Our previous entity, the Refugee Mission of the Reformed Church in Hungary, had been assisting refugees since 2006 in various forms and via various programs in the fields of housing, employment, culture, legal protection and education. Through mid-2015, we helped approximately sixty-five adults a year with housing, and approximately sixty-five students in their schooling and vocational training each year. In June, our activities under the RCH umbrella have ceased and we have continued our important work in our new organization, Kalunba.
Kalunba was set up in the spring of 2014 to work in synergy on refugee affairs, to provide services in mutual cooperation with our clientele, to be able to better answer the needs and legal changes in Hungary in an immediate manner, to professionally manage activities, and to strive for external funding, as the previously granted funding was ever decreasing.
Upon it’s funding, in close cooperation with St Columba’a Scottish Mission, Kalunba started to provide free Hungarian lessons to migrants regardless of their protection status.
On April 24, 2015, the Kalunba Charity received it’s first contract from the Office of Immigration and Nationality to manage the integration of resettled refugees as part of the National Resettlement Program in Hungary.
In 2011, our education program was presented in the UNHCR Report on Education. In 2013, we received a prize from Eurodiaconia for our migrant inclusion programs, and a prize for equal opportunities from the Ministry of Human Resources. In 2014, Eurodiaconia presented our program assisting refugee women find employment as a best practice in its report. In September 2015, Eurodiaconia presented our community center for migrants and refugees as a good practice in its report.
We participate in regular meetings with many national public authorities, such as the Office of Immigration and Nationality, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Human Resources, and the Municipality of Budapest. We also work with elementary and middle schools in Budapest, refugee reception centers, and family support centers in various districts of Budapest. We receive trainees from the main universities in Budapest (ELTE, KRE) and the University of Pécs.
On the international level, we work closely together with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), participate in the network of Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME is an EU wide umbrella organization advocating for migrants and refugees), and Eurodiaconia. We are also members of the European Migration Network.