In Hungary, like elsewhere in the world, an increasing number of disciplines and professional fields are beginning to recognize the importance of supporting the “small circles” of society. Although the professionals and activists performing this diverse activity may call themselves and their work in many different ways, they all agree that it is a common interest of everybody active in the area of community development, community planning, community organization and the development of civil society, to implement the principles laid down by the Budapest Declaration (Building Civil Society in Europe through Community Development – International Conference – Budapest 2004, www.kka.hu) and to represent the interests of professionals working in the area, as the neglect of communality would entail the risk of having even more of the oppressed and marginalized become alienated from society.
This recognition has led the founders, the Autonomy Foundation, the Civil College Foundation, the Association for Community Workers in the Upper-Kiskunság, the Eastern-Hungarian Community Service Foundation (on behalf of Pro-Net), the Hungarian Association for Community Development, the Intercommunity Foundation, the Partners Hungary Foundation, the National Association of Community Resource Centres, the Soros Foundation and the Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation, to establish the FEDERATION for the Development of Community Participation (FDCP) on 14th November 2004. The organization started its activities as soon as its registration became effective, and was joined in 2007 by the Nonprofit Information and Training Centre Foundation (NIOK).
The FEDERATION is an umbrella of organizations willing to contribute to an increasing social recognition of community development, community organization, community work and community planning.
The basic objective and mission of the FEDERATION is to promote the development of a community-based society, enhance social participation, facilitate the reintegration of deprived groups of society, promote equal opportunities for women, and raise awareness on the responsibility of the state and local governments in organizing development processes that are implemented by the communities themselves. More precisely:
The First Years
To meet the above objectives, the FEDERATION has been active in the following areas:
As a member of the Vocational Network for Supporting Community Initiatives (KÖZTÁMHÁLÓ), it has provided coordination and administration services for the organizations cooperating in Hungary’s seven regions, and has fulfilled the duties of the Pest County network node directly, providing consultations, training courses and experience exchanges, and performing administrative tasks.
It has conducted a professional analysis on the first two years of the Vocational Network, and has prepared a detailed monitoring study which makes recommendations for new development directions.
It runs an office at its headquarters to secure the operations of the organization. The office is active all through the year, and is managed by the General Secretary/Vice President. Main activities include:
It participates in vocational events related to community development, and holds information sessions on the activities and objectives of the FEDERATION in various locations of the country.
Further activities of the organization have included: