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Sure Start Children’s House – Bódvalenke

In May 2014 the Sure Start Children’s House opened in Bódvalenke that is also known as a fresco village. The institution maintained by our Charity Service is badly needed. In Bódvalenke more than half of the population are children, furthermore, twenty-eightof them have a mother who is even not older than eighteen years old so not only children go to the Children’s House to develop but also mothers.

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Bódvalenke, the fresco village

Bódvalenke is located in one of the 33 most disadvantaged areas, in Edelényi Area, in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County. The picturesque dwarf village consists of about 70 houses, most of them are in need of renovation. According to the data of January 2014, the number of the village’s inhabitants is 231 people. The number of children under 18 is 101 persons of which the number of 0-5 year-old children is 37. Roma families live typically in the village, most of them as a big family with several children.

Isolated

Families living in the community are disadvantaged. Existential, mental and health problems caused by unemployment appear increasingly among families with small children. Services don’t reach them, there are shortcomings in the field of primary care. The unemployment benefit, or social assistance, and the education allowance received for children add up to a large part of their income. According to the survey of February 2011, the average monthly income per person barely reaches 12 000 HUF among the Roma population.

Due to their limited financial possibilities families are not able to travel to more distant communities to have fun, educate and acquire new knowledge. There is no way to make family programs. Therefore, it is important that the Children’s House offers opportunities for families with children which can make up for this. Inspite of a lot of children there are no kindergarten, no school but there are neither a doctor, a post office, railway, a public institution, nor a private company that would make this hilly countryside worth of living. It increases their isolation that public transport goes only twice a day to the village. There is no local skilled person so services rather depend on the working hours and commitment of commuter professionals than meet the local needs.

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Sure Start Children’s House

Sure Start Children’s House where these services adapt to local needs wishes to change this. The parents’ social situation is characterized by low education, unemployment, health and social problems and prejudices. Due to insufficient and inappropriate information flow children and families rarely have access to critical data that could qualitatively improve their social situation and quality of life.

The quality of life of children is below the socially acceptable. The most common development lags, like motor, language and speech development, can be corrected mostly in school, or immediately in the pre-school year which is not very effective in most cases. As a result of the work in the Children’s House there will be also less need for intervention in kindergarten, and the House provides also professionals and place for children and their parents. A growing part of school children has a weaker scholastic record, have serious weaknesses that are difficult or impossible to overcome in school.

The development and realignment of the age group 0-5 is not yet implemented in an organized form in the community. Since there is no nursery, and children attend kindergarten only from the mandatory age, they remain without professional help exactly in that period when they could be developed, when they are the most susceptible to stimuli of the surrounding world. As their parents grew up also in this very disadvantaged environment and they lack of a lot of information, knowledge and abilities, they also need to take part in development with their children.