The main goal of the Association of the Visually Impaired Hungarians from Romania is to establish an independent, Hungarian-language boarding school for the Hungarian mother tongue children. Therefore, all our activities over the past year have been subordinated too, served or facilitated, directly or indirectly.
During the past year we submitted 15 applications, out of which 13 non-refundable grants were received, totaling 158.000 RON, as following:
- 3 submitted/3 winner applications from the Székelyudvarhely City Council, totaling 17.000 RON
- 7 submitted/ 6 winner applications to the Bethlen Gábor Foundation, totaling 113.000 RON
- 2 submitted/ 2 winner applications to the Communitas Foundation, summing 1500 RON
- 1 submitted and wined application to the Székelyudvarhely Community Foundation, summing 12.000 RON
- 1 submitted and wined application to the Association of Antrepreneurs of Csik, summing 15.000 RON
- Total proceeds from 2% of personal income tax, donations from local businesses and sponsors, private donations from local and Udvarhely county citizens, summing 51.000 RON
- 1 application which was turned down to the Harghita County Social and Child Protection Services.
The following programs were implemented through grants and donations during the past year:
- We have held several Blind Diners on several occasions to advertise the role, work and purpose of our Association. Our guests were prominent public figures, politicians and business leaders
- Summer camping for visually impaired children and their parents and companions. The 63 participants were provided with free accommodation and meals, equipment and supplies for the workshops. In addition to those affected, we invited leaders from the Department of Applied Psychology at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, from the National Association of the Hungarian Visually Impaired in Romania, newly graduates from Special Education and other specialists. We held thematic activities appropriate to the age groups, such as crafting, assistive technologies, white cane handling. Our special guest star was Pakli, the blind-leader dog, who accompanied his master, Tábor István, from Hungary. During the children’s sessions psychologists and special educators were counseling the parents in individual and/or group sessions, emphasizing the importance of education for the successful integration of the visually impaired children into society.
- We participated as lecturers on the special education of the children with special needs topic at the 13. “Together with the Disabled People” Conference organized by the Caritas Association of Gyulafehérvár and the Association of Hungarian Educators in Romania
- Our Association held for the first time “White Cane Celebration” within the “Visually Impaired Kids with White Cane?” project, along with awareness rising, sensitization and outreach programs. We hosted visually impaired children and their parents from several Transylvanian locations and they had the opportunity to walk around their schooling town-to-be with the white cane they were gifted. Babes-Bolyai University co-workers and students were attending the celebrations and participated at the professional discussions, along with colleagues from the MVGYOSZ, Székelyudvarhely City Council and RMPSZ deputies.
- We organized computer science course for the visually impaired, using zooming and scree-reading softwares. We will organize these courses in the future, because besides the Braille knowledge the assistive technology is also very useful in the learning process
- We organized a touchable art exhibition, which, after Székelyudvarhely was presented also at the Kájoni János County Library in Csikszereda and the Gábor Áron House of Culture in Szentegyháza
- Sulyok Péter visually impaired humorist held a stand-up comedy night in Bukarest, Csíkszereda, Székelyudvarhely and Marosvásárhely.
- We laid the foundation of our loud library with the first 1000 volumes given by MVGYOSZ
- We designed and filled up with content our web page
- We enlarged our status report, completing it with a pre-calculation of a real estate we consider suitable to our concept.
We constantly kept in touch with the parents of the visually impaired children, trying to help in solving their problems.
We also managed to send with scholarship an undergraduate student for master graduation to the Bárczi Gusztáv Special Education Faculty of the ELTE University in Hungary. The scholarship is granted by the Collegium Talentum and our Association.
We participated in discussions and debates with delegates of the Székelyudvarhely City Council, The Transylvanian Reformed Church Bishopry, politicians, Harghita County representatives. Due to these discussion the wages and their additional costs for our colleagues are provided by the Bethlen Gábor Fund and Communitas Foundation.
We had regular meetings with city and county governors, politicians and representatives of historic churches, the result of which became clear in the Government of Hungary Decree of September 25, No. 1548. So a significant amount – about one third of the estimated cost – is available to fund the special school project.