Among our activities an important aspect and guideline is that we broaden the range of professional services in assistance and develop our existing programs. Besides our basic activities we think it’s important that with our work we contribute to preserve human dignity, to restore the self-esteem of individuals and families, and to reduce social exclusion and discrimination.
National Public Employment Program
Under the pubic employment program our foundation participates as a national public employer making access to the public employment system for the Reformed congregations and institutions and ensuring the possibility of working for nearly 1200 people with their cooperation.
Our organization aims to employ manpower for loss of work in lack of resources (supporting congregation/diaconal work carrying out public activities, maintenance of cemeteries, minor maintenance of areas around churches and parishes, and of buildings, supporting of work of institutions of social responsibilities) where locally there is no other way. On the other hand, the program provides an opportunity for job seekers to work useful and meaningful by improving their self-esteem, skills and abilities; moreover, for people living in modest financial circumstances and in isolated and disadvantaged regions our Service can help through this program.
We see the workers employed under the program not only through the eyes of an employer. In each case the person itself is in the focus so we take into account the person’s abilities and every venue manager endeavors to improve the job seekers with useful skills and knowledge on the open labor market that if there is an opportunity to be employed, as a competitive labor they can apply for a job.
In the future we want to implement other public service developments along the opportunities offered by the program by working out agricultural programs with social purposes and building maintenance programs with social purposes.
Together for the Housing Mentoring Program
In 2013 we started to realize a regional social mentoring service in order to help the population in disadvantaged regions struggling with debt problems.
The program is aimed to restore the solvency of socially disadvantaged, indebted families threatened with the loss of secure housing and to maintain the secure housing.
Under the mentoring program part of the advisory activity of the Charity Service’s mentors is the facilitator’s job so the facilitating the contact creation with offices, suppliers, creditors, mainly the acting on a client’s case who is unable to manage itself and validate self-interest under the cooperation agreement due to social-cultural disadvantages.
Furthermore, under the program part of the advisory activity is assistance in social administrative proceedings, within this framework preparation of requests for grants, making arrears management plan, exploration of claiming options of other resources and social transfers. The mentoring program provides also lifestyle support which is primarily directed to provide household management and planning skills and to convey rational consumer behavior patterns.
In 2014 the Charity Service’s social workers were able to cooperate with more than 100 families in order to maintain housing. The program is currently being implemented in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County and Hajdú-Bihar County and will be available from 2015 in the capital city, Budapest as well for families whose housing is currently provided but its debt problems threaten to maintain it.
The Charity Service launched the Buoy Program in 2011 which was created to mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis in Hungary and to support families facing eviction in the transitional period. Central elements of the program are the housing subsidy system and the lifestyle counseling. All families participating in the program can use the help for six months. During this time we help the family to be able to re-organize its life.
The Charity Service created a “bailout” fund which collects grants in order to help the displaced families. As the buoy doesn’t serve as a boat in the water rescue so the bailout program offers a long-term and comprehensive solution for families in need neither. As the buoy is a fast, effective and life-saving tool, helps to overcome a critical life situation so the Charity Service’s program attempts to do so.
Central element of the program is an apartment support system that primarily consists of making a personalized package of proposals and an action plan, and of a contribution to expenses if needed. The program is currently available mainly in Budapest, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, Hajdú-Bihar County and Békés County.
The aid application of families is going through an analysis process in that the Charity Service’s socio-economic experts will examine what kind of reasons and circumstances put the family’s housing at risk.
If the family’s housing can be solved by individual agreements, payment facilities, rescheduling payments, part-payment agreement or other social support, employment, we provide help for the family in administration of these under the program.
If the family’s housing cannot be provided in the currently occupied property in the long run, the Charity Service assesses the opportunities that enable the family to get self-sustainable housing in the long run as part of a 3-month period prior personal cooperation with the involvement of a social worker.
The number of families receiving grants is determined by the current financial framework in the fund.
Families with which the Charity Service makes a support contract on the basis of the results and experiences of the preliminary 3-month cooperation to ensure housing can use the personal advisory help for six months. During this time, the family can re-organize its life with the help. The breadwinners can look for a new job. In case of a possible move from a greater distance, children can fit into the new school, preschool environment. During this period, our staff is constantly monitoring the families’ everyday lives. They try to give them all the necessary information that is required to start a new life. For instance, job opportunities, social support nearby, schools, kindergartens, medical institutions, etc.
The program also serves as a last bailout to protect families from the risks of social exclusion and poverty. The program also aims that re-settled families participate on community programs organized by the Foundation and are able to connect to the residential community and the civilian life through volunteering over time, thus contributing to the strengthening of their natural supporting background.
Social workers help families with financial position and making the monthly family budget. As a result, we want to achieve that families participating in the program earn minimum savings during the grant period. We encourage them to do so as part of a savings program in order to draw attention to the importance of self-care. After the program is completed, families become completely independent but we hold intercourse with them for the purpose of follow-up and prevention.
Pass It On, Budapest! Pass It On, Debrecen!
Our important aim is that relations are made between helpers (volunteers) and people in need, and participants do regularly voluntary activities. This program helps to promote voluntary work, and that participants can experience that helping is good. We believe that beyond helping voluntary activities shape personalities, broaden the horizon of volunteers and teach sense of responsibility and tolerance. Besides the daily activities of the Charity Service, volunteers can have an insight into the life of an institution, eg. they can help in nursing homes or homes for people with disability in various fields.
Before the 50-hour community service was presented in schools, we’ve already had high school helpers who regularly took part in our work, programs, primarily in Debrecen and Budapest. Since the introduction of community service we’ve made a community agreement with several schools in both towns, and a growing number of students joins our activities.
In 2013 we completed the advent fundraising period with the help of high school students who were involved not only in fundraising but also in food distribution, event organization, administration and promoting our various programs.
In 2015 we launched our new program with the support of MOL’s New Europe Foundation under which high school students can be actively involved in the Charity Service’s fundraising and fund transfer processes for individuals and families in need as part of their community service.
The awareness of the outstanding social role of donating is our common interest. Students will learn the possible ways of assistance. Financial supporting is not only way that we can contribute to positiv changes in the quality of life of distressed people living in the same community. It’s important to draw attention to the role of these services that we can contribute to mitigate the difficulties of our needy fellowmen not only with money but with actions, thoughts, words or objects.
Through community service targeting the needs of our elder fellowmen, our fellowmen with disability or suffering from disease students can experience in this program that the biggest help is often the expulsion of loneliness, a nice dialogue or a common game. Of course, under our food program it will be presented that we can deliver assistance to a family or hundreds of people by a public food distribution that needs offered sustainable food and money donations.
With the community service projects called “Pass It On, Budapest!” and “Pass It On, Debrecen!” we want to improve the participating high school students’ environmental awareness/social sensibility through preferring the use of environmentally friendly materials, separate waste collection and efficient use of energy at our workplace, and in the service students can be acquainted with life situations and problems that are often not known to the society.