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The role of GypsyAid in helping refugees

Refugees have been coming through Hungary for quite a while now but we had never seen anything like what we experienced in August and September 2015. In partnership with the Hungarian Pentecostal Church in Hungary, HGMI?s charity and aid arm, GypsyAid set up an operative base at the refugee collection point outside Röszke, Hungary, less than a kilometer from the Serbian border. GypsyAid is committed to coordinate help in the long term.

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Hungary is situated on one of the major refugee/migrant routes to the heart of the European Union. Over 300 thousand people crossed the border illegally in 2015 (until September 30). During the summer, the Government rushingly enacted legislation to more efficiently keep migrants ? and refugees ? out of the country, and erected a 175-km border fence on the Hungarian?Serbian border.

On September 14 afternoon, the border became much more difficult to cross, so our operations shifted from Röszke to Horgos, on the Serbian side. A few days later, people started to come again ? but this time via Croatia. About 35 thousand of them entered Hungary through the Croatian border in the next 7 days.

While there are a lot of young men that seemingly need little help, there are also lots of families with small children, even babies. Many places the refugees are warmly welcome by local people, but the general public?s attitude is rather adverse. It is expected that the flow of refugees will not stop for the winter and an even greater wave will bee coming next spring.

GypsyAid, in cooperation with the Hungarian Pentecostal Church and by the generous support of some local and international partners, distributed water, bananas, apples, biscuits, coffee and tea, tents, sleeping bags, shoes, clothes, blankets, backpacks, items of personal hygiene, and many other things as they were needed. A lot of volunteers joined our team, even non-Christians came after we had made a call for action.

Our quick response team will be serving in the refugee hot spots in and around Hungary as long as the need and support will be there. Please, pray for us and consider partnering with us (e.g. with financial support, by volunteering).

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Click here to see our gallery.

Click to help refugees.

Albert Durko receives Raoul Wallenberg Award

The Rev. Albert Durko, President of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International, nominated by Mr. Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities, and the senior leaders of HGMI, received the Raoul Wallenberg Award on January 19, 2015.

For an exemplary life and ministry of fighting against discrimination, helping the underprivileged and disadvantaged, and contributing towards the exercising of human rights and citizenship rights provided by law in Hungary, Mr. Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities, and the senior leaders of HGMI had nominated Albert Durko for the 2015 Raoul Wallenberg Award. The Award Committee found the nomination well-founded and selected him to be one of the Award recipients.

The laudation states that ?the leader of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International believes that through mutual acceptance everybody can help decrease the tensions in society and find the path to enriching others.?

The award ceremony, titled ?Raoul Wallenberg ? Each Action Counts? and held on January 19, 2015, commemorated the 70th anniversary of Wallenberg?s detention by the Soviet Red Army. The diplomat was never publicly seen afterwards and reportedly died imprisoned in Moscow on July 17, 1947. The joint awards of the Raoul Wallenberg Association, the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, the Ministry of Human Capacities and the National Association of Local Authorities are given to people and organizations that, in one way or another, follow in the footsteps of the Swedish humanitarian. This year, five people and two organizations were awarded.

Ceremony participants and speakers included H. E. Mr. Niclas Trouvé, Embassador of Sweden, Mr. Michael Wernstedt, Executive Director of the Swedish Raoul Wallenberg Academy, Mr. Urban Christian Ahlin, Speaker of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament), Mr. Emir Selimi, Artist & Roma Rights Activist, Dr. Marta Matrai, First Officer of the Hungarian National Assembly, Mr. Szabolcs Takacs, Minister of State for European Affairs (Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities), and Dr. Bence Retvari, Parliamentary State Secretary (Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities).

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Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg (4 August 1912 ? disappeared 17 January 1945) was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for saving tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from Hungarian Fascists and the Nazis during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden?s special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. (Wikipedia: Raoul Wallenberg)