Assistance for those in distress
Fight against poverty
Stronger social solidarity
Objectives of our organization are „translated into life” when we review the events of 2015.
HIA-Hungary has implemented significant development activities in its national social work in 2015. Thanks to grants awarded in EU tenders two temporary family shelters (Miskolc, Orosháza) were completely renewed; reconstruction of the night shelter of HIA’s Social and Development Center in Gyula has also started from funds collected during the Advent campaign. A new social and development center was opened in Sopron, and establishment of a new children’s center also started in Miskolc.
Two main activities determined the work of HIA’s International Development and Humanitarian Directorate in 2015: mitigation of consequences of the Ukrainian crisis and support to large number of migrants arriving to Hungary.
Our Activities in Hungary - 2015
Assistance for families, children
Temporary home was provided for 764 parents and children
1500 children received regular assistance in our centers to promote their catch-up
Our Aid Center provided assistance to 13 000 families in 2015
Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s social and development activities aim at helping those who face an emergency, investigate the causes leading to an emergency and provide personalized assistance in the earliest eradication of these causes.
Child development activities
Child development continued to be a priority in HIA-Hungary’s institutions involved in activities with children. HIA’s staff members organized development programs for more than 1500 children in 2015. The wide range of services (therapeutic horse-riding, movement therapy, adventure-based programs, coaching, creative activities, special education and psychological services) allowed implementation of development cut to the children’s individual needs.
HIA-Hungary made every effort in 2015 as well to ease start of the school-year for disadvantaged children. In the frame of its school-start campaign more than 1000 children received school supplies, clothes, contribution to travel costs, vitamins and medicines if needed; thus most obstacles from learning of these children were removed.
Assistance to families facing a crisis
A separate institution – HIA’s National Aid Center – managed the individual requests arriving to the organization during 2015 as well. The center was able to help – mainly through in-kind assistance – in more than 13 000 cases but other clients were also informed by our staff members on what kind of assistance they are entitled to through the state welfare system.
Way out of poverty
Model program from institutional care to independent living: In June 2013 Hungarian Interchurch Aid has launched a national model program with the support of the Velux Foundations in Kastélyosdombó (Somogy County) to enhance reintegration chances and promote successful rehabilitation of families living in temporary family shelters and families facing crisis due to loss of housing.
So far 3 families from among those involved in the Kastélyosdombó model program moved out into their own homes and further families will move out next year. Realizing developments is going on continuously. Sales of vegetables produced in the model farm started in 2015. Number of employees increased, so now the program already provides employment for more than 20 individuals. Child development activities are already held not only in the institution but also in schools of neighboring settlements.
HIA’s TANDEM program was closed this year; this project provided micro-grants for church and civil organizations which contributed to development of more than 8.000 children.
Assistance to the homeless
1200 homeless received continuous help
Our organization has been maintaining homeless care services in three towns already in 2014: in Budapest, Debrecen and Gyula. In addition to the possibility to warm up, bathe and eat, our institutions also offered the following services: personalized help and counseling in official matters, job-search; chance for reintegration into society. The street and micro-regional outreach services provide regular assistance not only to people living in the streets but also to those living in the farmlands, or seeking shelter in the outskirts of towns in tent-like makeshift huts.
Several grants received through tenders helped HIA to expand its services for homeless – medicines, blankets, and clothes were purchased for them.
Reconstruction of HIA’s Night Shelter in Gyula has also started and will continue in 2016 in order to turn this institution into a well-equipped, modern facility.
Apart from daily food distributions more than 10 000 portions of hot meals were offered for the needy ones during the Advent distribution in 2015 as well.
Assistance for addicts
Our centers provided comprehensive help to addicts at four locations of the country (Budapest, Debrecen, Kastélyosdombó and Szolnok)
An important but rarely highlighted field in creation of equal opportunities is when we try to help someone to get rid of his/her addiction. Our centers provided comprehensive help to addicts at four locations of the country (Budapest, Debrecen, Kastélyosdombó and Szolnok) in 2015. Provision of support and counseling services to strengthen individuals struggling with addictions is also given priority in HIA’s national social work. HIA’s experts assist drug, alcohol and gambling addicts and their close relatives at 5 different locations throughout Hungary.
HIA has launched its EU-financed program called ’A Clearer Picture’ in cooperation with 7 partner organizations and involving 120 volunteers in January 2015. In the frame of the project HIA’s volunteers collect drug waste left in public spaces or delivered to needle exchange centers by intravenous drug-users in Budapest, Szeged, Miskolc, Békéscsaba, Gyula, Debrecen and Pécs.
Contents of these syringes undergo toxicology testing in the forensic laboratory of the Debrecen University and the information gathered is published among wide range of professionals. This year a total of 18.066 objects were collected and delivered to the laboratory. 2.718 testing were completed, out of which 2.598 were successful.
The prevention program called ’Game with limits’ continued at new locations (Miskolc, Olaszliszka, Budapest, Szolnok, Orosháza) involving new schools. The program focuses on prevention of gambling addiction. Multi-session development process and interesting programs help youngsters get familiar with dangers of gambling in order they can avoid these risks.
Support to job-seekers
Assistance was provided for 377 disadvantaged unemployed individuals – 60% of job-seekers enrolled in the program found jobs in 2015
Primary goal of HIA’s labor market service is to provide individual development for job-seekers thus helping them in the job-finding process. Overall objective is to promote equal opportunities of the target group, contribute to their social integration and prepare them for labor market requirements. HIA develops dialogue between business, state and non-profit sectors to improve partnership, and enhance equal, sustainable employment chances.
In 2015 HIA has opened a new Human Resource center in Sopron, thus this activity is being carried out already at 4 locations (Budapest, Szolnok, Miskolc, Sopron). As a result of the work of these centers almost 50% of job-seekers find employment. The program called ‘Assistance by Soproni which feels good’ allowed it to popularize HIA’s labor market service by the help of roadshows and festivals. In the frame of this program a telephone counselling is available to everyone at discount rates. Several thousand job seekers have used this service up to now.
Assistance to victims of abuse
In 2015 we paid special attention to victims of intimate partner violence. Our Protected Shelter provided housing and shelter for 68 families – mothers and children fleeing from violence; parents and children escaping from abuse were also received in three temporary family shelters maintained by HIA. A national campaign titled ‘Recognize it’ started in 2014: a new chapter was opened in the campaign, which intends to raise public awareness in the field of intimate partnership violence.
HIA also continued its prevention efforts in 2015. During this year 1.1000 youngsters were reached by the prevention programs which aimed to prevent young individuals from becoming victims of human trafficking and prostitution, and also from getting into a relationship where the chance of intimate partnership violence is high.
Our international activities - 2015
Hungarian Interchurch Aid has joined the humanitarian work carried out in the crisis zones with its two and a half decades’ experiences. In Ukraine HIA headed the activities of the Geneva-based international ACTAlliance and continued the aid work to help families fleeing from the fighting, and assist those being in need due to the economic consequences of the war.
Hungarian Interchurch Aid has carried out intensive coordination and professional work through its office in Mazar-e-Sharif during 2015. An agreement for implementation of 6 projects was signed with Kabul office of the UN World Food Program. It allowed HIA to organize further food assistance programs in the region. Besides, victims of the Takhar earthquake were also given humanitarian assistance in 2015. 89 local staff members were involved in the preparations and implementation of projects in three provinces.
In 2015 HIA distributed a total of 1.178 tons of foodstuffs for 56.340 individuals in 8 districts of Sar-i-Pul and Balkh provinces. Beneficiaries received the food items mainly in the frame of „food for work” and „asset creation” programs. The „asset creation” program covers activities that are useful and important for local communities and are carried out by beneficiary families who thereby also contribute to their long-term subsistence. Tens of thousands of pistachio saplings were planted, flood protection facilities and reservoirs were constructed, mushroom cultivation program has started and roads were reconstructed. The program also had an element called „school feeding” which provided several tons of foodstuffs for students thus promoting their school attendance. Total value of projects exceeded HUF 400 million in 2015.
In October 2015 Hungarian Interchurch Aid completed the two-year development program in cooperation with its local partner Interchurch Mission Christian Social Service. The program aimed to promote social reintegration of ex-convicts released from prison in three oblasts: Vitebsk, Grodno and Gomel. 203 ex-prisoners received individual counseling from the social workers and 1618 individuals were informed about employment options. 46 persons out of them were temporarily involved in herb and flower growing and beekeeping; 8 ex-convicts were employed under permanent job contract. Monasteries providing work for program beneficiaries contributed to their rehabilitation with social and mental support as well. Participants finally were given assistance in finding jobs out of the program.
As a result of the program significant progress has been made to incorporate assisting activities of local NGOs and churches performed in the frame of the program into the state social system. A total of 350 individuals took part in roundtables and expert meetings, training courses, opening and closing conferences. A study was also prepared which contained a proposal package related to reintegration of ex-convicts and a manual containing relevant information for ex-prisoners. The project was closed in October 2015.
Contribution to school-start of students in Transylvania continued in 2015 as well. This year 150 elementary school students received school supplies.
In the 2015 Advent period - similarly to previous years - in-kind donations were delivered by HIA to institutions of Lazarenum Foundation and 170 large families (1000 persons, 470 children) being in their outreach and visited by the foundation regularly during the year in Marosvásárhely/Tirgu Mures.
The aid shipment included four tons of non-perishable foodstuffs, fruits and cleaning products (flour, rice, sugar, pasta, cooking oil, canned food, marmalade, cocoa, coffee, butterscotch, tea, chocolate, muesli bars, Christmas candy, dates, orange, mandarin, dishwashing liquid, detergent, disinfectant).
A special crisis center has been established in Bakou settlement of Kandal district in Cambodia. An orphanage used to work here which was built from Hungarian support in the 1980s Utilization level of the institution was very low, the building was dilapidated. Foreign Ministry of Hungary invited a tender in 2013 for reconstruction of a part of the building and it was won by Hungarian Interchurch Aid.
Reconstruction of the two parts of the building – with a total territory of 1024m2 – was completed in April 2015. Following the study visit of Cambodian experts to Hungary, HIA also assisted its Cambodian partners in how to launch development projects in the new institution. Technical and agricultural equipment and seeds were also donated by HIA thus ensuring sustainability of the project and introduction of the model seen in Hungary.
HIA opened its independent office in Beregovo in 2000; main task of the office was to implement social and training program. The agency has been working under the name of ADVANCE Transcarpathian Advocacy and Development Center since 2006. HIA provides regular support to work of ADVANCE including the following: labor market development, child development program, legal and social counseling, accredited vocational training, humanitarian assistance, social development programs, operation of the Western-Ukrainian NGO-network.
The following programs and events were implemented in the region in 2015:
- A new program has started with the aim of providing Hungarian-language vocational training in professions that are competitive in the labor market in Beregovo district, thus supporting successful social and labor market inclusion of disadvantaged, unemployed young adults. Preparing accreditations of the training courses, searching for trainers, establishing training locations and recruiting participants have started in 2015. Training is about to start in spring of 2016 and 30 disadvantaged individuals will complete the courses in social work and accounting data recording. Further 30 disadvantaged youngsters will receive qualification as wall and floor tiler and drywall worker.
- Charity Half-Marathon: HIA organized its first Beregovo Charity Half-Marathon on 3 October 2015 with the intention to create a tradition. The sporting event relying on earlier local running races was opened by Anikó Lévai, HIA’s goodwill ambassador and László Lehel president-director; warm-up was led by István Kokó Kovács, HIA’s goodwill ambassador.
- Capacity building for Ukrainian NGOs: the program financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and implemented in the second half of 2015 aimed to share HIA’s experiences gained in humanitarian assistance and disaster management in Hungary and already introduced in Western-Ukraine, with NGOs in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine. The one-day seminar in Dnipropetrovsk and the study visit to Hungary allowed representatives of participating NGOs to become familiar with basics of humanitarian work in the EU, possible fields and forms of cooperation.
- The program supported by the World Childhood Foundation and intended to improve mental, physical health of children and to help them catch up with their peers continued in 2015. 80 children involved in the program took part in study groups connected to sports, conservation of nature, drawing, cooking, photography and IT, self-knowledge and skills development.
- Integrated Education Program: The program, that aimed to incorporate methods of Complex Instruction Program into school education of children and is financed from HIA’s own funds and also from funds of the World Childhood Foundation, has been launched in 2014 and continued in 2015. The program was realized with the cooperation of the Secondary School in Jánosi (Beregovo district). General objective of the project was to improve school results of children with special needs through integrated education methods. 56 children were enrolled in the project (grade 2-6).
Hungarian Interchurch Aid has performed preventive flood protection work in Novi Grad district of Sarajevo in a total value of HUF 106 million from the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in cooperation with its local partner, Merhamet-Sarajevo. The Lepenica creek effluent from under the communal waste landfill is highly contaminated with heavy metals and other harmful substances. In the frame of the program HIA undertook to construct a 2 meters high and 2,5 meters deep concrete riverbed on a 405 meters long section of the creek; it is going to protect the soil and health of those living there and their houses from damages caused by the sewage washed out by the floods. Upon completion of the procurement process construction works started in November 2015 when the building company could agree on conditions of accessing the project site and the necessary permits were obtained.
200 meters’ section from the planned 405 meters was completed by 31 December 2015 while the remaining riverbed is expected to be finished by 31 March 2016.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes and escaped to more secure parts of Iraq as a result of the outbreak of the Iraqi war in 2003, the subsequent unstable war situation and also due to the spread of the Islamic State in the summer of 2014. HIA’s aid program in Iraq also focused on governorates of Iraqi Kurdistan where number of IDPs was the highest. In the territory of Erbil, Duhok, Sulaymaniyah and Diyala governorates there are more than 1 million registered IDPs and also 244.000 Syrian refugees.
During the second half of 2015 HIA started the preparatory work related to opening of a humanitarian and development office. Through its new office and the assistance provided in the region, HIA intends to support refugees from Syria and IDPs, to promote repatriation to territories liberated by the Kurdish forces and also to mitigate the migration pressure on Europe. HIA cooperates with local authorities, local ACT Alliance partner, CAPNI (Christian Aid Programme in Iraq) and LWF (Lutheran World Federation) in the office opening process.
In 2015 Hungarian Interchurch Aid continued its support to groups that have become IDPs due to the war crisis, to those living in war zones and also to victims of economic crisis emerged as a result of the war situation. Activities were managed by the Budapest HQ and also by HIA’s Beregovo and Dnipropetrovsk offices.
In 2015 more than 20 thousand direct beneficiaries (mainly IDPs, large families, single elderly, unemployed and those living with disabilities in conflict zones) were assisted by HIA as a member of ACT Alliance. Beneficiaries received the following aid in 10 regions (oblasts) of Ukraine (Transcarpathia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Kherson, Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkov, Zaporizhia):
• 3493 food parcels containing cooking oil, flour, rice, pasta, sugar, canned beef and pork, buckwheat, yellow peas, margarine, tea, biscuits and other non-perishable foodstuffs.
• 3171 hygienic kits containing soap, shampoo, washing powder, toothbrush, toothpaste, disinfectant, toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, liquid soap, shower gel and other hygienic items.
• 986 baby care packages: diapers, talcum powder, baby lotion, wet wipes, baby shampoo and other baby care products.
• 9610 baby food.
• 1980 blankets.
• Psycho-social assistance in Zaporizhia and Donetsk oblasts.
• 500 packages containing kitchen utensils: frying pan, pot, colander, vegetable cutters, ladles, kitchen towels, knives, cutting boards, plastic mugs, cups and other household equipment.
• 148 tons of fuel (coal, biomass briquette) and 180m3 fire wood.
• Reconstruction of refugee centers. Each of the two centers reconstructed in Kharkov (Lozova settlement) and Kherson (two locations) oblasts are able to provide temporary accommodation for 80 families. Additional insulation of several buildings, replacing doors and windows, construction and equipping of new bathrooms, kitchens and sanitary facilities took place in the course of reconstruction works.
• Support to 15 foster parent IDP families with parcels containing household equipment and machines.
• 40 oil radiators and 50 infrared heaters for IDPs.
• 200 blankets, 140 bedding sets, 140 pillows, 60 towels for IDPs.
- Crisis assistance in Transcarpathia – packages containing basic foods for single elderly and Hungarian families where the breadwinner serves as a soldier.
- Humanitarian assistance from the support of the Embassy of Hungary in Kiev – at the end of May and beginning of June 2015 HIA distributed aid packages for 3000 vulnerable individuals in Beregovo, Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk. During the program 996 food parcels and 996 hygienic kits were delivered to the three oblasts.
- Reconstruction of IDP community shelters – HIA performed reconstruction works of a building (a youth hostel) in Dnipropetrovsk which accommodates Ukrainian IDPs. Doors, windows, balcony doors were replaced in 8 rooms thus living conditions of 8 IDP families were improved.
- Contribution to child catering – In the frame of the program launched from donations arrived for the appeal issued by State Secretariat for National Policy of Prime Minister’s Office and Municipality of district 22, catering of children learning in Transcarpathian educational institutions was covered and also vulnerable elderly and large families were assisted with food and hygiene products. A total of 113 educational institutions – 54 kindergartens, 55 elementary schools, 3 secondary schools, 1 educational center, 1 social kitchen – and 1603 needy families were direct beneficiaries of the program.
- School-start – school kits were purchased for disadvantaged children in Transcarpathia for the 2015/16 school year: in the frame of the aid action 114 primary school pupils received school supplies including school bag, exercise-books, pens, pencils, drawing papers, compasses, liners, color pencils, pen boxes and other school equipment.
- Winter fuel distribution in Beregovo and Beregovo district – Similarly to previous years, in October 2015 HIA started distribution of winter fuel in its Beregovo center. During the first phase 100 families received 5 quintals of biomass briquettes each. As an additional assistance, HIA undertook delivery of the fuel to homes of beneficiaries. In the frame of the program with a total value of HUF 1,5 million, each family received fuel in an amount of HUF 15.000 which ensured several weeks’ heating for them.
- Christmas gifts in Transcarpathia – in December 2015 126 children living in Beregovo and its neighborhood received Christmas packages. Total value of packages amounted to HUF 2 million.
- Support to artists in Transcarpathia- 16 artists received HUF 14000 financial support each. All of them are pensioners; their incomes are very low and do not cover even their basic needs and expenses. Most of them need continuous medicine supply which they cannot finance from their low pensions.
- Flood assistance in Rahó – In November 2015 the swollen river Tisza flooded almost 170 houses in settlements of Rahó, Técső and Ökörmező districts. Most damages were caused in Rahó settlement and in Rahó district thus HIA’s Beregovo office focused its assistance to this area and started compiling the aid packages including foodstuffs, detergents and antiseptic paint in cooperation with the municipality. The packages were handed over to victims between 26 and 28 November 2015 (60 families).
Humanitarian assistance to families of Ethiopian Coptic Christians killed in Libya – in February 2015 the whole world learned through the world wide web of the execution of Ethiopian guest workers working in Libya. HIA expressed its sympathy with families of the victims and forwarded its financial assistance to them through the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus to Addis Abeba (charging it to its reserves for Africa). The support in an amount of 6000 Ethiopian birr per family was given to relatives in the form of vouchers.
Storm damages – During 2015 no outstanding natural disaster occurred in Hungary. HIA provided assistance to victims of local storm- and fire damages on an ‘ad hoc’ basis. In January assistance was given to a family whose house burned down in Dunavarsány. One family in Borsodszirák and one in Érd received construction materials, three families in Szob received construction materials in a value of HUF 100000 to mitigate their damages caused by summer storms. HIA in each case made decision on the size of assistance following consultations with the victims, local governments and building experts and use of the materials included in the assistance was always monitored.
Right after the massive destruction caused by the earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015, HIA organized a fundraising campaign for the benefit of the victims. HIA, as the only Hungarian member of ACT Alliance, assisted the humanitarian activities of the international alliance on the spot. During the rehabilitation phase the international activities focused on education: 250 temporary school buildings were set up in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur provinces. In this part of the country many schools were affected by the earthquake thus it was important to make suitable buildings available as soon as possible to continue education of children.
Floods and landslides in the Western Balkans in May 2014 wreaked havoc and also resulted in casualties in countries of the region. In addition to its own aid actions, HIA also took an active part in implementation of a 700 thousand dollar international program (ACT Alliance SRB141 Appeal) as the only Hungarian NGO. HIA’s aid activities in Serbia were carried out in close cooperation with its local partner (the Novi Sad-based Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization, Ekumenska Humanitarna Organizacija, EHO) in the affected regions.
HIA provided support to 44 disadvantaged families (a total of 220 persons) to reconstruct their houses in the heavily affected cities of Obrenovac and Lazarevac and their administrative area. Support included donation of construction materials, reconstruction works and technical assistance. Apart from reconstruction of private homes, HIA also assisted hospital of Loznica with medical tools. The hospital provides primary health care for almost 25 thousand individuals. Value of the direct assistance was HUF 3,6 million.
Migration, refugee crisis
In response to the migration crisis evolved in Hungary in 2015, Hungarian Interchurch Aid has launched an emergency program to support asylum seekers, mainly women and children. Owing to the nature of the crisis HIA sought to provide assistance in as many locations and as flexibly as possible, always reacting to the given needs of the most vulnerable ones. The organization delegated a mobile team consisting of its members including social workers, humanitarian experts and interpreters.
More than 100 HIA staff members and volunteers took part in the activities in various locations and also in warehouses and in the central office. HIA operated a complex logistics system with vehicles, heated tents and other equipment. Assistance always implied 24-hour duty.
For the sake of providing effective assistance HIA maintained close cooperation with local authorities, charity organizations, NGOs at each location and on a national level as well and was also involved in international coordination.
HIA’s work was performed partly from Hungarian government and church support (Lutheran, Unitarian and Methodist churches), partly from international funds under the auspices of ACT Alliance. In addition to these, several companies – Vodafone Humanitarian Fund, and EoN Hungária – supported HIA’s work due to which different tools, equipment and appliances could be purchased and distributed as humanitarian assistance and used in activities for kids.
HIA was also involved in the Ljubljana-based international coordination.
1. Hungary - Budapest, Röszke, Beremend, Barcs, Hegyeshalom, Bicske, Vámosszabadi - total number of beneficiaries: 171.683 persons
2. Serbia – Horgos, Magyarkanizsa, Szabadka, Bezdán – total number of beneficiaries: 18.000 persons
3. Slovenia - Gornja Radgona, Lendva and Sentilj - total number of beneficiaries: 38.500 persons
Distributed relief items:
• basic hygiene kits and special items to meet needs of children and women
• food packages, ready-to-eat foods – baby foods for babies and small children, baby formulas, medical products
• winter clothes, blankets
Distribution of relief items was always performed in accordance with actual needs of the given location and target group.
Currently HIA holds activities for children once a week at the two open reception centers – Bicske and Vámosszabadi – with 2-2 social workers at each location. By the end of 2015 HIA’s staff members provided assistance to approximately 400 children.
Total Expenditures (EUR) — 2015
Sources of Funding (EUR) - 2015