Alsószentmárton – helped by a group of expats

by Ruxanda Renita
Tamas Revesz Roma People.jpg

Recently I watched Cloud Atlas - possibly one of the best movies of the moment. When Adam, a noble man took his wife to join the slave abolishment movement, his father - in - law tried to stop them by comparing their action to a drop in the ocean. Yet ”What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?” replied Adam to his father - in -  law. (Michell, Cloud Atlas) It inspired me and I hope my entire generation. This article is not about philosophy, but rather about the courage of helping the neighbor.

Alsoszentmarton is a micro-region in South Baranya called Ormánság, predominant by Beashi inhabitants (a special group of Roma people). Originally a Croatian village, Alsoszentmarton was left by Croatians due to the unprivileged location, Beashi took their place instead. One could say that it is placed in the middle of nowhere. The nearest city- Siklos is placed at 3 hours distance from the village. Caught in our ‘fast - moving’ life, there are few who care about villages such as Alsoszentmarton. Yet there also youngsters like us who dream of a better future.

In 1977, Tamas Revesz, the holder of Pulitzer Memorial Award, visited the village and was deeply touched by a group of Roma kids standing in the snow with a hut as their home. As a result, he created a photography collection on Alsoszentmarton which aimed to “combine that which is visible to the human eye with that which is perceptible only to the human soul.”( 35 years passed and the village is still one of the most disadvantaged areas economically and socially, with an unemployment rate of 95%.

 Tamas revesz.jpg

Tamas Revesz , Roma People                    

A group of young expats from Rotaract Club Budapest City took the initiative to help the youngsters from Alsoszentamrton by providing them computers and IT training. Out of 1200 inhabitants of the village, around 42% of them are under the age of 18. Therefore, the only hope to a better future stays within the new generation. Despite of this, there is no educational institution except a Buddhist-owned primary school. In accordance to the Vas Peter, the mayor of Alsoszentamrton, the children are attending the school in the neighbour village while others are not attending at all. Rotaract Club believes that computer could help Beashi youngsters in broadening their knowledge as well as their experience of life; and at last it could lead to an increasing rate of employment thanks to internet. Those of you who are interested in donating computers or/and participating in the IT training to the youth from Alsoszentamrton are free to contact Rotaract Club at or through Facebook Page:

Dalai Lama said: “ The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Let’s build a better future, abolishing discrimination and all sort of misconceptions by starting to help each other!

Címkék: roma civic Alsószetmárton Rotaract Club 2013.02.27. 10:07