The organization, which regularly helps homeless people by providing them with food and tea, will now offer a covered accommodation for those without a roof over their heads. The institution in Debrecen is open on weekends, and in the case of extraordinary weather conditions can welcome the needy during weekdays as well. The new accommodation offers space for 12 people, and besides having a place to warm up and sleep, the homeless are provided with hot tea, food and the means washing.

The survival point can be found at Péterfia Street 40, and it is open from Friday until Sunday for homeless people who register between 7 and 9 pm. The accommodation is opened until 7 in the morning.

The farm-project in Baja helping the homeless

The farm-project in Baja may be continued and further developed thanks to the three million forint financial support that the project won at a competition. The program was established to help homeless people and has proven to be successful by helping many of the participants turn their lives around.

János is one of the participants of the program. After his divorce and a lay-off at work, he became homeless. In August 2012, he got the opportunity along with others to move out to an abandoned farm with the support and help of the Cédrus Reformed Social Institution. In his will, the owner left the farm to the Church. Today János is in touch with his family again and can invite them to his new home, which he built on his own.

The farm does not only provide a home and secure employment for the people living there, but in co-operation with the Employment Center of Baja, other homeless people can take care of the institutional and farm work as public workers. They receive help from mentors so that after the program they will not fall back into the homeless shelter again, instead they should be able to rent a room and find a job.

Today, almost forty mangalitsa pigs are bred on the farm, and it also has a smaller goat population.  According to future plans, the institution’s senior and handicapped residents could visit the farm and take part in the daily chores, so it could become of therapeutic use as well and hopefully become a supplier of the institution soon. The three million forints financial support will be a great help to achieve these goals. The money will be spent on renovation and the building of additional new facilities.

The project can be a good example for the farmers in the area as well. There are many lands in the neighborhood lying fallow, but when the owners see how successful the project is that can motivate and encourage them to put their own old lands to good use as well.

Counseling in disaster situations

The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid to organize a 60-hour ecumenical training.

Natural and manmade ​​disasters are a special burden on people experiencing them spiritually and psychologically. Today, fear from the flood, the natural and industrial disasters have become common. In addition to tangible, physical assistance of the humanitarian aid organizations, we have to offer pastoral support for the suffering as well. However, in many cases we do not have enough qualified people for this. We are unprepared for the task and the challenge. This special situation requires special counseling procedures, such as crisis management, or the management of traumatic and post-traumatic life situations.

In western countries, separate areas dealing with the issues of spiritual care in disaster for decades. In order for the specialist to be able to help in his/her service territory or at national disasters (for example accidents, floods, natural and industrial disasters etc.) the acquisition of appropriate theoretical knowledge and practical procedures is necessary. Now, this course is an opportunity to do this.

The training is offered to professionals (pastors, psychological, social, educational and medical workers) who in the exercise of their profession meet crisis, trauma or symptoms of PTSD. They are willing to supply their existing knowledge and approach these issues from a very different side.

During the training, participants work in groups of 10-25 people in 3x2 day blocks led by the trainers.

Topics:

  • Source guidance- ’self-disaster’
  • Disaster identity and concept(s)
  • The systematic approach of spiritual care in disasters
  • Psycho-traumatology, and stress-processing, crisis intervention
  • Special cases (accident, news of death, death, suicide, etc.)
  • Rituals for disaster situations
  • PTSD, aftercare
  • Group work, case studies

 

Read more about the projects of the HRCA.

Contact us

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Reformed Church in Hungary

Address: H-1146 Budapest, Abonyi utca 21.   

PO Box: 1140 Budapest 70, Pf. 5

Phone/Fax: + 36 1 460 0708 

Email: oikumene@reformatus.hu





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We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.