Children at the Forefront

2017. április 05., szerda

Members of the Eurodiaconia Marginalization and Exclusion network gathered in Budapest for their meeting hosted by the Reformed Church in Hungary. The group spoke about child poverty issues and did a field visit at Kalunba Social Services Ltd., the RCH’s implementing partner for refugee integration. 

Professionals working in Diaconia from across Europe gathered in Budapest from March 23-24, 2017 for a Marginalization and Exclusion network meeting focused on the topic of “Investing in children to break the cycle of poverty.” The meeting focused on good practices exchanges as well as reviewing recent European policy initiatives on child poverty.

The meeting was made up of professionals working in Diaconia who are part of a network or organization that is a member of Eurodiaconia. Many of them came from the field of children related services, but some were directors of institutions or organizations interested in developing their work with children and families at risk. The purpose of the meeting was to provide a forum for members to discuss experiences and good practices in the field, while naming challenges in the work as well as possible solutions and opportunities for development. Those in attendance had a dialogue about policies and practices that contribute to child well-being and how to make these quality services accessible to a broader base.

During their time in Budapest the group spoke with professionals such as András Beszterczey, Head of the RCH Diaconia Office; Balázs Ódor, RCH Ecumenical Officer; Éva Senká, from Hungarian Interchurch Aid; and many more.

Part of the meeting included a study visit to Kalunba Social Services Ltd., the implementing partner of the RCH’s Diaconial Office for refugee integration work. Kalunba focuses on wholistic accompaniment for refugees in Hungary during their first year in Budapest, helping them to find sustainable housing, learn the Hungarian language, find a job, and become part of a supportive community. In their meeting, the team at Kalunba spotlighted their work with young children and families, telling Eurodiaconia professionals about their extensive work in getting children placed in local schools and then supporting them in their education.

Dora Kanizsai-Nagy, the RCH Diaconal Office’s Head of the Unit for Refugee Integration, detailed a recent area of cooperation between Kalunba and the RCH – a HEKS/EPER funded Country Program with a focus on refugee integration and education. In this CP, Kalunba staff will help to train volunteers to work with refugee children in an afterschool program that will be based in RCH congregations in Budapest. The first pilot project will be at St. Columba’s Scottish Mission (a common congregation of the RCH and the Church of Scotland) and will begin soon.

Though their time in Budapest was short, Eurodiaconia visitors were able to get a well-rounded picture of the work done in Hungary to support children and families.


Information adapted from

Article by Kearstin Bailey

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Reformed Church in Hungary

Address: H-1146 Budapest, Abonyi utca 21.   

PO Box: 1140 Budapest 70, Pf. 5

Phone/Fax: + 36 1 460 0708 


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