Visit the Kolbász dűlő to meet the Vári family. There’s no bathroom with hot water running from the tap. There’s no drainage or heating. Nonetheless, there are other things instead: dad, mom, four kids and plenty of love and affection. Now, the family needs our help to stay together during the winter.
I could ask why they dont chop up the fallen tree in the backyard if they lack firewood. I may also ask how it feels to work 24-48 hour shifts commuting 2-3 hours, digging a pit latrine due to the lack of drainage or to bring water from the well and heat it up on the stove for the children to bathe. I could also ask if after all of these, I would still feel like some woodchopping.
I know not, how Lajos Vári, a security guard in his sixties living in his second marriage got into all of this. Nor do I know how his wife, Szilvia learned to love her four kids so much after being abandoned by her own mother.
You are right: this couple from Szigetszentmárton is not flawless. Nor are they the victims of circumstance. They make mistakes. Probably more often than you or me. Nevertheless, mistakes and judging opinions matter little, when they are trying to survive the winter in a cottage with a single furnace providing for the four kids. Furthermore, from 4th November, neither the furnace nor the cottage will be there for them.
The Vári family would like to settle their debts and a roof over their head. It may sound strange, but there are no house sor flats to let near Ráckeve. This is not exactly true: for 150 000 a month, there are, but with the wage of a security guard… well, you know the answer. The father is working and the mother would like to work as well, as soon as she can leave the side of her one-month-old.
Now you’re most likely asking why do they have four children is they are unable to provide for them. I have only spent an hour among them, nonetheless I already know that there is only one thing greater than their poverty: the love they share. Approaching the question with a generous amount of cynism: What if they decided to have the fourth kid? Now we punish them for it and shine in our self-righteous glory?
Norbi made wonderful pictures. We would have liked to capture the faces of the children as well, but the supporters of the family asked us not to. That way, we can spare them the difficulties.
While the girls showed their rooms to Norbi, the parents shared how it felt losing their kids for half a year. Because they were taken from them. Nobody had the right to do that, but the system knew no mercy and they couldn’t stand up for themselves. One sentence struck me: it cost them 8000 Forint to travel to see their kids and bring them some small gifts. A lot of money, yet they could not save on this.
Children belong with their parents. Even if the circumstances aren’t perfect. Even if they are far from perfect. This family is certainly staying together until 3rd November. That is the date they have to vacate their home. They also shared their dreams: for 2.5 million they could buy a castle in the sky they are exactly two-and-a-half million Forints away from.
It is clear that you cannot take responsibility for them. Noone will solve their problems for them.
They have to do this and they require help to achieve it. Good news is, they are not alone. The social system (or rather a few dedicated persons from a collapsing system) is working to get them a place to stay.
And they have Jana. His full name is János Gyurkó adventist pastor. He is the link connecting you, me and the family. Jana sees clearly that the family’s woes will not be solved by a certain donation. What they really need is the chancefor them to take responsibility for themselves, their decisions and their children. This is what he is providing them and takes responsibility for them until they are able to do so themselves. You and I are also able to help: first of all, by raising the money for their debts. This is approximately 400 000 Forint. To make things clear: we will deliver the money to Jana, so he can make sure that every penny is spent to achieve the goal you contribute to.
Should you have concerns whether you should do anything for a seemingly lost cause, the answer comes clear: come, get in my car and let’s visit the Kolbász dűlő to meet the Vári family and Jana.
You can support them here:
Hintalovon Children’s Rights Foundation
Bank account number – IBAN: HU15 16200010-10067868-00000000
Narrative: Vári family donation
If you directly send money by PayPal in our website donation system, please take narrative: Vári family!
What happens if more money is raised than they asked for? Then, I will write the story of the next family, the one you have also helped.
Photo: Norbert Szász
Author: Máté Pásztor
Translation: Péter Stánitz