The organization understand the sports
initiative a primary tool to defend refugees’ human rights as well organizing cultural events in order to
establish a more tolerant and friendly atmosphere in the local societies. The
organization overall provides legal assistance to asylum seekers, organizes
integrating projects in education and sports whilst attempting to massage the
Hungarian mentality against foreigners and offering migrants the space to
better integrate into the society.
Current status of
Hungarian Government and their position on Refugees, Migrants and Asylum
The Hungarian government has been for the
past two years been under scrutiny for its regressive policy approach toward
refugees and migrants. As a relatively new entrant into the EU, Hungarian
policy around refugees and migrants has caused much controversy as it
specifically denies the entry, support and assistance of refugees, whether
coming through or seeking asylum. The Hungarian government has proceeded to
close all refugee camps and converted them into detention centers. The
detention centers are shipping containers where asylum seekers and refugees are
held until their cases are heard via video link. One imagines this a one of the
measures taken to repel refugees from the country, Orban, the Prime Minister
has referred to asylum seekers and refugees as “Trojan horses for
terrorism”. Orban’s government has
further put forward that organizations working in the area or migration,
refugee and asylum seeker assistance will be sanctioned through more taxation
from any funding received toward this effort. This has caused significant
issues concerning the stability and future of organizations or institutions
involved in the assistance of refugees and migrants further heightening the refugee/migrant
crisis in Hungary.
The support from the public sector has been
retracted not only from funding, but from any kind of support geared toward
refuges and migrants, whether concerning their settlement or entrance.
The MGHRO has been involved in sports as a
means of awareness and inclusion of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The
organization has been able to implement these activities and projects through
the former assistance of the Hungarian government.
Refugees are understood to be a burden,
along with diluting the cultural fiber of the Hungarian people. It is
understood as per current policy narrative that refugees and migrants for the
most part, will cause the dissolution of Hungarian culture and they further
will be a state burden, wrought unsavourybehaviour, infecting the local
How far is sport used as a tool for inclusion of
refugees? Who is conducting activities for integration and inclusion (e.g.
national football association, local sport clubs, refugee support
The MGHRO has been
conducting sports activities, specifically narrowed toward the inclusion of
migrants and refugees and the awareness of the Hungarian community, since its
inception. Another organisation in which we have worked with briefly was the
art mission, however their presence regarding sports activities was
The Hungarian football
federation over the years has assisted MGHRO with financial and technical
support in order to get the team together. In this way the national federation
was key in assisting to build a local migrant/refugee tem even if the
federation was not directly involved in its inception and sustainability. The
support has since halted as a result of the intensifying political and policy
climate, which rejects the presence, assistance and support of refugees.
Are there any programmes by national,
regional or local public authoritiesfor the inclusion of refugees?
mentioned above, the national Football Federation, through the MGHRO were and
are the only public organisation concerned with assisting a refugee and migrant
focused sports team. They assisted through the finance and technical equipment
support. The MGHRO has also received financial assistance from the Szeged
Catholic Church, however this was on a more ad hoc basis and was not as
consistent at the national football federation. There are more local
partnerships which can be made as per inclusion and joint events, however on
the financial support front it has become more difficult to garner support from
public institutions simply because we are a refugee/ migrant soccer team.
partnered with local school, in order to bring about awareness, acceptance and
understanding within local schools through sports activities. These are school
focused on social inclusion as assisting with further entrenching a different
understanding of refugees and migrants as they partner with us.
Mahatma Gandhi Human
Rights Organization together with VajdaPéter Musical Primary and Sport school,
Council of Józsefváros and Educational Centre of Central Pest organized a sport
event in the framework of the European Week of Sport. The venue of this event
was VajdaPéter School in Budapest and the activities took place on 20th and 21st of September 2017 from the morning until the
afternoon. The official opening ceremony took place at 10:00 and consisted of
speeches of Mrs. PéternéSántha – deputy mayor of Józsefváros, Mrs. SzabónéSzél
Julianna - the director of VajdaPéter School, Mr. GibrilDeen – president of the
Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization and Mr. BorkaGábor – sports teacher at
VajdaPéter School. Many students from several Hungarian primary schools
participated (Losonci, Deák-Diák, Németh, Molnár, Örömhír, Lakatos, Vajda)
including migrant students from Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Nigeria, China
living in Budapest. Pupils took part in various sport activities, such as
football, table tennis, rope climbing, running, yoga and breathing exercises.
HFF - https://en.mlsz.hu/
Primary - http://www.vajdaiskola.hu/english
Educational Centre of
Central Pest- https://jokepzes.hu/hu/kepzok/Central-European-Vocational-Educational-Centre-Kft/22
sport is used as a tool for inclusion of refugees: What are most common types
of sport used for inclusion? Which target group-s are reached?
used soccer for adults, running races for young kids between 8 -12 and are now
working on a project which specifically focused on the inclusion of women.
there efforts to reach women and girls as a special target group?
MGHRO has partnered with UISP and other organizations
to bring about a Women in Sporting initiative, to be implemented in 2019. It
focuses on the education, training and empowering of women through sports and
The project is to promote
voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal
opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical
activity through increased participation in, and equal access to, sport for all
- Enhance the participation of
migrant and minority women and girls in sport and recreational physical
- Increase understanding of the
barriers that female minorities and newly-arrived migrants (asylum
seekers, refugees) face to access sport
- Identify successful strategies to
reach migrant and ethnic minority women and girls and to involve them
actively in sports
- Empower, increase qualification
and building capacities of female sport actors and multipliers with
migrant or minority background
- Raise awareness about the
“hidden” contribution of migrant and minority women to sport and increase
- Advocacy for policy change within
public authorities and sport governing bodies (e.g. regulations on wearing
the hijab in sport)
When sport is used as a tool for inclusion of
refugees: Which outreach strategies are successfully used in your
been successful is the building of the soccer, as it has granted the team
memebers ownership and belonging. It has further provided them with a routine,
and occupied their time with involvement in the community and with the
community through playing sports games.
of a team has encouraged the team members to want to embark on positive
activity in settling and integrating into the community.
Best practice examples
MGHRO African star football team, founded in 1994,
has been fortunate enough to have a multi-ethnic/national team. The team
consists predominantly of African players, however also has Asians and South
Americans; and everyone on the team is either a former refugee or is a migrant
with legitimate legal status. This has granted the opportunity for the players
to share in experiences both good and bad, regarding their integration into the
communities they live. Thus the players
are able to lean on each other and the process of acclimating and integrating
becomes less burdensome on them. The sharing of each ones perspective allows
each of them to better interact with local Hungarians and approach their
integration into the local communities in more patient and strategic manner,
where they are understood and seen as allies as opposed to threats in local
above the objective of MGHRO has
always been through the multi-ethnic team we are enabled to teste and see our
theory meaning that it is achievable to re-shape the mentality around different
“races” and ethnicity through platforms of positive interaction.
Having a multi-ethnic
soccer team/sports team
groups: Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
Outreach strategies (access to target groups)
Every year we afford new people to sign up
for the even if they come join the team as a social activity.
We have soccer practice every week and
hold matches every weekend so everyone interacts twice a week.
We participate in Hungarian Lower league
In 2009 we won the Anti-racism World Cup
held in Italy
Framework (context, resources, cooperation etc.)
Unicef 10 points, Fare, European Week of Sports, EU reports
The growing social tension in the
political atmosphere in Hungary is continuing to make it harder to receive
funding and maintain what we currently have. Penetrating newer spaces will also
prove to be more difficult as elections are coming up and the politics of the
moment are setting the narrative around who interacts with us and how they
interact with us.
will begin to be demotivated and will feel helpless as a result of the
socio-political tensions, which influence their attendants and participation in
the team. This will put pressure on the team and the organisation as this will
make it harder for use to participate in the local and regional tournaments.
Local and international
Our target groups are local schools and organizations in the field of migration/refugee
work. International organizations working the field of Migration and
Outreach strategies (access to target groups)
Communicate and build partnerships with
local and international organisations, enabling the organisation more reach and
the reception of more support.
MGHRO partners in developing support,
communication and development projects around migrants and women and children.
Framework (context, resources, cooperation etc.):EU project proposals calls and contributions.
The management of these relationships as a
means achieving the desired objectives of the projects developed.
partnerships and collaborations a community and network is built, enabling more
voices around the ills experienced by migrants and refugees from the Hungarian
society and the world at large.
Holding integrated sports
schools and churches whom are interested in working with MGHRO.
Outreach strategies (access to target groups)
having been working in Budapest for has established a reasonable network of
schools and organisations which we are able to partner with in holding
integrated sports events for kids between 8-12 and holding soccer matches with
local Hungarian teams.
Activities: Races, Soccer
matches and Sports days.
Frameworks: Fare, European Week of Sports, EU reports.
Challenges: The growing social tensions around migrants and
Successes: We held a race for kids and soccer tournament with
one of the local primaries along with some higher learning institutions.
This will decrease the amount of interactions and partnerships
we are able to create. However only time will tell how the greater society
responds to the socio-political climate.