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“In the spirit of community, openness, action, autonomy and human dignity� 3

GROWING CIVIC COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHERN TRANSDANUBIA first year results of the of a three-year support program



In fall 2017 Power of Humanity Foundation launched the Growing Civic Communities (ECK) programme in the Southern Transdanubian region, founded by the Open Society Foundations, as part of the Regional Community Centres program.

To change this feature our tool is to strengthen civil society: that’s why ECK applicants may require support for resolutions of problems identified by local communities.

Within the programme for three years per year NGOs, informal groups and communities can apply for an amount of 100 million HUF for projects implemented in Baranya, Somogy and Tolna counties. This is a huge opportunity, especially when we consider that how resource-poor environment the civil society in the region is working in. Besides that in Hungary only in the Northern Great Plain region were opened similar opportunities for civilians.

In order to develop the application, we visited people with an insight into civilian life in the South Transdanubian region. Through personal consultations and by using online questionnaire, the purpose of the situation assessment was to establish a support programme that best suits local needs and to be capable to respond to the real needs of local civilians. To have a clearer picture of what would be the most appropriate form of support to effectively assist the civil initiatives of the region. From the opinions of about a hundred people we have obtained conceptual and tender technical suggestions for our plans.

During the development of the ECK programme we determined our goals and what kind of change we want to see in the regional civil society as the result of our activities. We do not only consider it important to know and test with impact measurement tools the impact of the aid granted on civil society actors in the region to substantiate and get confirmation for our support system, but also to serve as a model for possible regional programs of the Open Society Foundations.

This is how the final form of Growing Civic Communities were born, thanks to which some local, regional NGOs acquired sources who didn’t have access to such support before.

In our view, the context of the Growing Civic Communities programme is a fragmented society.


Venues for ECK civil encounters

Territorial distribution of subsidies


2019 2018

2019 2018








Total support claims received

HUF 457 MILLION (255 applications)


2019 2018



BARANYA COUNTY Our development targets #participation #publicity #independence #cooperation #supportive environment #base building #safeguarding of interests #democracy #civic consciousness 7

The main objective of the ECK, also set out in its name, is strengthening organizations and initiatives, so they become more autonomous and conscious, more stable actors, trust themselves and in each other, to cooperate, to build relationships. Strengthening organisations – in line with our conviction – is based on the development of three important areas, which are communication, base building and fundraising. These three areas are then were asked with an emphasis in the application data sheets and reports, and we offered trainings on these topics.

We thought it important to get resources to smaller organizations and to smaller settlements, but also to finance more complex programs. So we created two categories, the Launcher, which is available on lesser terms, and informal groups may also apply, and Amplifier where along higher expectations, higher amount can be applied for. For the sake of equal access, we have strived for territorial equalization, which in practice meant that in Baranya and Pécs where traditionally stronger tender activity is prevalent it was more difficult to win our support than in the less competitor Tolna and Somogy counties.

Therefore, in our regional, thus territorial and not sectoral focused programme, we have not introduced restrictions on topics and professional disciplines. It technically means that you can win support with any kind of activity (social, environmental, health, education, sports, etc.) if your organization has a program through which it increases it’s social base, embeddedness, strengthens communication, and, more than earlier, a donor circle is engaged.



Application categories Launcher 48

AmpliďŹ er 74






Type of settlement


35% 13%



Regional distribution of projects

52% county seat



Informal group




Registered organization

Applicant organizations

In summary we can say that already in the first year awareness of the organizations evolved significantly in the key areas of the ECK program. Applicants attach greater importance to involvement, communication, fundraising, and they have already achieved significant capacity expansion. Not only the number of participants on the events, but also the expanding circle of organizers, the inner core and the number of volunteers as well as widening the circle of supporters and sympathizers of the organization is also significant from our numbers, and knowing the average small size of the organizations in the region.

However, information obtained from the final reports well characterize not just the quality of the project period, but also help planning the following steps. Accordingly, we are able to tailor our programs, trainings and services to experience. The Growing Civic Communities programme is today the most significant, non-state source that is open to NGOs in the region. It is definitely proven that there’s a need for it and clearly visible, that it has a developmental impact. For the period ahead - with regard to the maintenance of rural civilian life - such a support programme is indispensable in Hungary.

Based on these, we are pleased to say that the first phase of the ECK program was successful. The data clearly shows the developmental progress of the applicant organizations, which we interpret as the effect of the programme.






average number of participants per project participants in supported programs total

90% said it


80% said that their





Capacity expansion 5.35


increase in inner circle



increase in the number of volunteers

opportunities were broadened and their ďŹ nancial vulnerability reduced

felt they had already made a lot of progress 11


said they became more self-conscious

74% strongly feel that there

As the applicants saw it

would be people who support them with money


say there is still a long way to go

Growing Civic Communities 12



Mural is also moral


A lot of experience has been accumulated during the association’s twelve years, they applied to Growing Civic Communities to systematize it and to share it with wider communities. From the support a community art conference, and a related jubilee exhibition was also held. “We also organized workshops where the participants could try the forum-theater and also community painting” – says Krisztina Katona, the association’s leader. The backbone of the program was the two 3 days training where those who were interested attended a mixed art workshop. During the training they learned and mastered visual arts, theater, motion and sound techniques. “There’s a lot you can open up in people with art, you can reach content which cannot be accessed by other means. This is a great opportunity, at both personal and community level, to connect one to oneself and members of the community to each other, and thus, to articulate messages for the wider society.” – explains Krisztina.

Mural painting (community wall painting) is not the only one but perhaps the most spectacular method in the association’s community development toolkit. This complex system was processed in Hungary from a


Nicaraguan model and mainly deals with communities of disadvantaged children and of young people. The applicability of community art is indicated by the fact that they have worked with ex-convict young people, with an adult male group, or in a nursery where they have painted with nurses. Apart from practice, great emphasis is also placed on theory, several methodological publications are bound to the Mural Moral. They have active, sparkling connections

with Irish, Czech and Spanish groups, with whom they implement several programs together, and that is a great professional development opportunity for participants.



“There’s a lot that can be opened up in people with art”

- claimed by members of the Mural Moral, who have been in the community wall painting for over ten years.



Green taste of freedom Kaba Farm is working to revitalize village communities through volunteering and turn people’s power into social capital. Simone and Lamine Kaba decided in 2005 to give up


their Swiss lives and move to Almáskeresztúr, a small village in Baranya. Of course, the departure was not smooth, but after much deprivation and persistence, they now maintain a farm and community whose goat cheese products are widely sought-after. As the economy came to life, parallelly, almost from the beginning, they put great emphasis on the implementation of various volunteer and community programs, so many are now pilgrimaging to them beyond Mozsgó, among the hills. Over time, they were welcomed by the indigenous community and became initiator members. As an active participant in several local and rural initiatives they initiated in Almáskeresztúr, for example, the creation of an exchange market between different producers and the reciprocal practice of helping each other. They regularly welcome volunteers not only from the country but also from abroad. With the support of the Growing Civic Communities they refocused and expanded their voluntary service.




With the help of the support they developed a good practice, which later materialized in the form of an accessible knowledge-directory adaptable to economies building on local communities. Recently, after several personal, decisive experience they opened to a new direction: they held small group activities for nearly a hundred foster kids and young adults so far, introducing a feasible life considering the time when young people get excluded from the state care system.

“At first, because of our view of life we were counted as a ‚weirdo’, today more and more people are coming to us.” - explains Lamine Kaba.


Kaba Farm aims to raise awareness built on local communities. For this they think it is essential to reduce the economic and social vulnerability of the people, the revival of community thinking, the positive displacement of learned helplessness especially in impoverished villages. The focus of all is organic farming, the expanding of harmonious farming with nature, and its tool is voluntary work and the exchange-based economic model.





Enough laughter for the little patients of the children’s clinic


The history of the Nevetnikék Foundation began ten years ago, when Glória Kőműves launched a volunteer program in which they dealed with diseased children at the Children’s Clinic of Pécs. „Nothing special” is done by the enthusiastic company that anyone else couldn’t do: playing board games, playing cards, playing games and talk. Over thousands of volunteer hours painting fabled-wall on the walls of the gray corridors. But mainly they make children laugh, smuggle cheer in the long monotone hours the little patients spend in hospital. Taking the significance of it they do a priceless job. There are about two hundred trained volunteers to work with children since the foundation of the Nevetnikék Foundation, and so far, they have helped thousands of small patients endure recovery time in the hospital, if only for a short time, helped to forget the pain and time spent with recovering. The essence of the volunteers’ work is that they relieve hospital anxiety with toys and artistic activities on eight departments of the Children’s Clinic of Pécs.


In recent years, besides the huge demand, fortunately there is no shortage of volunteers, so, the coordinators have more tasks, a full-time colleague became necessary.” –explains Glória Kőműves, president of the foundation, why they applied in the Growing Civic Communities programme. One of the specialties of the Nevetnikék Foundation is its voluntary program system: recruitment of candidates, then multi-step training for several months, thus, ensuring competent activity and ensuring that only prepared people take care of the children. They have developed a nationally unique, well-crafted and functional volunteer screening, preparation and training system over the years. The volunteers come from all age groups and with various motivation, but the program is popular mainly among college students for whom it also provides a very good further educational and practical basis for dealing with children. With the help of the ECK trainings they started to become self-sustaining heading towards financial independence to make the most of local resources. They placed great emphasis on the one percent of the tax campaign, they strengthened their relationship with the public, at events and in the media appearances popularized the foundation.







„Music is needed because it surrounds us, and we won’t be lost” Elder melodist-groups are enjoying heart-warming popularity, and Szenior Dalosok (Senior Singers) furthermore build relationships among different groups. “Music delights the one who listens and the one who does it,” – says Ibolya Lovák, who works to gather the groups of folksingers of Pécs to get to know each other, to create together and to introduce themselves to the general public.



The primary purpose of Senior singers is to support each other, but they are seeking participation on further trainings and striving to organize opportunities of introduction - addressing the widest possible audience. With the help of the Growing Civic Communities support they could pay the room rental, could obtain the missing scores and performance clothes, these they could not finance on their own.



“Singing together is a great experience for all of us ideally for those also who are listening. The performances are filling us with anticipation. The attention of the audience, its applause is so positive confirmation for us, which has a good effect on the audience’s and our state of mind too.” – tells Ibolya. “We like to give and to receive love. And this maximally comes true during performances, so we naturally strive to look for or just to create more and more opportunities!”

“It is important in our aging society to provide opportunities for the activities of older age-groups and it’s our shared responsibility to create the terms of participation in community life. I experienced how positive advantages mutual singing have and the beneficial effects of it on physical and mental health.” - explains Ibolya why their group contacted more than half a dozen local pensioner melodist-groups.



The Mills of Orfű became a scene of community life


The Malomkő Foundation (Millstone Foundation) is nurturing traditional folk culture and the cultural heritage of the countryside and builds its community by adapting to the potential and the general challenges of the 21st century. Measured in decades, it was not so long ago when on the stream flowing

from Vízkő-spring there were dozens of mills from Orfű to Sásd. From these only the one in Orfű preserves the memory of a bygone age when mills

were essential spaces of community life. The mill itself was a miracle for the people of the past centuries, as with devilish structures from the grain it

enchanted the life-giving flour. It was a meeting point where everyone would come around from time to time. The community of Malomkő Foundation

has been present in the life of the mills in Orfű for a quarter of a century. The foundation was established in 2005, then took over the mills’ related tasks of introducing, developing and continuously expanding its professional

background. Even then protecting the industrial value and passing on crafts

related to the milling industry was not their only purpose. To this day, they do a lot to enable the mills’ community-forming role again.



According to the members of the foundation it is a general social phenomenon that by the shrinking of real spaces giving actual community experience, not enough attention is given to real and traditional values, potential public spaces remain unused. However, it’s not only difficult to mobilize people, but generally they are not aware of their own local values.



“Mills have always been institutions serving the interests of society, where beyond their primary task of grinding different forms of community life were formed naturally”

With the support of the Growing Civic Communities they have started processes like base building and community development that are needed for the foundation’s stable operation. They organized several cultural and community events, reconsidered the communication issues of the foundation and of the mills, created a multilingual website and an image film, and they are already active in social media.

– explains Zsombor Horváth, who for many years is present in the life of the foundation, taking a lion’s share of cultural programs and shaping the mill to become a community space.



Denoting yoga to the service of community building

MANDALA JÓGA Mandala from Pécs have organized guerrilla yoga, community building events, yoga festival, and for the workers in the helping professions they are building a recreational, stress-management yoga service. Yoga as a way of life and as an activity promoting physical and mental health is gaining popularity in the 21st century, more and more people in Pécs are looking for this complex exercise. However, for rural communities there are few opportunities to discover its beneficial effects.


“By promoting yoga, we can contribute to the improvement of individual and community life quality at a local level”

– claims Hedvig Kompolti, the leader of Mandala Yoga Pécs Association for a Whole Life, why they decided four years ago to start a non-governmental organization with the active members of their yoga studio.


They set out to build an enthusiastic community that would be happy to help others, and in addition to practicing they also participate in social movements. “We managed to build a base of volunteers with which we regularly organize open hours in Pécs and in the county.” Yoga, by its very nature, allows people of different ages and backgrounds to be involved. It can help to improve the life quality of those living here, both physically and spiritually, strengthening positive thinking, acceptance, tolerance and trust in each other, which is the foundation of every community. As a form of group exercise, beyond individual lifestyle changes, it can be an important tool of community building. With the support of the Growing Civic Communities in cooperation with other ECK applicants and NGOs they organized their yoga festival for the second time, Yoga Picnic at the mills of Orfű. They also want to be involved in fostering the workers of helping professions, because many times encouragement and attention also come in handy for those who give the most on weekdays. By involving experts they’re working out how they can do the best for the target groups’ mental health, stress management, quality of life improvement with yoga and its co-areas as a tool, and with preventive, recreational support.






Sailing race in the middle of the street Papír Panír (Paper Breading) has taken creative workshops to a new level. They had an idea, they re-routed the Tettye patak of Pécs and organized a regatta in the middle of Vince street. Supported by the Growing Civic Communities programme, for the regatta they brought to the surface the Vince-stream which normally is a deep running stream, and organized a series of paper boat race on it: with music, giant puppets and street theater. Papír Panír is an artistic freelance group based on a community of ideas and made its debut a few years ago at the first Zsolnay Light Festival. Their home is the Létra Community Artist-House on Vince Street, where creative craftsmen, artists and civilians work.


“The goal was to create a public art happening, that something other than everyday life should happen in the public space to which anyone can join freely without restrictions, and participate actively, efficiently, and be part of the community.” – explains Tamás Kovács, a member of the Papír Panír. The program was prepared and arranged by involving volunteers, young people, whom prepared for the event with enthusiasm for several weeks. There was a need for hard-working hands and creative brainworms, because only with this help could the masterpieces be completed that in the end drifted on the waves of Vincepatak toward Ágoston Square.




“People were talking to each other over the worktable and laughing together at children preoccupied with the game. When the program was over, they didn’t go home, but they enjoyed the stillness of the street, they continued talking while sitting on the stairs, the kids hovered in the water, until the road closure was over and the cars appeared. „

The popularity of the event and the large number of curious people shows that with an original, creative idea, with some organizing and pure enthusiasm a lot of people can be addressed - and moved.





With interactive historical activities for community thinking

TÖRTÉNÉSZCÉH Pécs8 is one of the most original community initiative in recent years in Pécs. History teachers joined forces to make it possible for the students to learn the curriculum through experience-based education. Pécs8 is a local initiative where Pécs civilians can jointly explore and research the towns history between 1945 and 1990. A forum that encourages the city’s former and actual inhabitants for creativity and thinking, those who are interested in its history, regardless of age. In recent years the people of Pécs could meet with many exciting results of this mutual work.



“The Pécs8 program is the experimental field of productive collaboration between local society and communities, efficient and creative use of institutional and civilian resources” - says Dr. Gábor Bánkuti about one of the features of Pécs8. He started Pécs8 with the historian Anna Dévényi, which was accommodated by the Történészcéh Association.

Within the framework of the Growing Civic Communities application they prepared several programs. In a high school they organized a local team game where students while roaming the city got to know the Kádár-era’s typical events, defining moments, and with the help of contemporary magazines they processed the everyday life in Pécs during socialism. The quiz served an empathetic understanding of dry history, the students, in the spirit of interactivity, for several tasks explicitly had to use their smart gadgets.


“We have had surprising experiences during the programs so far, such as being having the most diverse people who haven’t talked to each other so far could connect in this program,” Gábor Bánkuti lists the results they feel important. The historian did not conceal that they also had much to learn. “Our personal and professional experiences have overturned many things and made us change our perspective in connection with what we have thought so far about awareness-raising and teaching. The quiz and the camp also taught us that young people need to be approached in a completely different way, and interaction, common thinking helps a lot in this.”


The Pécs8 team also organized a camp in the summer, where high school students could apply who wanted to look into the contradictory atmosphere of the ‘70s. At the four-day camp students learned how their grandparents lived, what they wore, or how they were partying. With the help of drama- and improvisation- games they canvased the decade, the Szokol radio turned up, they talked about the era’s espionage and read about the love stories at the Balaton of youngsters from the GDR and the FRG.



They educate young people for a whole life


A community club was opened for young people with disabilities in Kaposvár, in which a boccia team was also set up. One of the Vadvirág Foundation’s mission is to help the traumatized young people to shape their lives independently. The Vadvirág Foundation of Kaposvár was established in 1995. Initially, the organization provided services mainly to children with disabilities, then more and more emphasis were placed on organizing and conducting integrated and developmental activities. The participation of healthy children in group activities has dissolved the boundaries between healthy children and children with special needs, which is why they still offer workshops for both healthy and disabled children.


In their office they also employ disabled workers, and with the help of their volunteers they provide free advice to them regarding the benefits due. With a specialized vocational school operating in the city they carried out several joint projects, the foundation’s work has been supported by remedial teachers, coaches and rehabilitation specialists too. The project will establish a little community, the „Eres(s)z Club”, which is built around the triad of work, sport and community leisure activities, and meant for young people who are mentally and / or physically handicapped.



“Those young people who live with some kind of disability, getting out of the school system they face many problems. The social environment ceases, there are no job opportunities, and organized development opportunities are also completely narrowed.” - Explains Rita Völgyi, the CEO of the foundation, about one of the biggest obstacle to be resolved.


Within this framework, new volunteers were recruited and boccia became the guideline for this. They founded their first team and have already participated in the Hungarian Championships. Moreover, the club’s goal is not only to create a safe, helpful environment, but also to encourage parents to “let” their children on their way, help them to become more independent. The staff of the foundation is committed that in the long-run the programs serve for the youngsters’’ easier orientation in the world, empowers them and their family members with stronger advocacy and fortified self-management.



Helping the elderly with the power of fairy tales


The Gombolyító Terápiás Műhely (Gombolyító Therapy Circle) organized community storytelling sessions for elderly people living in social care institutions and nursing homes. „The older age group usually has more difficulty accessing cultural programs, often struggling with financial difficulties or health problems, illnesses, with narrowing social relations, the risk of isolation is much higher” – Linda Alföldi shares her experiences, one of the founders of Gombolyító, and as she noted, this is especially true for people living in nursing homes. Members of the Gombolyító Therapy Workshop are clinical psychologists and mental health professionals who in their preventive, mental hygiene and therapeutic work also work with folk tales in their spare time. In the first cycle of the Growing Civic Communities programme, on Hungarian Folktale Day they organized an all-day open session about fairytale therapy with a storytelling workshop and development activities - titled ‚Tales for Life’.



They planned even bigger commitment in this year’s application. In two Baranya institutions, the Integrated Daytime Social Institution and St. Lawrence Nursing home they implemented a complex activity through creative-development fairytale-workshops. The program is designed specifically for the elderly making use of the folk tales’ community building, community experience, soul-refreshing properties.


“In the program of Gombolyító, through listening to tales, talking, singing, artistic activity, recalling memories the possibility is given to share a life story, a personal story. The common experience, being together in a fairy tale has a long-term impact on people, can provide guidence to how to form a truly retaining, accepting community.” – says Linda Alföldi.



The Gombolyító team believes that the decay of age-related mental abilities, cognitive efficiency, and the degradation of executive functions can be slowed down. Therefore, it is vital for them to make the beneficial effects of storytelling and listening to tales accessible to the elderly, and that they can also reach the non-solvent population with their mental hygiene programs.


Give an experience you too!


“The Experience-fund draws attention to that each person has their own potential to donate without money. An experience is enough, that everyone according to their own opportunities and resources, can offer such as a mutual hike, a concert experience, a yoga class, but it could be a common fishing, boating on the lake.”

SPECKÓ PÉCS The Speckó community collects and mediates experiences to the disabled and at the same time draws the majority of society’s attention to phenomenon that people tend to ignore. Speckó has long been organizing popular escape games in Pécs and more recently also outdoor adventure games: the fictional character of Paragirl have already been saved by hundreds. At these events families, friends, those interested can experience what it’s like to achieve one step beyond the comfort zone, to taste the everyday life of the disabled.

- explains Csaba Pintér, leader of the Speckó, what is the essence of Give an Experience!


In the first cycle of the Growing Civic Communities they applied successfully with their campaign idea. The purpose was to show, through sensitizing films and photo exhibitions, those everyday situations which may be natural for the majority, but often to a person living with assistance they represent insurmountable obstacles. In their new application an earlier and very popular program has been revived in which experiences can be offered to people with disabilities. The system works like a money-fund, only it is not a matter of material goods, but of experience. Through the website of Experience-Fund we can support the disabled, blind, hearing impaired, deaf, handicapped, autistic, people with learning disabilities to gain a more colorful experience. At the same time, they approach the activated members of the inclusive society, private individuals and organizations, and those who are hiding, people with disabilities living an isolated everyday life and their families. Their purpose is twofold: on the one hand forming society, the social environment, creating an accepting, inclusive environment, on the other hand, motivating disabled people to dare to take advantage of the opportunities offered by their environment, to dare to experience social inclusion at the level it just exists.




In our public printing shop past and future is printed

DRUKKER Interactive printing museum, fine and applied arts workshop, community space: the Drukker embarked on a unique social venture in Pécs. Who remembers those printing machines, marvels of today, whose rattling is captured by a good number of documentaries and archived footage? In Pécs, visiting the Drukker community printing shop you may come across a machine that has been around since the 19th century to do its job.


Drukker, dreamed up by the Artificial Institute team, opened its community art base with the support of Growing Civic Communities. The place recently moved from Király Street to a more spacious location in the neighborship of Zsolnay Cultural Quarter and the Faculty of Arts. Partly from the time of the Hungarian reconciliation an entirely interactive exhibition of printing machinery is open, and Drukker aims to not only show, but teach and educate the traditional printing techniques. Because the machines are in intense use, members of the community make various prints, pictures and books. They support graphic and artistic activities, regularly edit and publish publications. Many of their inquiries came from local art organizations about posters, publications: thinking not only of orders but of community collaborations. The intention is to find space for the home of a creative community, where local artists can meet and think together, so over time Drukker would become a place with lively cultural life, and a place bringing liveliness to the city’s cultural life. They will address several local young graphic artists, they want link guest artists, contemporary artists, to create works together. As planned they start workshops, pedagogical classes and exhibit works made there. In the near future they also organize printing fairs where products of their own and of related workshops will also be available for purchase.

I 45


“Delivering the machines to one place and enabling them to work, remodeling the place, arrangement of fonts that the archives offered, procurement of smaller tools and supplies is what spring and summer was about.” – tells Gergely Böhm, a spokesman for the community


Excursion in wheelchair


People First’s community work for accessible tourism: collect trip opportunities, test them and mark the accessible tourist destinations. Accessibility is a commonly used term in Hungary but still a lot to do until our fellow human beings with disabilities will truly have accessible weekdays. And not just everyday, but also leisure activities. It’s a basic problem for people with disabilities if the areas declared accessible by healthy society, from their point of view turn out to be not. People with disabilities should have the opportunity and the right to the same quality of life as their healthy fellows. It’s not acceptable that they are excluded from certain areas because of their disability. Tourism is such a life-quality improving but cut off area, which is of great importance to them from also recreational, health and community building point of view.



Their task is to explore and promote accessible tourist routes, make it part of city marketing and local tourism, which can help for the disabled. The practical implementation of the gap-filling initiative is run with the support of the Growing Civic Communities, and also part of the project is that via their professionally prepared disabled members they provide advice for sports- and touristic event organizers, offices and schools. The database is being examined along with restaurants, tourist attractions, and accessible sites receive stickers.



“We have organized excursions two times so far with the title ‘If no obstacles, we’re coming’. The response was very positive, and it confirmed us that it is really needed what we do.”

An important part of the project is to organize the Accessible Tourism Day, which serves as an opportunity to draw the majority’s attention to the phenomenon. Beyond that they also work on a unique methodology that presents the downtown of Pécs to the interested through an accessible lens.

– shares Veronika Pataki, president of the association.



“If you can’t come, we will come to you!”


The Aranyszarvas KHSE (Golden Deer Sport Association) works against school abuse, bullying and for the integration of rural youth. The sports club is also present in the smaller villages of Tolna county, so children can participate in martial sports-based development trainings whom otherwise would not have the opportunity to do. For example, conflict management, which is often peripheral and particularly problematic in places where school bullying is a regular occurrence. Therefore, at Aranyszarvas martial sports-based development programs are treated as a priority issue that allow primary school students to practice defensive, guarding behavior, how to handle aggression.



In recent years it is an intensifying phenomenon that many after just a few occasions quit training, even though they seemed to have a good time in the community, and moreover, their talent was given to continue. As it turned out, financial difficulties are not necessarily the reason for the young people to quit training, the problem is deeper rooted. “We thoroughly researched the question and saw that social background and environment, lack of opportunities are the most restraining forces” – explains Gábor Szőts, instructor of the Aranyszarvas KHSE. According to his experiences most children in the villages don’t know other sports than soccer and the ballgames in school. Parents also have a prejudice against martial arts because they see aggression in it not an opportunity, and they are reluctant to support children practicing jiu-jitsu or aikido. Trainings in the framework of Growing Civic Communities programme took place not only in spring and autumn, but during summer, thanks to the programme, free and locally available so there was no financial burden on the parents. Thanks to the application for the trainings they developed a good set of equipment, with their own tatamis, bringing their own sportswear to the sports halls of local schools and cultural centers. The bright spot of their annual work will be their big December championship.

“We thoroughly researched the question and we saw that the social background and the environment, the lack of opportunities are the most retracting force.” – explains Gábor Szőts, instructor of the Aranyszarvas KHSE.




Community television was founded with students


Life in Dunaszekcső is buzzing, the camera is rolling almost constantly. Some determined young people activated the students of the school to introduce them to the world of media, and to set up a community television with them. “We believe that a small community TV channel activates the population of the region, facilitates the flow of information, contributes to a more balanced operation of a settlement” - says Gábor Rumann, the founder of Control Studio Film Association. The community aims to operate a sustainable, active web television in the settlement. For this primarily interested young people were needed, who learned the ins and outs of the profession. From the local school 20 students applied, first they started to work together with them.



“The best tool of the education for conscious media usage is to create media contents ourselves. During working hours young people can experience their potential in practice but also the difficulties of the profession.” - says Gábor.


Participants attend workshops, work together with selected professionals on the production of shows. The purpose is: get all the knowledge, practical knowhow to be able to create broadcasts on their own in the future. With the method, to be used also in the future, in the filmmaker workshop they get acquainted with the possibilities of motion picture and its technical tools.


In the broadcast editor workshop they guess the name, show types, and eventually they also cast crews who produce reports, magazines and news programs. In the online media workshop, they talk about harmful and useful online content, the dangers of the internet, about the conscious use of social media. As a result of the website design workshop they also create the web-TV’s website.



They want to make the web-TV not just colorful, but interesting and accessible for anyone: that’s why they figured out to organize local screenings. Who doesn’t have internet access, those can watch the shows in the settlement’s community areas.


The gospel choir obtained musical instruments. The Hétház Gospel Choir of the Balatonboglár has expanded and professionalized its instrumental equipment, by the way a new concert program has been compiled, in addition


the ensemble established its sustainable operation. A musician is naked, a band is dead without instruments. Until 2015 the Hétház Gospel Choir and Orchestra of Balatonboglár operated within the confines of the Lutheran Church, now as an association. During its eight years of existence, it has given more than a hundred, mostly charity concerts. In other words, value has been transmitted more than a hundred times, but all this with very limited sound technology. Over the years and with the development of the ensemble, the quality of the sound and the technical barriers have been a growing concern for them. Yet the choir has long deserved a proper instrument park since from time to time they’ve been performing important church music with outstanding artists, for charity purposes.




“For a long time, it has been a constant puzzle to what to do if a guitar or some musical accessory had broken down because we didn’t have the resources to replace it.”

A distinctive feature of the Sounds of Africa is that it also engages its audience in movement and singing, turning the concerts into community events. Essentially all technical conditions are given for their performances: enriched by dynamic vocal microphones, speakers, synthesizer, flute, electroacoustic-, bass- and electric-guitar, speakon adapter.

– says Márta Molnár, the choir’s director, that what difficulties they faced. Martha, who has made a point of the orchestra, felt that a community cooperation and a new approach is needed to move forward.


With the new instruments obtained with the support of the Growing Civic Communities, the Hétház Gospel of Balatonboglár this spring created the Sounds of Africa music show, of which video and CD recording was also made. The audio material reached cultural program organizers of Zala, Somogy, Veszprém, Fejér, Baranya and Pest counties in just a few weeks.




How a community center comes to life in the heart of nature?

In the Hétágfa permaculture community people can unfold, find the way to balance while can act also for society.


A permaculture organic garden and an indoor community space were built up on the border of the Kistótfalu, in the unspoilt natural environment of Hétágfa Grove. The eponymous Hétágfa Association


“In the beginning we were only operating in Pécs. It really expanded when we succeeded to buy a weed-grown area with a tiny cellar building in Kistótfalu. After a serious jungle fight, the Hétágfa Grove was born here with a bio garden, and from summer 2019, with a roofed community space where we can organize ongoing programs”

is creating a self-sustaining open community, a think tank in the Baranya settlement. The Hétágfa became an official association five years ago, but today it’s far more than just a formation operating along the rules. In practice, it is a fellowship of people with similar spirituality, a group of civilians who believe in education for a more livable life, a conscious way of living, in the helping work.

- says Georgina Mucsi, one of the founders of Hétágfa.



The support of the Growing Civic Communities was a landmark for Hétágfa. They could buy the long-awaited heated, large reception area yurt, where they can continue their programs during winter. They could arrange this so far maximum at rented locations. It is their big dream to create a special nature trail, to achieve it they also started an ambassador-type fundraiser campaign.



The goal is to create a complex nature trail, that teaches, encourages creativity and immersion through playfulness and the energetics of the space. The subject matter is different and more than the usual forest nature trails or skill trails, since it encourages for a deeper knowledge of nature, for creation in the spirit of recycling and landart.





“In sports it doesn’t matter where you come from”


Sport teaches stamina, boosts self-confidence, but mainly is a powerful weapon against discrimination. The Szalántai Kötélugró (Rope Jumping) Sport association consciously uses it as an integration tool, and give children at a disadvantage the chance to break out. Children living in small settlements generally start with a handicap of being severely limited in their ability to embrace the joys of sport and what it is like to be a part of a team. Segregation is a daily problem in the region. While Baranya is characterized by cultural diversity, therefore it would be important to get to know each other, understand and accept differences from childhood. Actually, there is little platform available for this. Families in the countryside are not able to escort their kids to the nearest big city for trainings. That’s why rope jumpers applied for the Growing Civic Communities programme.


Thanks to her experience as a development teacher Mercedes knows exactly what it’s like to be excluded, how difficult it is to break out of extreme poverty, as well as being aware of the good effects of sport on the development of disadvantaged children. And why the jumping-rope? In addition to the physical benefits it’s a sport that does not require expensive investments and virtually anyone, anywhere, anytime can start it. And practice usually does pay off.


“In sports it doesn’t matter where you come from, what is the family background, so a great scene for integration and acceptance. Well-functioning sports communities are generally accepting and open towards their peers.

Thanks to the performances and the successes they shared as team, the kids with different backgrounds not only increased their confidence over time, but they have become a community. Recently they were competing in a national championship and one of

– explains Anna Mercedes Dobri, chairman of the

their athletes also participated in international rope

association, jump rope trainer.

jumping competition.



The active green organization of Pécs

ZÖLD FIATALOK According to the Zöld Fiatalok (Young Greens) Association, people need to be mobilized because there are global problems where only the power of cohesive communities is capable of triggering change - locally.



These are all major cases where to inform the public and to address the public opinion, a community of well-prepared activist is needed who have access to and are capable to mobilize the base of an even larger numbers of sympathizers. Therefore, members of the ZöFi placed the center of their activities on safeguarding of interests, tracking and exploring environmental issues, informing people, and if necessary even organizing demonstrations. The community of young people from Pécs began to reorganize last May.


„In Pécs and its immediate surroundings there are several environmental problems that need unified presence and action, yet nothing happens. But in green organizations there is no shortage, yet civilian activity somehow lags behind, or it’s only sporadic and weak.”

“In the background we put a lot of emphasis on building covenants, resource acquisition and preparation, which has defined the last few months. A result of the work done so far, among others, is the start of the Fridays for Future movement in Pécs, within its framework our high school members represent the international climate strike every Friday in front of the town hall at the local level. Their so-called Global Climate Week in Autumn event came to life by involving and cooperating with many NGOs and volunteer-organizations; film screenings, conversations were awaiting those who want to do for our environment - Julia tells us about the event, during which one of the busiest streets of Pécs has also been closed for one day.



Of course, there is still plenty to do to develop green thinking, that’s why using the grant from the Growing Civic Communities programme, among other things, they try to strengthen their organization along with organizing workshops on the topic, and a campaign is also being launched about clean heating.

- explains Julia Konkoly-Thege, president of the association.


Community Moments


Andriska moved from the intensive care unit to neurology in January 2018. Muscular dystrophy obstructs his movement, he spends his days lying in his bed, not either able to sit up. He never went to school, his mother tried to teach him reading at home, but the 12-year-old boy had known only a few letters. ‘Laughers’ are frequent guests with him, then in September they came up with the idea that they are starting to teach him reading, so that Andris can play more games. It was very difficult at the beginning, a month passed, two passed, and in Andris the sound of the exact letters was not recorded, and the reading did not go. For all of us the breakthrough was a Christmas present when all of a sudden he just started reading. He loves the chattering lories very much and very much likes to learn. His eyes shine every time, and though he’s telling the actual volunteer instructor with the attitude of a teenager that he dislikes learning, when he leaves the ward, he admits in whispers that although it’s a pity, but he tells me he really loves when we come and loves to learn because he feels that we love him. Nevetnikék Foundation


At the closing event of our charity challenge, the 108 Sun Salutation, on January 1, 20-25 people made 108 sun salutations together – after 108 days. During the challenge it was great to see the enthusiasm for yoga and the participants’ willingness to assist the children of the sponsored studyroom. Mandala Yoga PÊcs Association for Whole Life

The most beautiful moments could be listed for a long time, but we definitely need to mention that second when the platen-press got through the door of the workshop. The Drukker team 64

The second time we went to visit our seniors, they were already waiting and welcoming us. Elderly people had been quite aloof before, and this is why hospitality was especially so touching because it reflected acceptance. Kézfogás Association of Nagytótfalus

On the most difficult day of the cemetery renovation, we drilled down eighty concrete columns and set up a fence close to two hundred meters long: but when we were done, everyone’s face glowed with enormous satisfaction. Several people said they didn’t think it could be done, and at the end of the work as if no one wanted to go home. Association for Szentgálszőlőhegy 65

The new “homeless law” was made one day before the performance of Bélaműhely. István Rimóczki, the head of the Bélaműhely, suddenly decided that this will be the theme of the workshop. The Pneuma Alliance has joined the idea and within 24 hours the street performance was ready. We had never worked together, but when we went out to the streets of Pécs city it was like as if we worked together for years. Üres Tér Theater Association

It is a great pleasure for us to introduce and endear a completely unknown sport with young people with disabilities. It also feels good when we reach out to a young person who gladly welcomes our invitation for a boccia training. It was memorable when we could compete with people who have been playing boccia for a long time and we still did well. But maybe the most beautiful thing is that two disabled youngsters found each other and got married. They got to know each other during the project. Vadvirág Foundation 66

We will never forget the first eggs delivered, and opening the finished and bottled oils. Köz-Tér-Háló Foundation

Created by the children in our media camp, directed by Gábor Benő Baranyi the movie “Megbánjátok ti még ezt” (“You’ll be sorry for this”) won first prize at the the Brazilian FECEA - Festival de Cinema Escolar de Alvorada student film festival. It was great joy among the kids, parents, acquaintances, and for the whole settlement. Control Studio Film Association 67

The crew members, the photographer, the filmmakers began to connect very deeply to the actors involved. They learned to help, attitude changed, and maybe they became friends too. Looking back I still have in front of me how professionally the photographer guides Marci, the blind boy, while they talk. Specko

After a concert of “Fél/sziget zenéje,” the musicians were still playing, the rest of the audience danced. In this spontaneously formed self-forgetting mood, many of our team noted: “It’s never been so good here!” Malomkő Foundation 68

We held a Handshake Flashmob on Theater square for the purpose to accept the public presence of LGBTQ+ couples. After the introduction speech the same-sex couples stood silent for minutes, smiling among the people walking down the main street, most of them smiling, or they just disapprovingly acknowledged our “visibility”. In this few minutes the feeling of vulnerability and defenselessness was alleviated by pride, the uplifting sense of fighting for good cause and of courage. Pemel - LGBTQ Community of Pécs

In Ropoly, far from the city’s noise, far from electric power and signal strength, setting up a small camp and experiencing nomadic life is unmatched. Getting to know yourself and nature, self-care, the workshops, the hikes, the singing alongside the campfire enrich with the experience that you will certainly remember as adults. Tarisznya Scout Support Association 69

Trainings A main objective of Growing Civic Communities, beyond providing financial support to NGOs in the region, is to provide vocational training to the successful applicants on the major development areas of the programme. In the first year of the program, according to our original goals, we organized trainings in the region’s three county seats on topics of communication, fundraising and strategic planning. In the second year as a response to emerging needs, we have expanded our training palette and on a total of seven topics, all important regarding the development of NGOs, offered training opportunities for the representatives of supported organizations in Kaposvár, Szekszárd and Pécs. For the sake of sustainability on these trainings external applicants were also eligible. In the first two years of the programme we gave the opportunity to nearly 150 individuals to participate in one of 17 training sessions held in various locations in the region. We have broadened the scope of our training offer based on the needs expressed by the the representatives of organizations participating in the first year.


17 session

8 topics

3 cities

participants This is how conscious use of social media, volunteer management, constituency building and presentation of EU tendering systems also became the topics of the second year. After both training periods we put great emphasis on gaining as detailed as possible feedback from participants so we can build on these later in order to work more effectively, and to be able to focus our development work on the specific problem areas. In the feedback, participants raised the practice-oriented training as positive, also the direct, playful mood, easy application of learned methods, and solutions to individual situations, which were processed together.


As a recognition during the training most participant highlighted the opportunity of learning from each other’s stories. Many felt that by getting to know other organizations’ problems they felt that some obstacles are less unique and unbridgeable, and they were inspired by the examples of others. Many raised the importance of conscious planning, and more generally the potential for conscious development by the familiarized topics, methods, techniques, of which they had no idea before.

During the training the best was ... that more sources told me about their experiences and led us to deal with ours because it’s worth it. ... from areas that were unknown to me I could meet with representatives of civil society. ... that I realized what we didn’t care about so far, though it would have been helpful.

During the training I realized that ... if I more strongly represent those precious activities we do it is easier to win others to support. ... how many super ideas and realizations are running here in the south of the country. ... how many opportunities there are in fundraising. ... I do a lot of things well, but I can innovate.


Community office The ECK community office was opened in February 2019 at Citrom Street in PĂŠcs. The office provides space for representatives of NGOs, freelancers, entrepreneurs and teleworkers for regular or occasional work.



The 130 square meter first floor office, located in the center of PĂŠcs, has four main functions. On the one hand, its large hall provides space for community events, trainings, lectures, and on the other, 10-12 workstations are available to coworkers. Next to the office there is also a separate meeting room suitable for holding meetings, consultations and workshops. Both the meeting room and the event room is equally available for those who work here and also for outside tenants.



In designing the community office for inspiration we were leaning on experiences of similar domestic and foreign coworking offices. The goal was to create a work environment that is pleasant and livable for visitors and those who work here, which also functions as a community space that enables professional and human relationships to come into existence.

Also, the office of the Power of Humanity Foundation was created in one of the rooms of the community space, which operates as the center of our organization.


„Aztakeservit” Értékőr Egyesület Dunaföldvár A Város Mindenkié Pécs Alaptábor Kulturális Egyesület Almasziget Egyesület Alsószentmárton FC Apolló Mozi Alapítvány Aranyszarvas KHSE Balatonboglári Hétház Gospel Egyesület Balatonboglári Városvédő Egyesület Balatonőszöd Községért Egyesület Béndekpuszta Mosoly Völgye Alapítvány Control Stúdió Filmegyesület Csapó Csemetékért Egyesület Cserkúti Gyermekklub Diák és Öntevékeny Körök Egyesülete (DÖKE) Donátusi Baráti Kör Egyesület Donner – Császárrét Érték Egyesület Értékeinkért csoport Felkelő Nap Közhasznú Egyesület FRANDIA Alapítvány Gombolyító Terápiás Műhely Gyöngysor Alapítvány Hétágfa Egyesület HM RACING Holisztika Egyesület Ifjúsági Unió Szekszárd Igazgyöngy Alapítvány Iregszemcse Kultúrájáért Alapítvány Kaba Farm Káva Kulturális Műhely Egyesület Kelet Városi Köz-ért Egyesület Keret Alkotó Csoport Kulturális Egyesület Kölyökház Alapítvány Könyv-Kultúra Közhasznú Egyesület Kossuth Klub Kovakő Egyesület Köz-Tér-Háló Alapítvány Kutyafuti közösség Lángnyelv Alapítvány Lélektér Ifjúságsegítő Alapítvány Lendülettel Kicsikért és Nagyokért Egyesület Magyar Rett Szindróma Alapítvány Malomkő Alapítvány Mandala Jóga Pécs Egyesület a Teljes Életért Mediátor Egyesület Menhely Alapítvány Moiré Kulturális Egyesület Murál Morál Egyesület Nagytótfalusi Kézfogás Egyesület Négy Évszak Waldorf-Pedagógiai Alapítvány Nevetnikék Alapítvány Nők Összefogása Pécsbányáért Paléért Egyesület Papír Panír Pécs Bike Maffia Pécsi Disputa Kör Pécsi Szabad Iskola PeMeL People First Egyesület Pincehelyi Asztalitenisz és Tömegsport Egyesület Pósai Horgász Egyesület PTE Szociálpszichológia Doktori Programjának munkatársai Rinyamenti Hátrányos Helyzetű Emberek Egyesülete Slam Poetry Magyarország Egyesület Smirgli Kreatív Alkotó Műhely Speckó – Pécs Szabadidős és Kulturális Egyesület Szabadművészeti Társaság Szajki Családos Közösség Szalántai Kötélugró Sportegyesület Számá Dă Noj Szederkényi Szabadidős és Kulturális Egyesület Szedresi Sziget Egyesület Szenior dalosok Szentborbási Független Roma Egyesület Szentgálszőlőhegyért Egyesület Szigetvári Ifjúsági Kerekasztal Szociális Cirkusz Pécs Szőlő-Szem Mozgalom Civil Bűnmegelőzési Egyesület T 20 Darts Club Egyesület Tamási BringaSport Egyesület Tamási Média Klub Tamási MTB Sport Club Tarisznya Cserkészetet Támogató Egyesület Tolnai Erdőkért Alapítvány Történészcéh Egyesület Új Kezdet Roma Egyesület Üres Tér Színházi Egyesület Uzdi Diákok Baráti Társasága Vadvirág Alapítvány Vajszló és Vidéke Kulturális Egyesület Van Közünk Egymáshoz Alapítvány Varázspálca a Radnóti úti Óvodásokért Alapítvány Völgység Turista Egyesület Zöld Fiatalok Egyesület Zöld Folt Közösségi Kert Zselici Természetjáró Baráti Kör


This publication was issued within the framework of the Growing Civic Communities programme. The Growing Civic Communities programme is run by Az emberség erejével CUM VIRTUTE HUMANITATIS Alapítvány (hereafter the Power of Humanity Foundation) in cooperation with the Open Society Foundations, as part of the Regional Community Centers Program.


Official website of the program: www.eckpecs.hu

Publisher: Power of Humanity Foundation 7621 Pécs, Citrom Street 12. / www.emberseg.hu emberseg.erejevel@gmail.com Authors: Vilja Arató, Lilla Dézma, Anita Fúrós, Dalma Kátai, Alexandra “Mandarin” Kékesi , András Nyirati, Nikoletta Vermes, Péter Peták Photo: Gábor Horváth, Dalma Kátai, Sára Kölcsey, Judit Ruprech, Ákos Stiller, Petra Szepesvári Cover Image: Judit Ruprech Layout: Gábor Ocsovai Editor: Zoltán Mester Published: Pécs, 2019





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Growing Civic Communities  

In fall 2017 Power of Humanity Foundation launched the Growing Civic Communities programme in the Southern Transdanubian region, founded by...

Growing Civic Communities  

In fall 2017 Power of Humanity Foundation launched the Growing Civic Communities programme in the Southern Transdanubian region, founded by...