Hello, please tell us a little bit about your charity. What do you do, and who do you help?
The Age of Hope child protection foundation essentially aims to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds, by giving them useful activities to spend their free time with. This means that children from poor families or children in orphanages are our program’s main recipients. In numbers, how this translates is that we hold 5-6 camps in the summertime, which can hold 100-120 children at a time. During the year, we collect donations on multiple occasions, with our christmas campaign being the most well-known. Over the holidays, 1200 children receive a shoebox full of toys, and we are able to ship 2.5-3 tonnes of non-perishable food to families in need. This weekend marked the end of our hygiene campaign, with which we could transport a truckload of cleaning supplies to impoverished areas of the country. It is also very important in the workings of the Age of Hope foundation that we work with high school students. Many students choose to complete their 50 hours of community service with us, mostly sporty kids. This means we do not have full-time employees, and all these amazing statistics I just mentioned were achieved with the contribution of high school volunteers. They partake in every camp, and we really take the 50 hours of community service seriously.
That sounds great. So, you are in contact with other schools like ours? And have you
ever participated in a charity event such as the one now, in our school?
Yes, schools in Buda–in Budapest–really like Age of Hope, we have the capacity for 10-15
students a year to complete their 50 hour community sevice. This is how Carmel came to us
I would be interested in finding out how Age of Hope was founded. Where did the idea
Well, the idea came from me. I’ve been working in child protection for nearly 20 years. I quickly found out that the state’s child protection legislation is bleeding from multiple wounds, and that there is enough to go around, except for the thing which matters the most, which is giving children in need a future, and giving them a useful way to spend their time. There is no national budget for taking kids in need to Balaton for a week, for a field trip, or even for a meal by the water. We decided to collect money for an experience like this. A direct catalyst of Age of Hope was the red mud catastrophe, which resulted in people standing together. Our founding document still says that, come catastrophe, snow or flood, we will be able to help efficiently. We mainly operate on Facebook, where we have over 9 thousand followers, who aren’t paid likes, but are genuine people. For this reason, I would advise everyone to visit our website and our Facebook page, where you can see pictures of our projects and campaigns. We also expect hard working student volunteers from this school in the following September 🙂
Thank you so much for this opportunity, we sincerely hope you will like our little market, which we’ve organized for this occasion.
Where you can reach the foundation:
Interview by Zsofi Kelemen, translated by Sara Raba
Participant of the Interview: Ákos Tóth