Gypsy children cannot become scouts in Hungary
The Hungarian Scout Association apparently does not welcome Romani children, 168 óra writes in a lengthy piece about the recent controversy involving a group of Romani school children from Borsod county who could not take part in any summer camp organised by the association.
A school for underprivileged children in Borsod
Dr Ámbédkar Iskola is a school in Sajókaza, Borsod county. The school was founded to help underprivileged Gypsy children graduate high school. Pupils of the school come from extremely low-income families, and graduating high school is their only chance to have a better life than their families. The school grabs every possibility to show their students the life outside the ghetto, as these kids usually do not even meet people from the other layers of society. This is the reason why
the school’s principle aims to organise as many activities for the children as possible where they can see what the world is like beyond extreme poverty.
This is also the reason why the school took part in many events organised by the Hungarian Scout Association with the ultimate goal of establishing their own scout movement. They took the children hiking, and they also took part in training sessions.
Rejected by the Hungarian Scout Association
In order to officially become a scout troop, all of the members need to camp together, and they need to take part in management training. The school paid the money for the children’s summer camp, but the Hungarian Scout Association rejected the children, allegedly because there were three Romani children in the group.
The school tried to get the kids in many other similar summer camps organised in the county, but they were rejected by all of them. The school turned to the management who said that they were not accepted because these children simply do not fit into the Hungarian Christian scouts because of their origin and faith.
They also advised the school to try to find another association whose organisational culture fits theirs better. After saying all of these things, they also talked about the importance of integration.
This whole situation is unbelievable, since building and developing a community are the basic principles of any local or international scout association.
The Hungarian Scout Association even has a project called TÁMOP-5.2.8-12/1-2013-0001 which is supported by the EU (and paid for by EU tax payers), and which aims to integrate underprivileged children into the scout association, yet, the very much underprivileged Gypsy children from Sajókaza were rejected.
Moreover, people from the Dr Ámbédkar School said that they have never seen a single gipsy person in any of the scout troops in Borsod county.
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