The project of the Refugee Ministry for the 2015 Eurodiaconia Award

2015. szeptember 04., péntek

The Refugee Ministry submitted its “Community centre for refugees and migrants in Budapest” program for the Eurodiaconia Award. The program has began on the 30st of April 2013 and ended in June 2015.

During this time the Refugee Ministry not only continued its earlier programs, but also improved them. For example, in May 2013 they started an after school programme for migrant youth. With this new project they were able to open up the community centre for migrants and refugees in the heart of Budapest in the Váci street, supporting opportunities for activities together for all ages. They have created both a housing and a school program, which help refugee youths integrate in  the new community.

The purpose has been to create a space where people not only participants in an integration program, but also find community. As a result, more community programs were organized. The annual budget of the project was about 200 000 euros, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The project’s services focused on all the basic needs of a person: housing, community, education, job-seeking, family relations and faith based support if applicable. The program has achieved results: the publication for a Somali-Hungarian student dictionary, for example. Several refugees become interested in participating the church life as well. The purpose has been hosting and housing refugees, creating a space where they can learn about the language and culture, while at the same time helping them feel at home. This is crucial for overcoming the trauma of relocation, and for long term integration.

Within Hungary all the elements of the projects counted as innovative and singular. Altogether, 14 project nominations were received from more than 10 different European countries. The jury panel was made up of Damir Krkobabic, Board member of Eurodiaconia; Prof. Dr. Johannes Eurich, Director of the Institute for the Study of Christian Social Services (DWI); and Stephen Barnett, Chief Executive of the EUCLID Network, which focuses on social entrepreneurship. Although the Ministry’s project was not selected to receive the Award this year, it was unanimously recognized as a very valuable initiative, making a tangible contribution to the lives of vulnerable individuals. The jury praised its recognition of the particular needs of migrants and its potential of transferability to other European countries. They want to ensure that other diaconal organizations across Europe have a chance to learn more about it.

The project will be featured in a publication and be showcased at an exhibition in the European Parliament, its official opening is scheduled to take place on 23 September 2015 at 9:30am.

Edited by Daniella Szűcs

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