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Friday, April 5, 2013
Jànoshalma, Hungary. A group of people decide to do something for their city and not wait and complain while waiting for someone else to intervene.

It all began with a question: What can we do for Jànoshalma, our city? “Our first step was to make a pact with each other,” M. C. recalls. “We promised each other that we would put into practice Jesus’ New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:12). This would mean sharing one another’s joys and sorrows, possessions and experiences. And we tried to extend this same measure of love to our city as well. It was a pact of mutual love that would require time, energy and sacrifice. We often found ourselves beginning again.

Together we had given life to theJànoshalma Association” which now has 25 members. We had so many ideas: helping the poor, implementing programs for youths and their peers, setting up exhibitions that valorised local traditions. Through these activities we also established close collaboration with several institutes and, through these events, more than one hundred people came into contact with us.

One activity involved the restoration of the city park, which was in a state of disrepair. We were aware that there were no monies for this project in our Association, nor in the City Council, so we came up with the idea of collecting paper for recycling. We contacted shops, but the results of the project didn’t render much revenue. So then we decided to organize a benefit ball in the centre of town. This time the profits were beyond our expectations. We contacted City Hall and our proposal to use these funds for restoring the park was accepted. A short time later there was the inauguration and, since the park did not have a name, we had the idea of involving schools and kindergartens in a naming contest. More than 100 children participated in the contest and when the winner was announced, we had a grand feast with the children.

For two years we also collaborated with the “embellishment of the city” project and now the Town Council has appointed people who are officially in charge of this activity. We instead continued our work amongst the poor, for which there is an extreme need. This has led to the establishment of a social network.

A short time ago, seeing the difficult state of public security, we organized another benefit ball to collect funds. Many people didn’t understand what motivated us in our efforts, assuming that public security was the responsibility of the State. Yet many intervened and supported the project with considerable generosity. One person said: “I’ve come to this ball because I know that you deliver on your promises.”

M. C. – Hungary

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