SOS Children in Hungary
Hungary has a colourful and varied culture reflecting its mix of peoples - the majority Magyars, and Roma, German, Slovak, Croat, Serb and Romanian minorities. It has rich traditions in folk and classical music and was the birthplace of numerous well loved performers and composers, including Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly.
Hungary played an important part in accelerating the collapse of Communism when in 1989 it opened its border with Austria, allowing thousands of East Germans to escape to the West. However, a number of problems left over from the Communist era, including pollution and environmental damage, have yet to be resolved.
The charity began working in Hungary in 1986 when the charity built a first village in Battonya, a small town near the Romanian border. SOS Children Battonya has twelve family houses built in the traditional style. The children attend the public kindergarten and the local schools. As the children grew older, youth facilities were established in nearby Szeged and Bekescsaba.
The second Hungarian SOS Children community started in Kecskemét, a small town 80 km south-east of Budapest. SOS Children Kecskemét is in Petöfi-Varos, approximately 10 km from the city centre. It has twelve family houses, one of which is used as a nursery school, which is also attended by children from the neighbourhood. The 'Vasarhelyi Pal' Primary School is within easy distance to the village and has undergone expansion with the assistance of SOS Children. There is a youth house in the nearby town of Lajosmizse.
SOS Children Koszeg opened in 1993 close to border crossing with Austria at Köszeg-Rattersdorf. This small but ancient town has a good infrastructure with a hospital and primary and secondary schools. Opportunities for further education and for employment exist in Szombathely, which is the nearest urban centre. The village has twelve family houses and an SOS Nursery for 50 local children. There is a youth house in nearby Szombathely.
SOS-Gyermekfalu Magyarorszagi Egyesulete, Feelso Zoldmali ut 53, 1025 Budapest, Hungary
tel +36/1/32 59 412 e-mail sos-gyermekfalu @sos.hu
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