(The title is a wordplay. “Társadalomban” means “In society”. But written separately, “Társ a dalomban” means “Companion in my song”. The text is a quote from S.T. We Hungarians generally like to play with words. And we have a lot of opportunities for this, because we have a very wide vocabulary in the Hungarian language. 😊 )
What we planned, we implemented, and even more. We’re doing a lot of things now that we’ve been wanting for a long time. The only problem is that we have 5 new ideas from every good project. 😊
What is getting better to feel, is that we are professionalizing. This makes things smoother for ourselves and allows us to present an unified image outwards. That’s important to us.
Outwardly, we are invited to participate in more and more projects as experts, as Hungarian partner and consultants. We are getting more and more recognition, which encourages us to continue to do good work.
In 2022, the grassroots initiative has become a priority for us, not only in our own circles, but also in our narrower and wider environment. It is important not only to suffer what is happening, but also to actively shape it. It is important to be visible, make visible and perceptible the problems that affect us. Therefore, more and more of our members are starting to have a say in community topics, and there are more and more opportunities and partners for this in Pécs.
Our processes have become clearer inwardly, which, we admit, was not easy. To work at the same time as a group of friends, to pay attention to the souls of more than 30 sensitive people, to help connections, to smooth over difficulties, is a challenging task. Many times this is more difficult than achieving “Great Distant Goals”. It is an ongoing goal for People First membership to do for itself. Let us get involved in the issues that concern us as much as possible, not just let them happen. Let us be visible, let us be active, not expectant, but initiators both inside and outside the association.
Let’s look at some numbers, facts, data, so that if you’ve already wandered here to the annual summary, we’ll tire you a little bit.
We have submitted 12 applications or are in the process of being organized in the finale. We applied for domestic and international awards, banks, foreign funds, domestic tenders, developed ourselves, noticed new opportunities and started in new directions. The projects were and will be exciting, interesting. And the unwon applications can also be very instructive. All our applications are aimed at supporting the independent living of people with disabilities. So that our peers can try in and strengthen themselves as many areas as possible, and as we said above, do for themselves.
We work on domestic and international projects. And we continue to feel very honored to be asked to be a partner in a project. What is new is that we have stepped out of our comfort zone and we ourselves undertake international project coordination. The implementation of which has begun. We will briefly report on our projects in a separate menu item on our website, it is worth reading through.
Our basic project, the first and most important activity of the People First Association remained the maintenance and development of the Barrier-free Pécs database. We don’t expect to change that. It is with this project that we help our fellow people with disabilities the most. This is what gives us the most pleasure. And with this we do a lot for Pécs and for barrier-free tourism in Hungary. This is the project that has such a wide target group that it actually includes everyone!
Our BeFogadó/InnClusive community space is very important to us. This is where we are trying to bring the local community together, organizing joint, inclusive programs for disabled and able bodied participants. The goal is to get to know each other, to enjoy these mostly free programs together. We put all our hearts into these programs.
We include a lot of things in our results, not only successful applications and realized commitments. But also countless human gestures, freely laughs, friendly relations, nods of agreement.
For example, we have made a huge commitment to subtitle all the images we have accumulated so far on our website in three ways so that they can be enjoyed by our blind companions.
It’s a great achievement for us if you read, you follow us on the website, Facebook, or Instagram, and you suddenly showed up on one of our programs that you heard, you read, you’re here.
It is a huge achievement for us if the collaborations go smoothly. If we ask for help we will get it. If we find that urban companies, corporations and organizations are not closing themselves off, but are even becoming more helpful in their approach to the topic of disability and accessibility. Over the years, we have seen a very big change in this in real helpfulness-attitude. Well, that’s the result for us!
Result is that we reach more and more young people. As guest lecturers at the various faculties of the university, with internships spent with us, participation in theses, with sensitization. One of our most important target groups is young people. If we change their attitude, we will change the world!
No, not everything is going smoothly for us either, we have conflicts and we have problems that are not yet closed. But we are trying, we are looking for solutions, even with the involvement of external experts. We don’t think we’re omnipotent, we like to get help, and we can apologize, hoping to get that too.
Our membership is changing, evolving. New members have stepped in this year as well, and one of our members said goodbye to us. We have introduced advocacy membership, making it easier for our fellow members who cannot be actively present because they are working or living far away. At the year-end general meeting, the presidency was not renewed in composition, but was renewed and expanded in its division of tasks. We participated in supervision training to make our commitments, communication and goals clear. Our members also participate in trainings, both in Hungary and abroad.
We continue to think in partnership because we see this as the only way forward. Why would everyone do their own thing, jealously watching the other, if together we can achieve so much more? We have become important partners this year: several faculties of the University of Pécs, organizations working with us in Pepita in our new BeFogadó/InnClusive community space, a high-tech company for people with disabilities. Our partnership with local community-building NGOs has remained and has been strengthened. And it is developing hopefully with the town hall and city companies.
We also have own businesses that are part of our core activities. In small numbers, but more and more. We are experts, advising, coordinating, or launching our Hidden City Tor-Tours.
Our big commitment this year is to make our association a public benefit status. For now, there are some administrative hurdles to this, but we will definitely be in early 2023.
Stay tuned, follow us. And the best thing we like is to be able to meet in person. A good opportunity for this is our BeFogadó/InnClusive community space with its many new programs for 2023. Or a great Hidden City downtown walk. You can also find us for a good conversation, we are always available for that too!
Happy New Year 2023!