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Sustainable reduce of utility costs in Bódvalenke

At last in the cooperation of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid “Bódvalenke-Freskófalu” project and the Romaversitas “Fényhozók” (Light makers/bringers), in a disadvantaged small region village, the sustainable reduce of utilities can come true: in nearly all houses of Bódvalenke, solar batteries will provide the lighting.

Bódvalenke – Freskófalu

The Church Aid took over, the now already world famous project: Bódvalenke-Freskófalu ( in 2010. The basic thought was very simple: gypsy painters came to this very poor and very small village, where 95% of residents are gypsys, located in Borsod, to paint large pictures on the walls of the houses. The global aim of the Church Aid was to create such artistic values of which all roma people can be proud, and will also be recognised by the majority of the population. And the local aim was helping the village to break out from extreme poverty, mainly through tourism, with taking advantage of the attantion on Bódvalenke.

Energy poverty

But Bódvalenke is on of those disadvantaged settlements, where the consumers in average have over 30 days delay in paying the electricity bills. And in some places the electricity have been swithced off because of this delay. One third of the hungarian households are in the category of energy-poor hosueholds. The candle-costs in a three children family is about 10-thousand forints in a month, still every seventh person lives from less than 66000 Ft.

Romaversitas – Light bringers

The Romaversitas “Light bringers” project tried to help in this problem, with the aim of giving chance to these families living in deep poverty, and segregation to access renewable energy sources and their benefits. In the program the staff of the foundation puts together solar lamp systems. And the technology, the required tools are also made accessable in other local disadvantaged settlements. The foundation with the help of the MRSZ in Bódvalenke with
30 000 Ft cost per house, builds up a solar battery, charge controller, battery and LED-strip containing system on the building, which will grant the lighting of it. Right now altogether 22 houses in Bódvalenke gets this system. If with the system a pay in advance meter is built in also, than the risk of debt accumulation is eliminated.


The solar tools and stuff bought by the Church Aid, was mainly from the money of private donations coming into the Church Aid for the help of people living in Bódvalenke, and also from the contribution of bódvalenkei people themselves. The staff of the Romaversitas Foundation directed the system build up works. They also taught four local, and they helped in the installation and setup of the systems. Altogether 22 buildings will receive this solar-system till 6 of August.