Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
More than two decades after the transition the Hungarian society is struggling with the impact of the recent global economic crisis and the social and cultural legacy of state socialism. Currently, in terms of material deprivation, 37% can be considered poor and the living standards is below the one it used to be before the political transformation in 1989. The rate of inactivity (55%) and unemployment (12%) are high; and the Hungarian society is an aging society.
In the years of state socialism collaboration in the society was rendered more difficult and personal ambitions were discouraged. Due to unpredictable, inconsistent rules and conventions, passivity as the safest personal survival strategy prevailed. The continuity normally experienced in one’s lifetime has been interrupted by sudden ideological shifts. Stories of severe historic traumatizations were silenced. Thinking in terms of the ideology of the ruling regime, all deviances were determined to be the results of exploitation. The system claimed itself to be free from exploitation: consequently, identification and treatment of many mental and social problems, such as poverty, suicide and homelessness were not possible until late 1970s. By that time the problems (especially suicide and alcoholism) grew grave as Hungary ranked among the forerunners in international statistics. State care for addicts was based on coercion. The first Hungarian AA meeting took place in 1988, one year before the transition.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Our community is a health learning community. We understand health as wholeness, the integration of the totality of our experiences. The founders were inspired by the shortcomings of the contemporary system of state health care and by the atmosphere of change salient in the early 1990s in Hungary. The model of learning health competence has been shaped by more than 20 years of practical work and the wish to integrate lay and professional approaches to build a model that promotes substantial change.
Founders believe that some cultural characteristics of Western societies as well as Central and Eastern European countries have certain weaknesses in handling the topic of addictions. In spite of hard work and professional expertise, the spread of addictions suggest that it is the very foundations of care that have to be critically examined.
Our aim is to build a framework where patterns of learnt helplessness can be transformed into patterns of learnt resourcefulness.