Since March 11, when the emergency situation was declared in Hungary, HRCA collected and delivered aid packages for especially underprivileged families and elderly people in Hungary and in the Carpathian Basin, in a value exceeding 20 000 EUR. Basic needs of over 1200 people were met who have been especially hit by the spreading novel corona virus pandemic.
Food parcels, baby food, vitamins, fertilisers, sanitary supplies and masks have been distributed from the Pandemic emergency fund of HRCA, called “Together in solidarity for a new start”, which was established on March 18.
„According to our experiences many people got into difficult life situation because of the coronavirus. We are grateful for the donations we received thus far, and we encourage everyone to join to our efforts,” said Márton Juhász, CEO of the HRCA. „We spent the last couple of days with intensive work: we had to swiftly extend our stocks with non-perishable food, fertilizers and hygiene products. We have been distributing in-kind donations continuously to beneficiaries in a contactless way, and our Rescue Bear production sites have started to produce surgical masks, instead, which we will distribute to the National Ambulance Service, and among the social institutions of our church.”
The fundraising continues and HRCA has also joint the joined emergency response of the Hungarian National Charity Council.
Update 10 April
The Association of Reformed Diaconal Institutions (REDIE) announced on April 10 that based on donation of its member institution it bought medical masks, rubber gloves and disinfectants worth of 25 million HUF (around 7500 EUR) to help the social institutions (nursing homes, diaconal institutions) of the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District. These packages will also be distributed by the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. The organization will deliver them to 32 municipalities directly helping two thousand people. Packages include more than thirty thousand masks, nearly 75,000 rubber gloves, 400 hand sanitizers and about 600 surface disinfectants.
“Bringing sacrifice is a key word these days, as anyone who is able to offer anything should help stopping the spread of the infection. This is the intention of the Association of Diaconal Institutions of the Reformed Church in Hungary, which has 56 member institutions who offered part of their membership fee to support those church institutions who are in care for the elderly, help people with disabilities, are involved in home care, or have a support service to people with addictions and mental disorders. I’m grateful that we are able to support the safety of employees and residents of 80 different social services in 56 institutions,” emphasized Dr. Károly Fekete, Bishop of the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District in Debrecen.
At the same press conference Márton Juhász, CEO of HRCA also announced that thank to the funds received from the National Charity Council, the Aid Organisation is able to offer a new form of direct support to families in need in a value of another 10 000 EUR. Within the framework of the “Cash Assistance card” pilot program, utilizing the technological developments of the financial world, HRCA offers 100 prepaid debit cards using contactless technology to 100 families for 3 months, which the foundation tops up 10,000 HUF per month.
Translated by Bálint Farkas
Keeping Solidarity Beyond Borders Alive
The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) simultaneously launched a new campaign for the support of the Sunday Schools of the Syrian partner churches of RCH. The past three years have been about strengthening personal relationships, receiving first-hand information and developing joint projects. In December 2017 a Hungarian delegation visited Beirut, Homs, Latakia and Aleppo, and in 2018 our Middle Eastern partners travelled to Hungary. Last March a sizable delegation of RCH’s leadership paid back the visit and experienced personally the critical importance of the Sunday Schools run by local churches in Syria. The Sunday School Project in Syria continues to provide love, support, and commitment to the children in the programs. A special training focused on working with traumatized children was also provided and in most churches, psychologists attend, observe, and speak to the children regularly. Currently, 1 500 children and 155 volunteers are part of these programs. The HRCA launched a donation campaign during the Lent season.
“We believe we help the most by focusing on children. Therefore the funds raised will be devoted to supporting the Sunday schools of the congregations,” emphasized the CEO of HRCA.