Strengthening and activating small communities of Northeast Hungary

The project is implemented within the frames of ‘Strengthening social participation through community development’ entitled EFOP-1.3.5-16 coded European Union funded program established to strengthen community engagement, volunteering and to promote philanthropy on local level.

Main objectives of the funding program are:

• to establish new formal or non-formal small communities or to develop capacity, activity and organizing power of already existing communities reflecting on local needs and opportunities; to expand the variety of their programs in the field of social integration and cooperation;
• to increase willingness to do volunteer work, the general social esteem of volunteering, and at the same time, promoting volunteering at local/regional level, and to implement specific voluntary programs;
• to strengthen social responsibility, to improve the collaboration and connection among generations, to strengthen families, social cohesion, civic society, social integration and solidarity.

Project implementation duration: 1 May, 2017 -1 May, 2020 (3 years)

The aim of the "Strengthening and activating small communities of Northeast Hungary" entitled EFOP-1.3.5-16-2016-00915 coded project is to mobilize and develop communities living in (mostly) disadvantaged (small) settlements or underprivileged parts of bigger settlements in the Northeast-Hungarian region through voluntary activities, as well as to promote the mobilization and active cooperation of members of these communities.

The direct target group of the project includes (small) communities living in settlements of the region, whose members carry out voluntary activities during the project in order to develop their communities with the involvement of other members. Involvement of the volunteers will be realized in 3 cycles (15 communities per a year) in the involved settlements. We expect the application mostly of 14 and 35 aged youngsters –especially unemployed or newcomers- or people over the age of 60 – however we do not make any condition that would harm equal opportunities.

Our Foundation intends to co-operate with at least 9-15 small communities (formal: operating as civic organizations, institutions or informal communities) each year. The collaborating organizations and institutions have the opportunity to reconsider their participation in the upcoming cycles thus they can stay or leave the project and other organizations can join.

Based on the call for proposals, the project activities are structured as follows:

Recruitment of the volunteers is done through an open call with the help of the collaborators.

At the beginning of the project, then once a year (altogether 3 times) we organize a kick off meeting in which our project staff and the representatives (1-3 persons/organization) of the collaborating organizations participate and discuss the tasks of the project.

At the beginning of each year, we hold a one-day preparatory training for the cooperating organizations about voluntary management.

The preparation of volunteers, small communities will happen through a training series that aims to make the participants of the project get to know each other and to introduce the role and importance of voluntarism to them thus to strengthen their motivation for the improvement of their communities. During the training we prepare the participants to be able to fully plan and implement such local programs that focus on the needs, inhesion, collaboration, and on solving the problems of the local communities.

In order of all these the participating communities will elaborate and implement so-called local mini-projects. Mini-projects are expected to consist of a 7-8 event series and be implemented by the involved communities themselves. For this, our staff and experts provide methodological assistance, mentoring and counselling; and cover the incurred necessary travel, material and equipment costs.

In addition, we would also like to promote cooperation between the participating communities so we ensure that the participants can visit at least one action, event of another community involved in the project. Furthermore, we would like to promote the finding "twin settlements", "twin communities" among these communities, and to make them collaborate more closely in pairs thus to help them with learning and developing.

We plan that involved volunteers and cooperating organizations together at the end of the cycles organize a bigger event aimed at raiseing awareness of the results of their work and to engage and mobilize more communities.

The most active participants can attend a study tour to abroad in order to get to know such underprivileged communities in which the collaboration is significant, and to get to know those best practices that they can also apply later.

The project promoter and the cooperating organizations and institutions will keep a closing evaluation event of the project at the end of each cycle.

For more information please get in touch with:

Gabriella Szabó
Volunteer coordinator

Melinda Vartik
Project manager and financial manager

The total budget of the project is 24 996 839 Ft.

The project is funded by the European Union, co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Hungarian Government.