Help for Sub-Carpathia

2014. november 21., péntek

“We can only survive if Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin stand by us and lend their hand”, Bishop in Sub-Carpathian Sándor Zán Fábián told at a press conference held about the assistance given through the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) to the communities living in the region. As announced at the event, the HRCA Sub-Carpathian Action Plan calculates with 124 million HUF, half of which has already been collected.

“We have come together today on the occasion of the departure of the first lorry”, bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei said at the opening of the joint press conference of the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA), the Reformed Church in Hungary and the Reformed community in Sub-Carpathia. The event held on Thursday in the Synod Building in Abonyi Street, Budapest was attended by Board Director of HRCA Foundation Sándor Pál, Bishop of the Reformed Church in Sub-Carpathia Sándor Zán Fábián and donor representative and owner of Tigra Ltd. György Vertán as well.

Gusztáv Bölcskei added that both individuals and generous companies lend their assistance to Sub-Carpathia through the HRCA. We can offer effective help only by cooperation – the call was jointly initiated with the other Hungarian churches -, the plan has been prepared and the lending of assistance to the regions populated by Hungarians in the war-torn country has been launched. The Presiding Bishop of RCH thanked the assistance that has arrived so far and asked press representatives to help the work of the HRCA following the motto of “do good and share it with as many as possible”. Gusztáv Bölcskei went on to highlight that we have little credible information concerning the Ukrainian situation and on this occasion he welcomed the Bishop in Sub-Carpathia Sándor Zán Fábián as well.

“We can only survive if Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin stand by us and lend their hand”, Sándor Zán Fábián expressed. The Sub-Carpathian church leader added that present events might not always cause a stir among outsiders or appear to be significant news, but for local people the everyday burdens and developments are of vital importance. He used an example to illustrate how difficult the already severe Ukrainian situation has become. One year ago, when the first speeches were delivered during the demonstrations in Kiev, one euro was worth ten hryvnias (Ukrainian currency) while now it is worth twenty. Meanwhile, minimum wages have been frozen and consumer goods are not much cheaper than in Hungary. As he said, the present assistance at least ensures that fifty Reformed communities in Sub-Carpathia have a heated community house in the winter where community life can take place and bible classes can be held.

“Our lorry with the assistance is departing just right now, but Sub-Carpathia has always been one of the most important regions for the HRCA”, Sándor Pál pointed out. The Board Director of HRCA Foundation highlighted that there is a huge cooperation for Sub-Carpathians, if people see that help is needed, they are eager to act. At present the most important task on the agenda has been to change the heat systems: the country, which is now left without Russian gas, needs a transition from gas furnaces to coal-fired ones. The HRCA already gave assistance in the past few weeks through smaller amounts of donations, cast iron stoves and warm clothes. Furthermore, 2-3 million HUF have been collected for the installation of furnaces, and a storehouse nearby the border in Beregdaróc has also been built. The HRCA Sub-Carpathian Action Plan calculates with 124 million HUF, half of which has already been collected. Sándor Pál expressed his special thanks for this, and added that since the organizational operation of the HRCA is financed by the church, the help which has been offered can be wholly spent on the designated purposes.

The donors were represented by György Vertán. The owner of the IT corporate group Tigra got into contact with the HRCA some weeks ago. He highlighted two moments from his life that directed him towards lending assistance: as he was born in Temesvár, the help arriving from Hungary after 1989 will always remain memorable for him, and he also called the prompt and effective assistance coming from Sub-Carpathia during the 2013 floods in Hungary a decisive experience. György Vertán’s company contributed to the covering of costs with 10 million HUF. He pointed out that in such campaigns smaller-scale private donations usually play a bigger role than instances of extensive financial assistance, therefore he encouraged everyone to donate.

Translated by Annamária Kótay-Nagy

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