Hungarian Association for Community Development
The objective of the Hungarian Association for Community Develop ment is the development of the ability of citizens to initiate and act in the community. This goal is meant to be achieved through an increasing participation of citizens in their own and in their common affairs, through improving the community-related conditions of local action, and through building-up the local institutions of democracy.
Functioning of the organisation:
As a movement promotes the attitude and methods of community development:
The Budapest Court of Justice has declared that the association is an eminently public benefit organisation from 1 January 1998 onwards. Its work is supervised by the General Assembly, which is convoked at least once a year. Its elected Board comprises 5 persons.
The president of the association at present is Tamás A. Varga, and its secretaries are Ferenc Péterfi and Ilona Vercseg.
The association has 5 employees who work full-time. Incidental honorariums are paid in the framework of our projects. The association is typified by voluntary work.
The associate organisations co-operating with the HACD are : Civil College Foundation * Intercommunity Foundation * Foundation for Civil Radioing
The partners of the HACD include: Hungarian Institute of Culture (MMI) * Combined European Bureau for Social Development (CEBSD) * Community Development Foundation North, U.K. (CDF) * International Association for Community Education (ICEA) * International Association for Community Development (IACD) * Association for Community Development in the County of Békés * Community Service of Vas County * „Living-Space” Association, Komárom * Association of Community Workers in the Felső-Kiskunság Small Region * B-A-Z County’s Institute of Culture * Autonomia Foundation * Welfare Service Foundation * Ökotárs Foundation
The sponsors and employers of the HACD in 2001 (Contributions in kind - e.g. office upkeep and other running expenses - are considered as donations): Mott Foundation * Hungarian Institute for Culture * Soros Foundation * Levi Strauss Foundation * Hungarian Parliament Committee of Social Organisations * ICEA * Department of National Cultural Heritage * Charity Know How
T HE ACTIVITIES OF THE HUNGARIAN ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN 2001
The year of 2001 was the 4th year of our 5-year plan for 1998-2002.
Local Action Programmes Organised in 2001
The training courses had around 20 participants each, and each course was attended by people from 4 different villages. Through having a mixture of participants, we provided an opportunity to make new contacts and a wide range of applicable experiences. The groups of villages had 1-5 members each. The training courses were held in Kunbábony, in the training centre of community development in Hungary. The first collective training course was held on 30, 31 March and 1 April. The second one between 9-11 November.
Supervising the Program
The regular supervision of the programme (2 times per year) has been performed as planned. It was first performed on 1-2 February, while the second date was 8-10 June. The resulting evaluative comments were integrated into the programme on a regular basis. It was justified that supervision enhances the security of those working in the project.
We have established a professional workshop - its members form our “reinforcement team”. The team has 17 members. It comprises young people working in different areas or doing their university/college studies, who have shown interest in and commitment towards community development. The activities of the workshop are characterised by collective organisation:
Two local workshops are being developed in the framework provided by the pilot professional development projects – one in the above-mentioned small region of Ózd, situated in the North of Hungary, and another one in the small region of the Upper-Kiskunság. The Okány and Istenkút projects may also result in the establishment of local workshops later on (see the chapter “Pilot Community Development Projects” for details).
The Association for Community Development has launched network-building activities within another range as well. Through its “No Witchraft - Internet!” project it hopes to contribute to the elimination of Internet-illiteracy in disadvantaged regions. This special encouragement-type programme aims at involving local people in training through organising public demonstrations, whereby the most interested activists are selected to join networking. At the moment, the project is being carried out in the small region of the Upper-Kiskunság.
One of our other programmes that are presently being organised is also characterised by the networking feature. In co-operation with the Union of Free Radio Stations, in the last half year Civil Radio has prepared for a new programme promoting the establishment of local radio stations. The implementation is secured by a new statute that allows for the establishment of small radio stations broadcasting in a circle of 3-5 kilometres. The training courses organised for those running those stations will undoubtedly enrich our network further.
III. Developing and Promoting Community Development as a Profession
1. Experimental Projects
The development work in Királd began claiming to be a project of model value. Indeed, the essential goal of the PHARE ACCESS project is to have the other, rather similar 27 villages of the small region adopt the Királd development model, by way of training its activists through HACD-Civil College. It is hoped that this series of training courses will eventually lead to the establishment of a local network of community professionals (already mentioned in the chapter “Network-Building)
1.2 Small Regional Development Work in the Upper-Kiskunság
In 2001, the 5 years of community development work in the area surrounding the Civil College resulted in the further expansion of the network of contacts. We have managed to establish good working relations with local authorities in the ten villages, and, in this way, they could provide adequate conditions for running the “information points” we had developed. The flow of information among the villages of the small region continues to be somewhat cumbersome.
The civil organisations established as a result of the work done in the last 5 years have been performing their activities independently, and the small regional community worker mainly had to fulfil an advisory role.
Members in the network of community workers have been strengthened in their role: they are the facilitators of local citizen initiatives – among others things, they have elaborated two local Small Grants Programmes as well.
Other new and independent local project have also been established, mainly in the area of employment, involving the gypsy minority. The personal mentor service undertaken by the community workers has had a significant role in reducing unemployment. In 2001 they managed to find jobs for at least 80 people, and several people have enrolled to some kind of retraining course.
Not less than four professional workgroups have been established in the small region in the areas of agriculture, adult education, tourism, and job creation. Following their initiative, training projects were established (training courses in village tourism and professional farming, employment projects, and private enterprising and co-operative tourism projects.
As a result of the development work performed in the village of Tass, a community (general educational) youth programme was launched, which has the potential to develop into a model-value project in the coming two years.
Building relations with the private sector has also been carried on. Involving a wider audience, a two-day agricultural exhibition and fair was organised, which is expected to bring economic profit for the small region in the future. This exhibition and fair also served as a framework for the first public Internet-surfing mentioned in 2.2.
However, the concentration of mental and physical resources is still performed in a rather cumbersome way.
Civil organisation perform their work relying practically on their own strength, with small memberships and minimum support from outside. In order to be able to build partnerships, we initiated a collective process of planning with the inclusion of representatives from the three sectors. However, this process did not result in collective activities or practical outcomes. Nevertheless, the desire for co-operation is increasing on the part of civil organisations, and major task of the coming period will therefore be to facilitate these collective initiatives, and to prepare participants for collective action.
1.3 Roma (Gypsy) Community Centre in the Village of Okány
This project is a follow-up of the „Gypsy Community Centre” training series, sponsored by the Soros Foundation in 1999-2000. The gypsy community centre of the village of Okány (County of Békés) has become a project of model value, and, consequently, the process was included among the professional development projects of the HACD. The co-operation established between the minority and majority in society is implemented in a wide range, including activities ranging from job creation to going out collectively, and this can stand as an example to be followed by other localities as well.
1.4 Civil Bottom-Up Initiatives in Neighbourhoods in the city of Pécs and the Village of Istenkút
Grassroots level citizen initiatives are a source of establishing community work in the West. We see a similar (persistent, civil, yet professional initiative developing in Istenkút, and this explains why we keep following their work with great attention and – if it is needed – with professional help.
2. Training Courses
2.1 Professional Training
- Community development as a registered profession
Probably due to simple bureaucratic reasons, the inclusion of the profession in the National Training Register is still hung up in transit – we expect it to go through in Spring this year. This would have a positive influence on network building, on establishing social significance for the profession, would significantly increase the reinforcement base of the HACD and the number of local projects.
- Community Development Partnership Building in Central and Eastern Europe
This is mainly a Training the Trainers Programme which is being implemented with Polish (CAL), Romanian (Romanian Association for Community Development), Slovakian (VOKA) and Transsylvanian (Regional Association for Community Development) participants. In the first phase of the project (in 2001-2002 Spring), a “Training the Trainers Programme” is being carried out, in the second one (during the rest of 2002), each participating organisation will introduce local training programmes at home, passing on what they learnt at the Training the Trainers programme, while in the third phase (2003 Spring) will summarise their work and will identify follow-up issues.
2.2 Civil Training Courses – see the Civil College’s Annual Report
The Community Database and the Civil Radio were functioning in 2001 as usual, 3 of the regular 4 issues of the Parola were published, and the forth one is just about to come out. A Parola-booklet is also being published.
Two professional seminars were organised this year.
1-2 February 2001: Problems around the Integration of Gypsies Paused by the Preservation of their Cultural Heritage
The objective of the seminar was to have community workers get to know and understand the causes behind the social conflict of gypsies, so that they can shape their co-operation with the local societies of gypsies accordingly in their development/ training activities.
The people invited the members of the HACD to attend the seminar as guests.
15-17 November 2001: the seminar „Together – but how?” on the experiences of the “Gypsy Community Centre” and the “Follow-up Programme”. The objective of the seminar was to have the local community organisations attending the programme introducing their activities themselves. The circle of participants was composed of people concerned with the programme and their local partners. Both seminars were sponsored by the Soros Foundation.
In December 2001 the Board of the HACD approved a working material concerning the evaluation due for 2002 and for a new 3-year strategic Plan
V. Financial Report
personal allowances for non-staff members
social insurance benefits
service costs in total:
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