Fekete Sereg Youth Association
8291 Nagyvázsony, Petőfi u. 2. - Hungary
Tel/Fax.: +36-88-264-464
E-mail: info@fekete-sereg.hu

Tax number: 18926198-1-19

Bank account: 73200017-10002371-00000000

LEMON Meeting in Pau

The last week of September it was the first meeting of our LEMON Network in Pau (France). This Netwrok strated to work together ...

Let’s catch the wind – Conference Summary

Last weekend was special in the life of Fekete Sereg Youth Association because for the very first time we organized an ...
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December 2018
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Last weekend was special in the life of Fekete Sereg Youth Association because for the very first time we organized an international conference in Nagyvázsony. It got the name „Let’s catch the wind”, an expression known in sailing. The wind symbolizes the hardships and the rewards, the good fortune of Life, the Journey we are all on. To catch the wind, we need constant practice, it is about trust, it is about listening, understanding and continuous learning. Therefore, the idea of the weekend was to gather together and share experiences on social entrepreneurship and volunteering. This common aim brought together youth workers, social entrepreneurs, diplomats, economists and young people from around the world. The participants literally sailed across the seven seas to get to Nagyvázsony – we hosted people from Tunesia, Columbia, Nepal, Peru and several countries of Europe. The first day’s focus was on social entrepreneurship, an innovative type of business with social and environmental mission. The first presentation was held by Henry Devia Prado, Mayor of the Town of Pradera (Colombia). He delivered a speech on the current issues and possibilities of the young people living in Colombia, took a stand for peace and made a strong call for international cooperation. Reflecting on the subject of the day, Mr Nándor Németh, economy developer spoke about the good practice of the exceptional Hetedhét Határ Social Cooperative founded in a small Hungarian village, Gyulaj. Speaking about innovation, technology and the importance of social responsibility, we also learnt about a new government project called „INPUT program”. Mónika Mátyás, coordinator of the project gave us a real insight into the program and its mission - their aim is to facilitate the growth and the transformation of the Hungarian tech startups and encourage people to start their own businesses. After the individual presentations of our guests, the participants had the opportunity to choose among various sessions and discuss the topics they were particularly interested in. It did not only help people to gain comprehensive knowledge about the methods of building successful social enterprises but the group discussions also delved deeper into the ways social entrepreneurs and young people can use innovative strategies to maximize social change in our communities. The second day of the conference provided experts, young people, ex and future EVS volunteers with the opportunity to talk about the possibilities of volunteerism and granted them the platform to interact and network. Representatives of international organizations working in the field gave presentations in which they discussed their own experiences and shared their knowledge related to volunteering. As an example, the presentation held by a delegate of the Hungarian National Agency helped the EVS coordinators and youngsters to understand the links between Erasmus+, EVS and European Solidarity Corps. The highlight of the day was listening to the stories of two „pillars” of Fekete Sereg, Hamdi and Viktor. Hamdi, a young man from Tunesia is the very first EVS volunteer the association has ever hosted. This was 12 years ago, in 2006. Now Hamdi is happily married, proud father of a little girl, only one thing has not changed – he is still fluent in Hungarian. He was very happy to recall his memories of volunteering in Nagyvázsony, he explained how the voluntary experience has changed his life – he „adopted” a big Hungarian family who he is still in touch with, he learnt how to take risks and jump into a new experience, he became more self-confident and is less afraid of the unknown. His speech was followed by the presentation of Viktor, another ex EVS volunteer who was born in Nagyvázsony and used to support the work of Fekete Sereg. His story is also one of a kind. Originally he wanted to apply for a project in Mallorca but for some reason it did not work out and this is how he ended up volunteering in Turkey. And as one step followed the next, he learned the language and fell in love with the local culture. After his EVS, Viktor came back to Hungary but took the chance to apply for a position at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and shortly after he found himself in Turkey again, working for the Embassy of Hungary in Ankara as the Cultural Attaché. He clearly stated that this could have never happened without his EVS experience in Turkey. Back then he was very young (only 26 years old) and now, thinking back, he highlighted that the main reason why he got the job was that he was fluent in Turkish language. The message of the two presentations was the same – Viktor and Hamdi encouraged youngsters to get up, step out of their comfort zone and make a difference not only in their lives, but also in the world. Previously I mentioned the seven seas and this now reminded me of the wonderful poem „Human Family” written by my favourite poet and essayist, Dr. Maya Angelou. In this poem she says that she „sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land” and even after seeing all kinds of people from all over the world she believes that „we are more alike than unalike”. I feel that this understanding is the true gift of volunteering, travelling and meeting people from abroad. When we talk, listen and learn from each other regardless of where we come from, we can easily realise that we all have the same story, we share the same human experience. We might differ in details but on a bigger scale we all should understand that we are the same and as we are all living on Planet Earth it is our common responsibility to come together from time to time and discuss how we can help each other. I think this was the main message of the conference – to catch the wind as well as each other’s hands and use this energy to make a difference in our own community. Because if we do our little bit of good wherever we are, these little bits of good will add up and together they will overwhelm the world. Anna Herold
2017-05-12
It was pomp and color at the Elders’ Carnaval which was held on the 25th of February in Nagyvazsony. This festival had been organized by the members of the Elders Club situated here in the village and Fekete Sereg team were in attendance. Both the young and old were present at this event which was graced by the Mayor of the village. The Carnaval is a festive season which involves public celebration where people wear masks and costumes as a symbol of heightened sense of unity. In Hungary, the season is marked by fun activities, masquerades and cheerful parades that aim to scare off winter and welcome spring. Here in Nagyvazsony, the festival was marked with various costumes and masks by the children at the kindergarten, students at the school, the elders and eventually the parade and street party in the village. At the Elders’ Carnaval, the elders walked into the hall with various costumes, masks and wigs to mark this occasion. The costumes were inspired by various professions, everyday roles and norms and even famous comedians from around. Interestingly, the participants at this event had the chance to do role play with the costumes to lay emphasis of the everyday characters and their duties in daily life. There was a lot of food for those who had attended the event. Cakes with different flavors, bread smeared with margarine, cheese, pork among others. This had been accompanied by different types of wines and spirits including the famous ‘Palinka’ that never misses at a Hungarian party. Fekete Sereg team had the chance to entertain the elders with Ukulele tunes and urged the elders to allow their children explore their talents in the school. During the session, we also introduced the volunteers that we work with and explained their roles in the community. This was to enable the elders familiarize themselves with the diversified set of volunteers from Germany, France, Nepal and Kenya. And as you know, there’s always no party without music. There was a musician who played the piano and sang his heart out at various Hungarian songs. The music was really breathtaking and the elders danced their hearts out at this event which was completely amazing. As old as a couple of them seemed to be, they moved their feet rhythmically and responded to the beats of the music while displaying that they still had a lot of energy to dance. As the event came to a closure, the participants at this event played the tombola. Previously, some of the individuals at the event had bought numbered raffle tickets, which they used to reclaim prizes that had been assigned to the ticket numbers. A good number of people walked away with the many prizes that had been displayed at the dais and they seemed to be very happy with the rewards. We look forward to having sunny days as the Carnaval season comes to an end!