An international workshop, a tutoring program, volunteer psychologists from the side of the institution’s leaders, talent show at Ócsa, quiz night, teambuilding and social events – these were the happenings of the Budapest Malteser Youth group during the month of March.
The first weekend of March began with the continuation of a program that took place last fall in Budapest. The youth leaders of the Order of Malta from Central and Eastern Europe gathered together near Kolozsvár. The meeting had two purposes: on the one hand, the participants finalized an international program that had been running for two years, in which the organizational framework and method for youth volunteering was developed. On the other hand, a long term cooperation program was implemented with the participation of six other countries. Details about the workshop in Romania may be read here.
On March 13, organized and implemented by the Malteser Charity Service, the second gathering in a series of the so called “Lélekmelengető” program took place. In the canteen of the central office of the charity service, Kovács Csaba Albert, a priest from Sopronkövesd, held a discussion with a central focus on Lent. The event was filmed by the Malteser Youth for those that were unable to attend, or for those who wish to view the discussion again.
Our tutoring program, which started in mid February, has now been running for over one month. Fourteen young volunteers undertook the responsibility to tutor, one-on-one, a child in need with their school studies, on a weekly basis for at least half a year. Along with the individually organized teaching, we hold regular discussions during which the volunteers can meet each other, and share their difficulties and successes.
In March, the volunteer psychologists continued the work that began at the start of the year. We discussed with the institution leaders of the Malteser Charity Service their varied responsibilities, coping with difficulties, the reception at the beginning of the program, and effective support.
Even with all our new programs, we couldn’t forget the children at Ócsa. At the beginning of March, we organized a program with the focus on dreams and future plans, based on two films we launched a conversation concerning self-realization. In the following week, the smaller children came into focus: under the sunshine of spring, next door to the Malteser Community Center, we played tag in the playground and on the soccer field, we played out a story, and we each tried blowing bubbles in the windy weather.
At the end of March, we organized a talent show for the children and youngsters at Ócsa. Along with sport presentations (basketball, handstands, contortionist tricks), artistic abilities were also featured: two girls prepared multicoloured drawings for the competition. The afternoon’s most popular creations were two films: one film showcased the Malteser Youth programs from the fall adventures up until now. The other film, with footage produced together by four friends, featured photographs taken at the neighbourhood with background music. At the event, among our volunteers were some of the presenters, some constituted the three-member jury, and others immortalized the event with film and photo footage.
This month the volunteers had many occasions to meet Malteser youngsters involved in other projects. We organized, in the increasingly homey Rákóczi street Youth office, various community programs. On March 13th, the second round of the evening quiz took place, in which the Malteser Charity related issues were among quiz questions. The Malteser Youth team eventually finished in the distinguished third place.
The next day in the afternoon, the founders and the youth leaders of the volunteer group took over the office, and held team building exercises. The energizing, communication exercises, on the one hand, well brought together the participating volunteers, and on the other hand, later during children’s workshops, the exercises may be utilized in the ever expanding games collection.
On March 26th we organized the first ever Malteser Youth Board Game Party. The volunteers gathered in the office and established three areas where they could play several diverse board games. They came together and formed teams, and helped each other where they could: over and over again they rebuilt the Little Prince’s planets, together they freed themselves from the cursed temple, and with creative associations they expanded each others imaginations. The Játszóház project also became engaged: two game masters helped out by trying new games, explaining the rules, and of course, in establishing a good mood.
Translated by: Tiffany Kovacs