Culinary Fundraising for Roma Kids

2016. július 07., csütörtök

An After School project managed and overseen by the Reformed Church in Pilisvörösvár relies on the funds raised by selling soup and sweets at the Szimpla market to support their summer camp for disadvantaged children.

Tucked into the back of the street market at Szimpla (one of Hungary’s favorite and most popular spots at night) you can find a handful of women selling some of the best and most sensibly priced soups that a tourist could expect in a city as large as Budapest every Sunday morning.  The market hums with the dim roar and cool atmosphere of a milling crowd and cool lounge music.  The soup being sold there was refreshing and smelled of the exotic spices that many tourists to Budapest have exclaimed about since this city became a tourist hotspot.  The price of the soup (which came in two options, one Goulash with meat and a dish similar to ratatouille) is up for the customer to decide. 

The reason why the soup is so good is simple; it’s made at home by people who care.  The reason why it’s so cheap is the same reason why you should really consider buying it.  The net proceeds from selling the soup go towards the funding of Fecskefeszek Tanoda, a nonprofit social program founded in 2014 for the advancement in education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The reason why the women raising these funds care so much is that their goal is to keep children in the classroom longer and to encourage them to pursue a good and honest profession.  Throughout the school year they meet twice a week to do activities, tutor them in difficult subjects, and provide them with the motivation to continue to succeed (one meeting each week is for the teachers to choose one student on a rotational basis to council and develop them).  Also, throughout the year, this program takes the students on trips (and one camp during the summer) to some places that are educational and to some places that any other Hungarian child would have the opportunity to go to but these most of these children wouldn’t ever see otherwise.  Besides the teachers, there are a number of volunteers from the local high school who tutor, mentor, and facilitate the healthy play that the teachers would like for the students to learn.  There are also volunteers from a local church who pitch in to feed and transport the children during their activities. 

This whole project is funded by the HEKS Project (a project managed and overseen by the Reformed Church in Pilisvörösvár).  The project has limited funding (using the church’s community room for the weekly meetings and relying on volunteers to feed and transport the children, even the teachers work for a pittance of a wage) and it relies on the funds raised by selling soup and sweets at the Szimpla market to fund their summer camp.  The trips and educational opportunities offered to the children include a trip to Lake Balaton, trips to the Budapest Aquarium, the theater, the opera, trips on the Danube river, and even something as simple but novel and motivating as a trip to McDonald’s. 

During their summer camp the children learn important community and cooperative skills and learn Judeo-Christian values.  They might not actually study during this trip, but they learn a lot about life and how to get along with others and have a positive time away from home.  When I heard this, I realized how important this program could be in keeping Hungary beautiful, and I hope that after reading this you will as well.


Joseph B. Glover 

Be inspired by the photo gallery of RCH's Roma Ministry

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Reformed Church in Hungary

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PO Box: 1140 Budapest 70, Pf. 5

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