The Nursery (charity) Project is just so close to my heart. I feel this is the project where we can really make a huge change in everyones life involved. The nursery staff, and of course the children. We started with the village nursery of Zabar in 2015, and it still feels great to go back, and hear their stories. I love visiting all these places we have helped. Including Zabar, Szilaspogony, Istenmezeje, the Wesley Nursery in Budapest for homeless kids, and the latest, the Vinohradiv Special Needs Boys institute. I feel they were all massive undertakings, sometimes felt like it will never happen, but then good people came up, and helped. This is the same story here. Just a new page, a new place.
This time we are working on a very serious project, in Ukraine - in Zakarpatia Oblast region-, in the village of Chomony Why Ukraine? Why Csongor village? I get this question a lot, since there are kindergartens in Hungary as well. It's my personal choice, I feel I can trust the local people, including András Baksa, the mayor, the nursery Director, Jarmolenko Victoria. A very welcoming place, going there truly feels like going home. A community that so much needs some moral support. Where else it's the best to give, then their kindergarten. The war is still on, man gets taken to fight. Those who stay hungry for positive news.
My good friend - I hope he doesn't mind I call him a friend - Alex Davern, and his family is behind making this change possible. I can't be more grateful, and tell them, I so admire what they do. Especially Alex. He runs fundraising, hosts zoom meetings and personally behind driving this project. He is based in Texas, and I'm in Budapest. We are both quite far away from Csongor. But distance can't be an issue. We are not there just yet, a little bit more funding is needed to make this project complete. The war doesn't help, material prices are daily, and finding man who can work - and not in the army - is a huge challenge. But we try to take this on. Xmas is coming up. Let's see if we can make a miracle again.
PHOTOS OF THE CURRENT CONDITIONS OF THE NURSERY :
The main reason behind the necessary upgrade is that this building last seen a full renovation was when it was built in 1962. Of course since then minor work got carried out, but never a complex, problem solving solution. Therefore the walls are damp, especially the ceiling gets mouldy in all winter. It's not insulated. The nursery playroom furniture is dated, they don't have modern technology to help early earning. (Internet, TV etc). Also the kitchen currently doesn't have a storage, as their storage basement had to be converted to a bomb shelter, where kids are asked to spend long hours if necessary. We are looking at solutions for all these problems.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE KINDERGARTEN
First, let me show you some happy photos. These little ones all go to this nursery.
THE KINDERGARTEN'S STAFF
The nursery welcomes kids between the ages of 2-6, it has an official capacity of 49 beds, but maximum 60 kids can be enrolled. It has a local team of 16 people, and 44 little ones. The staff includes 1 nursery manager, 4 teachers, 3 assistants, 2 cooks, 1 dishwasher, 1 local seamstress, 1 handyman, 1 security and two people part time central heating engineers. (Wood burner, so it needs people to operate it.) I believe it is a truly friendly place, for all living and working here.
Nevelési programunk a gyermek alapvető tevékenységére, a játékra, a mozgásra épül, amely során lehetőség van a gyermeket körülvevő természet és társadalom kultúrértékeinek közvetítésére, a környezet tevékeny megismerésére. A programunk alapelve: szeretetteljes, biztonságérzetet adó, érzelmekben gazdag, bizalmon alapuló óvodai élet megteremtése, melyben minden gyermek saját képességei szerint nevelhető, fejleszthető, az egészséges életmód megalapozásával, a rendszeres mozgással.
The building has a floor coverage of 350m2. It includes: 3 kid's group working rooms, 3 bedrooms, a corridor (Serves as a changing room too), a music room (main room for indoor sport and performances), Management's office, Kitchen, Laundry and a Toilet for kids, and one for the staff. Central heating unit is located at a smaller shed next to the main building. The garden is lovely and spacious, it has a covered wooden area, that needs also renovation. (Not included in this project).
PLANNING STAGE - WORKING WITH EVA KECSKÉS (INTERIOR DESIGN)
ESSENTIAL JOBS TO CARRY OUT AND WHAT IT MEANS TO THE LOCALS, PARENTS
We want to provide a safe, welcoming place for all kids learning here, and of course staff. When asked the local teaching team, what their dream place would like like, we were told, it would be great to have a kids's study room, that is easily adaptable to the planned programs. Kid's like to move around, get involved in all sorts of activities.
From daily operational point of view, the following jobs would be essential to carry out:
- to create a storage place for all food items
- to have a better lighting conditions in all 3 play and study rooms
- to have safe light switcher and plugs
- to have a better storage system
- to upgrade the kitchen equipments
- to have modern, adjustable, easy to clean group tables, and stackable little chairs to save space.
- to have a safe water proofed ceiling, walls and flooring
I would like to add here, that the entire staff is so so grateful for all those people taking part in this this project. They are grateful for every helping hand.
BUDGET PLAN - ATTACHED CHART
We want to be clear on the costing. András and his team tried his best to calculate a cost for the full renovation, which includes building work, and some cost to pay the workers. This is very much under the market price, as local tradesman will be contracted to carry out the job. The estimated upgrade will cost 35.000 Euro, from wich 21.000 euro is labour cost.
At the moment we are planning the furnitures, fittings, wall murals, Tvs and sports equipments, and of course some new toys. The estimated cost is 20.000 Euro. All this is spent on the actual furnitures, as no money is charged for project management or design. We all work as volunteers.
We are very much hoping for a xmas miracle, and having the work done by mid-January.
We are planning a possible charity event for the 16-17 January, 2024. (This is to be confirmed later.
WORDS FROM ANDRÁS BAKSA, THE MAJOR OF CSONGOR
Please contact me, if you can help. Email: email@example.com
Zsuzsanna Bozo +36+30433-6088
If you are based in USA, you can also contact Alex Davern (Contact info? )