On 18 November 2021, the Bartimeus Centre was officially established in Odorheiu Secuiesc, an institution serving the visually impaired native Hungarian speakers in Romania. The declared activities and services of the institution include a special residential Hungarian language school and an elementary rehabilitation centre. Within the walls of the institution, there will be an aid shop, a tool lending shop, a Braille library, an audio library, a Braille printing press, an information centre, and all other facilities and services that can help the Hungarian-speaking blind, partially sighted and visually impaired people living in Romania. The online services of MVGYOSZ (National Association of the Hungarian Blind and Visually Impaired) will also be available through the Centre. At the same time, we provide housing and accommodation for visiting teachers, travel teachers, special education teachers and all other professionals who are actively involved in the launch and operation of the Bartimeus Centre and in maintaining a high level of services.
The Bartimeus Centre is a complex of buildings on almost one hectare of land in the immediate vicinity of the Ikos-Conf factory. The property was purchased by the Transylvanian Reformed Church District (EREK) with the support of the Government of Hungary. The purpose-built properties remain the property of the EREK and have been transferred to the Association for the Visually Impaired Hungarians in Transylvania for a long-term use. The main building will be the boarding house and a few classrooms for primary school children, while the other buildings will also be given their function in due course. The boarding house building needs to be prepared to accommodate children with special needs, safety modifications, energy decoupling and upgrading, accessibility, fencing, lawns in the courtyard and many other works are essential. This is estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of euros, which we need to raise as soon as possible.
Present at the inauguration of the Centre were Béla Kató, Bishop of the Transylvanian Reformed Church, Zoltán Ballai, the advisor of the Economic Department of the Transylvanian Reformed Church, Árpád Gálfi, Mayor of Odorheiu Secuiesc, and Botond Biró Barna, representing the RMDSZ, Vice President of the Harghita County Council, Consul László Percze, representing the Consulate General of Hungary, Zsolt Tőkés, the General Pastor of the EREK, the Director of the Kis Gergely Reformed College, and of course, our colleagues from the EMLE: President Arnold Csaba Butu , Vice-Presidents Zsuzsa Máté and Zsolt Máté. The event was also attended by several local and county press representatives.
At the end of the event, members of the press were given a tour of the area.
Thanks to Varga Mézes and Vekker Kávézó for their high quality products that raised the standard of the event. Thank you!
With a grateful heart, we thank the Bethlen Gábor Fund and the Communitas Foundation for their support and assistance, we thank the Transylvanian Reformed Church District for their good heart and support for our efforts, and we thank the Government of Hungary for their support, without which the whole project would be a dream. And thank you to all our supporters, from the smallest to the largest: without them, this important, noble and national cause would not be possible. We continue to accept donations and grants, without which we would not be able to open a Hungarian-language educational institution for the visually impaired in Transylvania.
Thank you, God bless you!