Contact Icon

    Pro Göncruszka association: Combating poverty with education  

    Commitment to self-help – a growing concept

    With a population of roughly 600, the village of Göncruszka in northeastern Hungary is fraught with high poverty, a lack of education sites and few prospects for young people. After finishing elementary school, they usually flee the area. Only the elderly and many Roma people remain behind. They live on welfare in old, often very run-down houses and usually have only rudimentary education.

    Education opens ways out of deep poverty

    To stop this exodus from the village, the small protestant church in Göncruszka founded the "Talentum" school in 2011. Two years later, the school was supplemented by a kindergarten to start education as early as possible.

    The Pro Göncruszka association in Zurich supports numerous projects involving kindergarten, school and community life. This project is initiated with much devotion and commitment, mainly by the pastor couple of Zsuzsa and Levente Sohajda in Göncruszka. The entire church life, including wages, is financed primarily by collections.
    The key goal is integration

    The Talentum school, which is supported by the association in Zurich, is there to help children in Göncruszka and 18 villages in the surrounding area. Children from Roma, farming and foster backgrounds experience a school day together with other children. Interaction in school also shapes later life.

    Kindergarten and school are full-day programs in Hungary. The church also built the recently opened and self-operated Tejjel Mézzel restaurant ("with milk and honey"). The children receive three meals a day there.
    Income from beekeeping

    The church foundedan apiary to finance education for the gifted, which is not supported by the state but is a great help for the children. Old and young work together to produce fine, cold-pressed organic honey. The proceeds go to the school and kindergarten.

    The concept is growing
    What is especially motivating: The school and kindergarten are helping to curb rural flight from the area. Families can remain, get involved and themselves contribute greatly to the community.
    The school is converting its heating system to solar power and heat pumps, also with the support of donations.