The Refugee Ministry is a division of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA), assisting refugees with integration through various programs, including housing, employment, cultural orientation, education, and legal protection. Community engagement programs are an essential aspect of integration and promote social cohesion among clients and their new community. The Refugee Ministry supports community events such as a recent youth summer day camp, a weekly senior club, art therapy sessions, the handicrafts club, and many others engaging youth and adults. In June, clients at the Refugee Ministry organized a community picnic at the City Park. Angela Canadey, the Swiss Church Aid (HEKS) Coordinator and Project Assistant for the Refugee Ministry’s Base Integration Program, briefly summarized the lively event.
On a balmy summer day, the 17th of June in 2023, the city park bloomed with life as approximately 80 individuals converged for a joyous community event. The air buzzed with excitement as families and friends gathered for a memorable picnic, basking in the camaraderie that bridged generations and cultures. The community event, organized by clients at the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid’s (HRCA) Refugee Ministry, celebrated the birthday of a young client's daughter.
In an ode to the family’s Nigerian heritage, the event embraced a vibrant Nigerian theme, tantalizing taste buds with an array of delectable Nigerian cuisine meticulously prepared to showcase the country's diverse flavors and culinary traditions. From jollof rice to suya skewers, the picnic became a feast of shared experiences and gastronomic delights. The colorful balloons and the sweet aroma of freshly baked birthday cake added a layer of joy and warmth to the gathering, evoking an ambiance reminiscent of cherished family reunions.
As sunlight dappled the park's sprawling expanse, a medley of outdoor activities awaited attendees, catering to both young and old. Laughter and friendly competition filled the air as badminton shuttlecocks soared and volleyball nets reverberated with spirited rallies. The park transformed into an energetic playground, fostering a sense of belonging and nurturing new connections within the community.
As the day drew to a close, hearts filled with gratitude for the shared memories, the 2023 City Park Picnic served as a testament to the power of communal bonds. From the spirited sports activities to the harmonious melding of cultures and the heartfelt celebration of a young life, this event exemplified the enduring spirit of togetherness that unites a thriving community.