Hungary 2008-2009

European Comission/Co-financing with European development NGOs; Actions to raise public awareness of development issues in Europe     
Project title: Awareness raising actions in Hungary by exchange of European experiences
Duration: January, 2008 – December, 2009
Budget: 284,250 Euro
Donor: European Commission


 
Background

Development Education (DE) is an almost totally unknown issue in Hungary, and especially in the system of school education. Students are not aware of the conditions under which people live in developing countries. During the past few years there were only a few NGOs dealing with this issue, therefore no significant results have been achieved in this field. Hungarian Interchurch Aid during its operation have met many ambiguous concepts, falsehood on solidarity and assistance to those in need, and have realized that although being an EU member since May 2004, Hungary still has a long way ahead in understanding development issues even on a basic level. The level of information on development issues, the knowledge of the target group differs in a significant way: young people in the capital are better informed; their attitude is slightly different from those living in the countryside. 
 
Main objectives

The overall objective of the project was to provide a deeper knowledge on development issues to the target group in European countries (Hungary and Finland) that may result in increased involvement in development activities in the future. The objective was to initiate the starting of a new era of development education in Hungary. The project’s main intention was to raise awareness of students and youths towards global development issues and also to increase knowledge of HIA staff, teachers and youth leaders on the methods of development education by the help of cooperation of Hungarian Interchurch Aid and its partner, FinnChurchAid.
 
Main activities

- Mobile interactive exhibition in Hungary - The exhibition presented photos, videos and texts on the world of humanitarian and development aid, using materials mostly from Afghanistan. By the help of multimedia tools (short films on LCD screens, Afghan music played in the background) the exhibition could speak the language that the 21st century youth understands.  Most photos were made by Afghan school students (aged 14-16) who received single-use cameras in order to chronicle important moments of their lives. 
- Mobile exhibition in Finland - The materials were exhibited in 2 schools and 3 other public places attracting 11 900 visitors + 200 000 individuals at the Helsinki Railway Station.
- Competition in Hungary among students - Task of participants was to create 10 minutes’ presentations to call young people’s attention to global inequalities, and the importance of solidarity. 21 presentations were submitted and 5 of them were chosen to be presented in the final for participants of the student workshop and the jury (consisting of HIA’s director, goodwill ambassadors and celebrities). The winner team was awarded by a study trip to Helsinki, and its members were named as ‘junior goodwill ambassadors’ of Hungarian Interchurh Aid. 
- Workshops, capacity building - During the project period several workshops were organized both for teachers, students, youth leaders and HIA staff-members. This process was facilitated by FCA DE expert.
- DE website - The website and the interactive version of the ‘road show’ were completed during the second year of the project. They are based on the creative materials (graphical image, logo, texts, cognitive concept) of the interactive exhibition. The DE website and the interactive game are still available both through HIA’s main site and from their own domain addresses (www.vilagformalok.hu, www.10percszoli.hu). Program contents were hosted by HIA’s main site with ca. 600 visitor/day. 
 
Main results

The project achieved its objective to raise awareness of participating Hungarian schools, church youth-groups and other stakeholders towards global development issues and especially the situation that Afghan children and Afghan schools are facing. A new area of development education has started in Hungary by the help of HIA’s project. 
The interactive exhibition was set up in 17 schools and 4 festivals and was visited by more than 15 000 students and 200 teachers who also participated at the accompanying seminars. Teachers and students were trained in development issues; 1000 students registered for newsletter/website to receive more information on DE events and the competition.