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Roman Magyar

A special guest of Hall 10, the Ecumenical Village was from 23-25 June Cedric Prakash SJ from India, Gujarat. This small but great man is a Jesuit priest and has 15.000 children in 90 boarding schools, socalled chattralayas. The children - between the age of 8-18 - come from the weakest and poorest villages and families of India. The ESP (Educational Sponsorship Programme) makes it possible for them to have education, which is - as Cedric Prakash often says - the key to development. The basic principle of the schools is that education is what can bring social change, can make the barriers of the society disappear, can give the people the choice of independence.

Their partner is the Hungarian Thirld World Foundation, which was established in 1989 by the Bokor Movement, and transports donations of Hungarian families to India for the schoolsystem. Though the Foundation was established only some years ago, support to Prakash from Hungary had first gone to India in the 70's. Many families of the Bokor gave their contributions, saying they are still much more wealthy than families in India. Finding ways to get currency was not always easy. Once a man - having that time ten children - was caught at the airport with somethousand dollars collected for India in his pocket. Fortunately it happened at the end of the eighties, so the punishment he should have got had been cancelled by the story he told the police about poor Hungarian families supporting even poorer Indian ones.

On 24th June a presentation of Cedric Prakash and the Thirld World Foundation took place in the Peace House. Prakash began his presentation with a symbolic act: tieing and untieing the hands of a Hungarian boy and himself. This symbolised how the Hungarian support makes them free to do their enormous work in India and how the giving makes us free, makes us independent from the happiness found in material wealth in a consumpting society.