Hungarian government paid the tuition of more than a thousand pupils in the Holy Land
In the framework of a project which ended last year, the Hungarian government paid the tuition fees of 1,427 pupils for a year in the Holy Land through the Hungary Helps Program. We asked János Horváth, project manager of Hungary Helps, about the aid provided.
In the framework of a project between September 2020 and December 2021, Hungary donated 154 million forints to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem by a government decree. The Patriarchate has twelve schools in the Holy Land. The one year’s tuition of the pupils most in need was financed from this aid.
There are 4,700 children studying in institutions maintained by the Catholic Church. Thanks to the Hungarian aid, nearly a third of the students, 1,247 children to be exact, had their 2021-2022 school year financed. János Horváth told us that the Patriarchate decided on a financial basis about which students would receive the donation. He also added, of course, it does not mean that just 1,247 families were supported because there are families with more children concerned.
He also highlighted that the Hungarian help was especially needed because the local Christian community has been suffering a lot due to the COVID19 crisis.
“The schools were forced to engage in online education, and unemployment has continually raised. Many of the parents have lost their job and could not have afforded to pay their children’s tuition. Thanks to the Hungarian donation, many children could continue studying,” he explained.
The institutions are primarily Catholic schools, but there are Muslim students too. They also were eligible to be chosen for a scholarship.
Horváth said that with these projects, the Hungarian government wants to help Christians in Africa and in the Middle East to stay at home and not be forced to migrate to Europe. However, the primary target of the Hungarian support are Christians, by helping them, Hungary also helps members of other denominations.
Surprisingly, the Latine Patriarchate has two schools in the Ghaza, which shows that there are also many Christians in that territory. From these schools, forty students got the scholarship.
The project manager of Hungary Helps could not say for sure if Hungary Helps could continue supporting these institutions in the future. Still, he promised that if the financial situation makes it possible, there certainly will be something similar. At the moment, Horváth himself is responsible for more than thirty similar projects in the Middle East.
Some students who obtained the scholarship wished to express their gratefulness towards the Hungarian government, and they sent thanksgiving letters to Hungary Helps. Here we share these letters with you:
Adam, eighth grade – Aboud LPS (Latin Patriarchate School)
I don’t like to remember how the pandemic affected my family and our finances; it’s been a hard time for all of us. My father, who used to work in a hotel, lost his job due to the Covid-related travel restrictions. My mother is a teacher who had to cope with the challenges of keeping up with her online classes and following up on my education. There was a lot of tension at home regarding our finances and sadly, we had to cut back on many essential needs to ensure that I and my sibling’s education were not interrupted.
I am truly thankful for this opportunity to continue my education without any interruptions. The contribution has helped my family and me significantly and lessened the tension at home. I am thankful for each class and every opportunity to grow, not only as a student but also, as an individual. Dear Hungary Helps, thank you for investing in my future and for seeing the potential of LP schools to inspire and foster successful students; I am deeply grateful for you.
Christina, ninth grade – Beit Jala LPS
It was extremely hard for me to see my parents struggling to pay my tuition. I made them think I wasn’t aware of all the difficulties they were facing to secure the continuity of my education, but I was aware and it broke my heart. I even considered finding a job to help alleviate these burdens but my parents refused and told me that I only had to worry about my education. But thank God, I was selected to be one of the students who received this kind gift from Hungary Helps, and I can’t express how thrilled I was to know that my parents will not need to worry about my tuition fees.
I can’t thank you enough for your generous gift that made my education attainable. I am proud to say I had worked hard to excel in school and make my parents proud, but I certainly could not have done it without your help. I am forever grateful for your generosity and for caring about my future.
Linda, fifth grade – Gaza LPS
I thought I was going to miss this semester as my family was in a bad financial situation. All children in Gaza suffered due to the Israeli blockade, but the pandemic worsened the situation, and we found ourselves unable to afford even the smallest things, such as our basic needs and transportation costs. I know my parents are doing their best to keep me in school. I know that the only way I can pay them back is by keeping my straight As and behaving well.
When we were informed that my name was among those who received this grant from Hungary Helps, my parents were relieved. I know that a huge burden has been lifted off their shoulders as they were depriving themselves of so many things to meet my education needs.
I felt valued that someone was willing to provide money for me to continue my education, and at the same time, it helped my parents feel like they’re not alone and that God will always send help no matter what.
Thank you very much for helping my parents in these difficult times, and for supporting my education. I will always pray for you.
Yousef, sixth grade – Birzeit LPS
I was praying to God to help my family overcome the stressful reality, which the pandemic imposed on us. I hated to see my parents suffering and I felt guilty and helpless, as I couldn’t do anything to help. My father lost his job and we had to cut back on so many things that we used to enjoy doing. My mother told me that my education is their number one priority, and they will always make sure that it’s never interrupted.
My parents had to borrow money to secure my educational needs during the first months of the pandemic, which added to their financial burdens and increased my worries as it pained me to see them in such a situation.
Finally, Jesus answered my prayers, and I was selected to receive a generous grant from Hungary Helps that would ensure the continuity of my education. It was priceless to see the relief on my parents’ faces. They were very happy when they received the news. I felt that this contribution played a big role in my improved academic achievement as I felt like I had to double my efforts at school to prove that I was worthy of this assistance. Thank you for caring about my family and me; I have been incredibly blessed.
Serena, seventh grade – Zababdeh LPS
Things were not looking good in terms of our finances. I know my father was doing his best to meet our needs during these difficult times because he lost his job and was doing manual labour here and there to meet our most basic needs. My mother was worried the whole time to the point where she got sick. Despite all that, I kept praying to God to help my family, as things were getting worse by the day.
With the grace of God, I was among the pupils who were awarded this grant from Hungary Helps. This has been hugely beneficial for my education. It has enabled me to stay in school and continue my education. This has also been particularly useful for my parents as they were extremely concerned about how they were going to find money to pay for my tuition. This demonstrates to me and the other students who received this grant that the Lord will always answer our prayers, and that someone cares about us enough to supply us with what we need for us to come to school and learn. We’ll always appreciate your gift, thanks to a million Hungary Helps. We are so thankful for you!