István Tamás Szenttamási
Abaújrakezdés Közhasznú Egyesület, Abaújrakezdés Public Benefit Association
More than 10,000 vulnerable people live in the 17 poorest neighbourhoods in Miskolc city, most of them Roma. Our initiative and challenge is how to strengthen these depressed and distrustful communities to make change and how to improve their dialogue with other local stakeholders. Here is the moment; the City Council, elected in 2019, established the "Miskolc Inclusion Taskforce" (MIT) in 2020, and maintains an ongoing dialogue with local stakeholders through facilitation of our organization.
Miskolc county town in Northeast Hungary
This year, our team, in cooperation with the Miskolc Inclusion Taskforce, conducted a survey of empirical data from the 17 disadvantaged neighbourhoods of the city. The survey finds some specific societal challenges, faced by these communities: (1) Because of the many newcomers, community members do not trust and communicate with each other. (2) In most communities, if there is a meeting place, it is a church-run charity center that provided basic services to individuals. There are no tools for community empowerment and engagement. (3) In Bábonyibérc, e.g., where 450 people live (a rapidly growing number) there is absolutely no place to meet. (4) Self-segregation due to lack of trust in institutions and the majority of the local society in general. (5) Lack of self-organization.
Our idea is to extend our work in the community of Tetemvár and Bábonyibérc, the two fastest growing disadvantaged communities in Miskolc, where the civic and social infrastructure is the weakest compared to all other districts. With the support of our team, there is small separate Community Action Group (CAG) in both, and have both started formulating community assessment and development ideas. CAGs have a voice in the city’s inclusion taskforce. 450 people live in Bábonyibérc and 800 in Tetemvár. About 80% are Roma. 15-20% does not have an ID and/or address card. 50-80% of community members live in deep poverty. Both communities are growing. Families are isolated, especially in Bábonyibérc, where our initiative is the first intervention and communication with the community members.
Our specific objectives are to engage local stakeholders and the wider public in inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in Miskolc, to actively combat discrimination and poverty and to create 'equal voice' for disadvantaged local communities to take part in development decisions. Activities:
Community mobilization/coaching at neighbourhood level
Facilitation of the Miskolc Inclusion Taskforce (MIT) and ensuring the voice of the disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Piloting development dialogues between community representatives and relevant institutional stakeholders for co-creation of solutions in social, infrastructural and other issues identified by communities in their needs assessment
Capacity development for members of the MIT and other city-level stakeholders
Preparing disadvantaged neighbourhood communities to actively participate in development-project planning and implementation
Networking, exchange and cooperation (e.g. with private sector to invest in job creation)
Creating a toolkit with examples on overcoming society challenges, including special communication tools.
Methods: Awareness-raising to mobilize stakeholders; community coaching; 'learning by doing'-type of capacity development; participatory needs assessment and idea mapping; creating community action groups and self-help
Our approach is sustainability-based and participatory
Relevant stakeholders are involved in inclusive local development in Miskolc; The 'equal voice' has been created for disadvantaged local communities; At least 4 disadvantaged communities are mobilized and established self-helps; The MIT coordinates an integrated development process for socio-economic inclusion and anti-segregation in Miskolc; At least 10 cases show the success of the dialogue between community representatives and the institutions concerned in finding solutions to various community needs; At least 4 disadvantaged communities are able to actively participate in project planning and implementation; Local cooperation with the private sector for inclusive employment has piloted. Miskolc works in network with cities facing similar problems. A toolkit was created
In order for communities to be actively involved in local decisions, our project will develop the capacity of both the community and the institutions. Community interventions will be implemented to familiarize members of disadvantaged communities with institutions, power structures, development planning, project design and implementation, and debate and negotiation skills. Awareness-raising campaign, learning by doing, networking, exchanges, community days and pilot dialogues will help local institutions to learn participatory decision making. The project strengthens active citizenship by empowering disadvantaged communities to develop self-help, take action, and to have voice in the city-level development decisions.
Balázs Dernei, project manager, has 15 years of experience in social inclusion. Tamás Szenttamási, responsible for the methodology, knowledge management and preparation of the toolkit; he has extensive experience in community development. Both have worked for the Council of Europe's ROMACT programme in 2015-2017. Tamás Wágner, community coach has 15 years of experience in coaching in Roma communities. He knows all the disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Miskolc. Gabriella Czövek is of Roma origin, sociologist and community coach. Gabriella Füzér is a social worker; she will be the project assistant. Boglárka Babják, sociologist, community coach. Miskolc is the loved home city of all of us. We are experienced and committed to local work in our hometown and have a European perspective.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Office expenses – 3 000 EUR (self-contribution)
Travel & accommodation – 2 000 EUR
Personnel – 17 000 EUR:
-Community coaches – 12 000 EUR
-Project management – 5 000 EUR
Knowledge management and toolkit – 5 000 EUR
Financing 10 small community actions identified by target communities – 5 000 EUR
Public relations, communication – 1 000 EUR (self-contribution)
Conferences – 1 000 EUR
Training/CD – 5 000 EUR
PR, visibility, accountant, website (service) – 1 000 EUR (self-contribution)
Good luck to everyone to apply!
We welcome questions, critics, ideas, thoughts and interested partners!