Annual Activity Report 2022

The main objective of the Foundation for the Visually Impaired Hungarians in Transylvania is to establish an independent, Hungarian-language, residential, special educational institution and rehabilitation centre for visually impaired people of Hungarian nationality. Therefore, all our activities in the past year have been subordinated to this goal, serving and supporting it directly or indirectly.

Support received from BGA Zrt. as well as from the Communitas Foundation on the basis of an individual request, was mainly used for the staff allowances and the day-to-day running of the Foundation in accordance with the approved budget, which was a great help in focusing our resources on the intended purpose and the implementation of our programmes.

Our colleagues carried out the following tasks, organised and coordinated activities and events:

  • ongoing contacts and consultations with the leaders of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District and the Communitas Foundation of the RMDSZ
  • planning and coordinating the operation, maintenance and renovation of the Bartimeus Centre
  • raising funds for the organisation’s real estate investments, identifying potential donors
  • negotiations with the Mayor’s Office of Odorheiu Secuiesc, representatives of the Harghita County Council, the General Directorates for Child Protection
  • bringing the Hungarian-speaking visually impaired community together, maintaining ongoing contact, providing on-demand assistance, coordinating direct funders and donors
  • to fund a camp for 18 people in Tahitótfalu, Hungary, organised by the Hungarian Reformed Mission of Charity of the Hungarian Reformed Church. On the occasion of the camp we had the opportunity to meet personally with Cardinal Péter Erdő in Esztergom
  • financial and professional support for the field work of our special education teacher, to help visually impaired students and their teachers in the integrated education system (Harghita and Covasna counties)
  • expansion of the equipment fleet, purchase of assistive devices, Braille typewriters, Braille displays, barrier-free IT tools (these tools cost thousands of euros each)
  • distribution of the MVGYOSZ (National Association of the Hungarian Blind and Visually Impaired) Hangoskönyvtár and Távszem applications, continuous technical assistance to local users in using the applications
  • we hosted and conducted several days of on-site visits and discussions with MVGYOSZ staff, professional leaders, special education teachers, accessibility engineer at the Bartimeus Centre
  • we shot a joint video with the Bagossy Brothers Company, meeting and working together was a defining experience for the blind young people who played and sang with the famous musicians in the video
  • participated in the conference “Looking to the Future of Europe – Good practices and Challenges in the Educational Inclusion of Children and Young People with Visual Impairments” in Budapest, which was extended into an intensive professional study tour of several days
  • we have hosted several Reformed congregations, and we sincerely thank them for their visits and donations
  • we hosted the staff of the Hungarian Reformed Charity Service and started the cooperation to extend the Blind Mission to the Carpathian Basin
  • community fundraising, advertising, professional marketing
  • organising cultural and awareness-raising events: a series of concerts by the blind Belgian master of Hungarian music, Tcha Limberger and Benjamin Clement, a guitarist from Brussels, an exhibition of the blind and one-handed sculptor Lajos Katona at the Haáz Rezső Museum in Odorheiu Secuiesc, The awareness-raising work of Péter Sulyok and Balázs Almádi in the school of the sighted, reaching nearly 600 sighted students, Péter Sulyok’s several stand up performances in Szeklerland, as well as our Christmas gala concert with Liszt Ferenc Prize winner Levente Molnár, the artist’s students, the Classical Singers choir from Sfântu Gheorghe, the Alla Breve mixed choir from Odorheiu Secuiesc and other performers
  • we organised spiritual days for visually impaired adults
  • occasional and one-to-one assistance to learn and develop competences in the use of assistive devices, both for children and adults
  • regular one-week-a-month residential education for visually impaired children (on request) free of chargea
  • translated it into Romanian and became the exclusive distributor in Romania for the highly successful Czech-made barrier-free special phone with name BlindShell, providing another source of business-based revenue

Quantifiable results:

  • the number of unique visitors to our website exceeded half a million
  • our social media presence more than tenfold
  • top scoring Facebook post: 102,327 views
  • fundraising, through its own website: more than €85,000 in grants raised