When you are needed

Csilla Kaiser helps the school integration of children of Transcarpathian Roma families who have fled Ukraine. The Aspect Group’s trainee from Szeged focuses her sessions on helping children in kindergarten and school integration in Hungary. However, an equally important part of the sessions is to give children the opportunity to spend quality leisure time. 

The original idea of The Motivation Community grantee was based on the community-building power of music culture. The idea was to reach out to university students who would participate as music culture mentors in Csilla’s sessions. Then the association received a request from the UN Refugee Agency: do they have the capacity to cooperate with the Red Cross to work with children of refugee families in Szentes?

Together with her fellow trainees, Csilla decided to focus on refugee families, as although they had arrived in Hungary several months ago, they faced many difficulties not only in finding work but also in getting into school. “In the current situation, it is important to help where it is really needed”, said Csilla, explaining the reasons behind her decision. In addition, at the invitation of United Way Hungary, they participated in a joint application, which enabled them to implement more programs and larger-scale events.

Currently, they are working with the children of four refugee families in Transcarpathia several times a week. They spend the common time with the development of the little ones in kindergarten and school, with tutoring, but they also help to develop their motor skills, literacy, and numeracy. 

“I faced several difficulties during the meetings. As we work with children in the families’ temporary accommodation, I sometimes felt like I was intruding into the families’ personal space. It was difficult for me to assess what exactly the little ones and the families needed. So, I set myself realistic goals to get to the desired level in small steps.” Csilla was in constant contact with both professionals and her mentor, discussing the course of the sessions, her own role, and her professional dilemmas. 

Csilla focuses on areas, tools, and subjects that help children catch up on their studies. This is important because this would not be possible in all cases. “I want to make sure that children can spend as much time as possible listening and concentrating. They should also have a positive attitude towards the school, be able to relate to others, express themselves appropriately, and learn the behaviors expected by teachers.” 

Thanks to the positive atmosphere during the sessions, the children quickly opened up despite the trauma, bonding more and more with Csilla week after week. They demand attention, and physical contact, to be engaged.

“The most important thing we can offer them is our personal presence and our attention and devotion.”

In the Aspect Group’s training and internship program (funded by EU), after training, twenty interns started to implement their own projects. We interviewed them in our series.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.