International Childfriend Museum

Childfriend Falcons

The Movement of Hungarian Childfriends was founded in 1992. In the spring of 1996 it was decided that the children of the organization will be envolved in a kind of role play to ensure they awareness in public administration affairs and to teach them - in a non-formal way - democratic values. So in the national camp in the summer of 1996 three different parties were formed in order to prepare for a campaign to win the elections and form the Childfriends' Government. The parties (named after the 3 different colours of the Childfriend logo: White, Yellow and Blue) were made up of children between 10 and 16 years of age. The elections in September (with the participation of some thousand children countrywide) brought the victory of the Yellow Party. The Ist Childfriends' Government was formed (from children from the whole country) with PM and Ministers and, moreover, with a "senior" President of Republic to coordinate them. Each Minister (and the PM) made a draft draw up about his/her work for the length of their mandate (1 year) and they wanted to meet the "real Ministers" as well.
The elections and the work of the Ministers were observed by huge press attention. For almost all the Ministers it was possible to meet the "big Ministers" and discuss certain matters. The Childfriend minister for social affairs even made a pact that the Ministry for Social Affairs of the Hungarian Republic will support an awareness campaign with 100 000 HUF (about 380 Euros). The Government met regularly 5-6 times a year. In the elections of the next year - due to the great number of participating children - also under-secretary posts were created for every Minister. In 1998, the President of Republic was decided to be post for someone who grew out from the age limit of the Childfriends' Government - who was older than 16 but younger than 20. During the time of the II. and the III. Government, their foreign activity became more and more significant. The most prominent members were sent to meetings and seminars (provided by our international organization, the IFM-SEI - since in 1997 we became full member of it) representing they Childfriend Government, the Childfriends and Hungary.

In 1999, the group of youngsters who grew out from the Government's age group decided to form their own organization, their own section in the Childfriends and so the Falcons (named after international traditions) was founded. Everyone can be a member between 16 and 26 of it who accepts the Constitution of the Falcons and fills in an application form. The board is made up of the founding members (Anett Molnár, Tibor Brunner and ) who are in direct contact with the Presidents of the Regions. The Presidents of the 4 Regions lead the work of the Region and co-ordinates the work of the local leaders. The local leaders are the leaders of the local Falcon Organization. A local Falcon Organization can be formed if at least 5 Falcons live in the same settlement. Otherwise they have to join to a nearby settlement's Falcon Organization. The range of activities are based on the community of the local Falcons. Regional activities are not so often organized and nationwide camp/meeting is held once a year.
After more than a year, we can say that we are successful internationally too. We are efficiently represented on international seminars and meetings and now we can proudly say that 3 of us could contribute to the successful execution of the CWC 2000 (Children's World Camp 2000, Wiesen) by helping the Austrian organizers in the building up of the camp, in the pedagogical (Anett Molnár & Péter Hanti) and technical group (Tibor Brunner) of the camp and (alone from the non-Austrian helpers) in the pulling down of the camp.
We've just started the work in the Falcons but hope that with our free-time activities, education work, trainings do their work and we can contribute to their more useful leisure time, to their more successful life, to a democratic future.

Budapest, September 2000

Péter Hanti
Chair of Falcons

Feel free to contact us!

If you have any question, proposal or else!

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Pf. 244.

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+ 36 70/2738-222

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+ 36 1 282-3852

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XXIInd Ordinary Congress of IFM-SEI

The International Falcon Movement - Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI) held its XXIInd Ordinary Congress in Malmö, Sweden between March 29th and April 1st 2001. The two-person delegation of the Hungarian Childfriends was present there representing the only Hungarian full member organization.

We proudly announce that our Youth Foreign Secretary, Péter Hanti
was elected as Vice-President by the member organizations.

The Hungarian Childfriends thank the work of those people who decided to no longer work in the board of IFM-SEI, especially Odette Lambert who helped us a lot. As a result of her kind help we could join the IFM.

We also congratulate those who were elected into the board and wish a very successful time there!

Our photos from the Congress

associated link:  More photos from the Congress (internal IFM site)
associated link:  IFM-SEI

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"World on a Tightrope"
The Woodcraft Folk International Camp 2001 Sherwood

The Falcons, the youth section of the Hungarian Childfriends organized a summer camp for its members between July 27 - August 12 2001. The camp was the international event of our partner organization The Woodcraft Folk. In there 3600 children of 40 countries participated. We were hosted by Central Barnet (London), a local district of the Woodcraft Folk, who supported us in order to be able to participate on that event. For this we are very thankful and want to thank them on that way as well. The venue of the camp was the 1 squarekilometer area located within the Sherwood Forest, nearby Nottingham.

The first two nights after the travel were spent at the families of our hosts. During their staying the participants get to know the sights of London and the everyday life both day and night. During the camp there were endless possibilities for the participants to entertain themselves, eg. handcrafts, groovie movie, camp radio, newspaper, mediation or the big simulation game "World Summit". And some nights were unforgetable...

Péter Hanti
leader of the Hungarian delegation

Interview with a participant
Interview with an English participant
Interview with a Media Center crew member
  Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI
  Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

Interview with a participant

Hello, what is your name?

Where are you from?

Is it your first time abroad?

How do you like this camp?
Aaah... it's nice but it's a little bit too big, I think. Too many people!

Do you know what the Woodcraft Way is and what is it about?
What is about? Like taking care of the environment and the world, I guess...

What do you like the best here?
All the people! To get to know new people.

And what do you like the worst here?
The rain.

Do you have any message for the Hungarian children?
Nothing much... but join the Woodcraft and come to all the camps you can, and enjoy life!

Thank you very much.
No problem.

Interview with a participant
Interview with an English participant
Interview with a Media Center crew member
Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI
Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

Interview with an English participant

Hi! What's your name?
My name is Sachit.

Where are you from?
I'm from Central Barnet, London.

Is this your first time in a Woodcraft camp?

And in how many have you been?
I've been in each summer since I was 8 years old so for about 9 years.

What do you think about the participation of foreign delegations?
I think they've done a good job but they could have done a bit more.

What were the things you liked the best here?
Colourful atmosphere, the noise we made. I like the DF events and I liked the cooking of the Hungarian delegation.

And what were the worst ones?
I don't like the weather, the rain in the last couple of days. It ruined Hiroshima Day.

What do you get from the Woodcraft Folk?
You get to learn about other people from other countries and stuff like that, that's what I enjoy very much, the different cultures.

Are you totally satisfied with it?
I'm enjoying coming to camps and I enjoy coming to the sessions.

Do you have any message for the Hungarian children?
Yeah, enjoy yourselves and thank you for coming. Come again!

Thank you very much.

Interview with a participant
Interview with an English participant
Interview with a Media Center crew member
Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI
Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

Interview with a Media Center crew member

Hello, who are you?
Hello, I'm Simon Phillips, I'm from Brighton in England.

And what do you do in the camp?
I'm helping to run the camp Media Centre which is running the camp radio, the newspaper, the internet pages and all the computers on camp itself.

Are the participants interested in it?
There's a lot of interest, especially in the radio. We have a lot of people coming in every day, 10 or 20 people coming to do radio articles and to help present live radio shows.

Don't you think it's a boring work after a time?
No, there's always something new interesting, with all the broadcasting news on the camp, rebellions on different places or floods caused by the rain, today we've got the Earth Summit going on which is always great fun, outside broadcasts, you can here live things happening around the camp.

So can you say it is a successful part of the camp?
Certainly very successful. We all have a good time and we think we achieved a lot.

What do you think about the camp in general? How would you evaluate it?
I think the camp's been very positive. We've done a lot and we've got a lot out of it in terms of learning about sustainability and just coming together as a group of people from around the world. We all did a very good work in camp and there's a lot of very good feeling.

So you receive many positive feedbacks, do you?
Certainly, there's a lot of people coming in and in general, people are very high spirited and happy about the camp.

And do you have any message maybe for the Hungarian children?
...(half-minute silence)...come to our next international camp and we hope to see you soon!

Okay, thanks very much!

Interview with a participant
Interview with an English participant
Interview with a Media Center crew member
Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI
Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI

How do you feel yourself now, four months after you were elected as the Secretary General of the IFM-SEI?
I have the feeling that now things start to run. It took me two month to check the situation in the office, questions of financial liquidity, important deadlines etc.. Now we started to develop our projects and implement all these things we decided at the Malmö Congress this year.

How do you evaluate the work of the Executive Committee before the elections?
I spoke with a lot of member organisations during the big events like the IFM -Camp in Wiesen. A lot of people seemed to be very unsatisfied with the situation. Especially the members from Latin America criticised that they were outside of the communication structures and ignored. I saw that some organisation left the IFM or had no contacts. My impression is -and it is not only mine- that the daily work was running but the office was functioning only for itself. There were no initiatives taken by the IFM.

And what do you think about the work of the Executive now?
I think we have a very dynamic new team. Most of the people are the first time in the Executive. At the beginning I expected that we will get problems with so many new EC-members. But we don't have this problem. We started to work seriously and as a team. I want to give an example for the new dynamic. We had a lot of discussions after finishing the last peace project for Middle East and nothing happened. But in June, just 3 months after the election, we had the new Peace Project Association which is now starting to work in Israel and Palestine. Another thing is that we have a new communication structure, we are using more e-mails, we have an e-mail newsletter, we have an own homepage. All those things were done in the first weeks. We get now a lot of reports from the regions, a lot telephone calls and I have the impression that we are working in a closer co-operation than the last EC. So that I think we are in a good way to work as a team.

What do you consider as the most important job to be done in the short term and on the long run?
In the short term, is to continue to develop our communication structures because this is the base. The office in Brussels is very small and has just limited resources but we have a lot of member organisations with a lot of knowledge, with a lot of people who are doing international work like during the International Camp of Woodcraft Folk. To use all this knowledge and all these resources, we need a good communication. This is the first step. The other thing is to look that we have a financial liquidity which is a big problem. But we are on good way.
And for long term my job is to empower the regions. It is necessary to have closer contacts in the regions and joint projects. This must be discussed and developed in the regions. But they must have the possibilities to do it. And the other thing is of course to grow up the IFM-SEI. We have a lot of countries where we do not have any member organisation. We just started to have more contacts and to present the IFM-SEI. I think we are interesting for other organisation. E.g. we have now to Russia where people ask to build up a new children organisation. And it's the same with Poland. So this is a fantastic start.

What are the inner problems of IFM-SEI now?
The actual problem is again the communication. But we are on the way to solve it. The other thing is the financial situation which is not satisfying. That's more a problem we can only solve on a long term. We are dependent of the financial support from the European Commission and Council of Europe. To apply for public support to these two institutions becomes more and more complicate. Especially the Council of Europe has less money for youth work. The result for us to live in this situation is that we cannot e.g. reimburse tickets for our Executive and International Committee meetings. Our goal is to have a situation that it is possible for each organisation - whether they come from the rich part of Western Europe or they come from Third World country - to join our meetings.

Are you satisfied with the support the Executive gives to you?
Yes, I am because we try to work as a team. It's now that the whole board is representing the IFM-SEI and that's a big change and also a support for me. I can't be everywhere at the same time. It's the first time that now Vice-Presidents are going to meetings like to Czech Republic or to the Swedish Congress to present the IFM-SEI. We get a lot of invitations and it's important to be represented at these meetings. People must know who is the IFM-SEI and what are our aims and political positions.

How would you evaluate Peter Hanti's work as a vice-president who is fairly young and do you think he is skilled enough to fulfil such an important duty?
Yes, of course. One thing is that it's the first time that now we have a representative from Eastern Europe. The second point is that he is young, and our idea is to have a younger board than before. Maybe the new dynamic is also depending on the age of the members of the board. A third thing is of course that Peter is one of the persons who participated in several meetings, seminars and two IFM-SEI camps. So he has a lot of knowledge which he can use for this work.

Can he rely on the expertise and financial aid of the Executive and especially you to be able to work successfully and to be able to attend the Executive meetings which has actually a basic importance in working?
Yes, as I told before the financial question is one of the real important questions which cannot be solved very easily. But in the past -that's my experience- we didn't looked enough for new resources and now we started to work together with different foundations and we try to find new grants to support the Vice-Presidents for the work in the regions. This will take a little bit time.

So the IFM-SEI in the future will much more rely on the regional work than before.
Yes, that's one of the demands of the member organisations and one of the things we should do if we want to use the resources and the knowledge of our members.

What is your opinion about the importance of the role of the Hungarian Childfriends in Central and Eastern Europe and do you think it fulfils this part?
The Hungarian Childfriends are one of the solid Eastern-European organisation in the IFM-SEI. We have other organisation which are not as solid as the Childfriends and which are not able to run activities outside of their country. One of the reasons to elect a vice-president from the Hungarian Childfriends is that they are one of the strongest members in Eastern Europe. The task of a vice-president is to develop the region, to get new contacts, to support the other organisations in the region and to find new members in those countries where we are not presented at the moment. It is an important task for the Childfriends to give Peter the necessary support to be able to run his job.

You've mentioned many times the major importance of communications and the problems regarding this. Do you think the communication is sufficient among the members of the Executive now?
The communication is now better than before. But not everything what we decided is implemented. We try to use the new technologies a little bit more than before. But with a small budget we have to use the facilities of our member organisations. At the moment I try to find these possibilities for us. A thing which we have started is our e-mail-newsletter. It has just a minimum of layout. But we need a fast information service for urgent and important things especially deadlines for applications, new projects, new funds etc. And member organisations who are e.g. looking for partner for a project, can also use it. We got some positive feedback during the International Camp in Walesby and we will hopefully receive a lot of feedback, articles and demands for contact address, etc.. This is part of the communication between the head office in Brussels and the member organisations.

How would you evaluate this camp? Do you think it represents the values that IFM-SEI stands for?
It is a little bit more than only presenting our values. There are a lot of new ideas. The importance of ecology is shown by this big simulation game called "World on a Tightrope". That's a very new thing. We haven't discussed in this way before. We had some discussions about sustainable development at the Summer School in the IFM Camp in Hungary. We also had this discussion linked to developments of new liberal politics. But I remember that most of the participants -and we had a lot of participants- came from Asia, from Africa, from Latin America. There were only a few participants from Europe. Now, with this camp, the discussion reached the heart of Western Europe, one of the most developed countries. People become conscious about the world-wide situation and the dependencies. We as children and youth organisations must be conscious about these ecological questions because they are depending to question of equality, solidarity, freedom, justice, etc.

May I ask some personal question? How old are you and what is your family background?
I'm 36 years old. I'm a single and I just moved from Germany to Brussels.

So in the future you will live in Brussels.
Yes. Before I started to work the idea has been to stay most of the time in my office in Bonn and just to be one or two days in Brussels. But most of the organisations and institutions I want to visit have their office in Brussels. So I'm moving to Brussels. For me it's important not to loose the contacts to Germany. I'm involved in the international activities of my organisation and the German Youth Council. That's functioning quite well at the moment.

You told that you are single. And a girlfriend or boyfriend...?
With so much activities the private life is not easy. I'm a really single at the moment. But if I would have a relationship it would be with a man. Like a lot of people know I established in the German organisation a network called Queerforum which is similar to the Rainbow Network here in England. I'm very engaged to include also gay-lesbian transgender people in the organisation. I think we should include all people, all races and all sexual orientation etc. So that we are not only a kind of a white organisation of heterosexual rich men. This is what I did in the past. That's also my biography - to be part of an often excluded group. And that is maybe one of the reasons why I'm also on the international level engaged to look that people stay inside our organisation and become excluded.

And do you plan to emphasise this area in the IFM-SEI?
Yes, but it's more to encourage people to run those things on the international level. Concerning the question of sexual orientation I know that the German and the English organisation are co-operating very well and they will take the initiative to open this to more member organisation. I want also to motivate the member organisations to discuss the question of minorities, not only concerning homosexuality. The reality is that in some organisations - also my own - people with a different cultural background are not represented. People with a Turkish or an African background are also real small minority. We have to ask ourselves why is it like it is and what can we do to change it.

The prejudice against homosexuals is strong in Hungary, only the youngest and the educated ones can accept it. Do you think it can be changed in some years?
I think so because if you look back even in those countries like Scandinavia and the Netherlands which maybe are the most tolerant countries concerning this point, it was also a different situation 20 years ago, maybe the same situation like in Hungary today. But it needs time to change the attitude and to change the way people discussing about it. I think a lot of people do not know exactly what is a gay man or a lesbian woman and that needs a lot of educational work. The best thing is to deal with it like a very natural thing. And then people become more tolerant and can accept that there are different ideas of living together. Youth organisations have a special responsibility and can do a lot to educate for a more tolerant society. I'm very optimistic.

As a closure, do you have any message for the Hungarian children or the Hungarian Childfriends?
For the Hungarian children I hope that they do not get frustrated by the way how politic is running. In Western-Europe youngsters just saying: "We just consume and observe what happens. We don't like the political establishment. So we don't join them and let them do what they want to do." I wish that young people are more engaged even if they do not accept the way politic is running today. But there are other possibilities to be engaged and to struggle for own ideas and visions. My message for the Hungarian Childfriends is to empower young people to be involved in the political affairs, to show them the different ways to be politically engaged and how to raise up the voice: to enjoy demonstrations, to run own groups, to use the Internet, to make music, to paint pictures etc.. There are so many possibilities. I hope the Hungarian Childfriends develop their own work so well that a lot of youngsters and children join them and use this educational possibilities to learn how to create a better world. That's for me education for democracy and the development in Austria and Italy shows how important this is.

Uwe Ostendorff, thank you very much!

Interview with a participant
Interview with an English participant
Interview with a Media Center crew member
Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI
Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

You are hosting this big international event, the Woodcraft Folk 2001 International Camp. The Woodcraft Folk became full member of IFM-SEI on its XXIInd Ordinary Congress in Malmö this year. You were also elected there as Vice-President at the same time. These seem to be quite a lot of things for a simple year. Are you satisfied so far?
Well, yes... The Woodcraft Folk changed its membership status in 1979 and now the programme of IFM is much more in keeping with the Woodcraft Folk policy so changing our status and hosting this big international camp and being in a position to go for the elections was something that we wanted to do. And yes, we are satisfied so far.

Don't you plan to host the next IFM-SEI International Camp in 2003 after the visible success of this camp?
Not at all! No. When we organize a camp it takes so long, this one has taken three years to organize so I don't think, I wouldn't personally recommend it. And so I think we will support the plans where it to be as well.

Do you feel in any way that this camp has any deficiency or something that should have been done previously?
Oh yes, always. One can think about how we can do things in a different way. When we evaluate the camp I think we will look at what we were unable to achieve in the programme. We did something that was never been done before and I think when we do evaluate it we will see what could have been done differently. But the weather was the main limiting factor for us.

What do you consider as the greatest and most important task for you as Vice-President for IFM-SEI?
I think to try and see if we can co-ordinate activities at a European level to maximise the opportunities that exist or exchanges and training courses not just at a European level but also with the Mediterranean and Latin American countries. I believe as we pay the taxes we should also try to get the benefits from citizens' taxes in positive way. And it's available, we just need to make sure that we take those opportunities out available.

How much do you think you can rely on the Executive or on any member of it in fighting this?
Oh, that's a difficult question because there are people who are unknown to me but they also have the same problems as I do. They are busy in their own organization. Some people could probably devote more time but they can't attend the meetings so the proposal that came from meeting within the camp of the Vice-Presidents of using the internet to have virtual conferencing that can be more inclusive. So those who don't have the opportunity to travel can still be linked. So that would improve things.

The Woodcraft Folk and the Hungarian Childfriends are in co-operation for years now. The Woodcraft Folk helped us many times - in financial ways too - for which we are really thankful. Do you believe in the widening of common projects in the future since both you as Secretary General of the Woodcraft Folk and our Youth Foreign Secretary became Vice-Presidents?
There are opportunities to co-operate. One example: some districts are hosting training events or other "non-summer camp activities" in the winter or the autumn and in such things the Hungarian Childfriends could be a partner in that process. An example is, my own local district working with Latvia, Denmark, Sweden and Finland in a project at Cuddam in November. And projects like this where we make an application that travel costs are fully supported, those initiatives can be extended and I think that is something what we can develop further. And also we have been working with the Finnish organization, and we've sent people to their training courses and we provided the tutors and now we are going to invite them to one of our training courses so I think these examples are a way of also working closer with the Hungarian Childfriends, do something similar. And if you are willing and we have a project where we want to include Hungary as a partner, then that's something what we can do in the next two years.

So can we rely on your -possible financial- help in financing travel costs, for instance?
Well, the point is, the opportunity for us to the make the applications to the European Union is something that we are doing and done if you know this camp already, and so we intend to still make those applications because we're in a position to do that. So the answer is yes.

Do you have any closing word or any message for the Hungarian Childfriends or the Hungarian children in general?
Oh I think yes, it's true to say that we consider the Hungarian Childfriends our lead Hungarian organization. We do work with another Hungarian partners but not as successful as we are working with the Childfriends and I think the fact that you're one of the two volunteers here is a kind of evidence of our stronger bond between the two organizations. And I think for us next year will be a year when the focus will be moving to other countries and I think that gives an opportunity to consider our future co-operation. But the other aspect is, we need the invitations quite early to be able to take the opportunities. So if there's an event in Hungary we need to know quite early because we calendar and diary our events quite a long way in advance so if the invitation comes just four weeks before or something like this that would be very difficult but if it comes a long way ahead... For instance if we wanted to do something together in the summer we need to make an application in February. So they're just some practical examples but yes, the closing remarks are that yes, I think we can develop our work together and I'm sure that we will try and do this.

Thank you very much.
OK. Cheers!

Interview with a participant
Interview with an English participant
Interview with a Media Center crew member
Interview with Uwe Ostendorff, Secretary General of IFM-SEI
Interview with Andy Piercy, Secretary General of Woodcraft Folk

to the beginning of the article
to the beginning of the interviews
to the Declaration
to the camp pictures

associated link:  Woodcraft Folk International Camp 2001

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Declaration by Woodcraft Folk International Camp 2001

The background:
Woodcraft Folk IC2001 brought together 4,000 young people including 700 international delegates from over 30 countries across the world. During the 2 week camp which had sustainability as its theme the young people set up groups who looked at food, energy, waste, health & housing, education, labour, peace & conflict, and culture. Activity centres included workshops on alternative energy sources, peace, development education. Cinema and music events were powered by solar and pedal power. Two Earth Summit meetings were held with representatives aged from 6 to 20 years.

The declaration:
This Earth Summit of Woodcraft Folk International Camp 2001 declares that in pursuit of the hopes and desires of this gathering of young people, action must be taken across the world to make our global environment sustainable for the benefit of all people now and for future generations. In this way we seek to pursue our motto: “Span the World with Friendship”.

We find there is no limit to the issues that affect a sustainable world. Cutting levels of carbon emissions will slow global warming but will not solve inequalities in the world. It is not sufficient to reduce environmental issues to recycling, for example. Other wider issues have an impact. Environmental sustainability is not just about the action we take on the physical environment but is also about how economic systems, culture, and conflict impact upon the physical environment.

A prime example of how these issues interlink is the current project to build a dry canal in Nicaragua which will destroy livelihoods, rain forests with unique species, and create a cheap labour zone, and let in foreign companies and foreign government interests, with no democratic mandate from the Nicaraguan people.

In particular we seek the inclusion of the following articles in the decisions of the Rio + 10 Earth Summit:
  1. Food production and associated markets should promote reasonably priced organic, non genetically modified, and locally produced food as a move towards sustainable living, and fair prices for farmers.
  2. People seeking refuge in another country should not face persecution and lengthy administrative processes.
  3. We demand that governments and multi-national companies stop contributions to global warming and other problems by human activity. Renewable energy sources must increasingly be used in place of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Total dependence on renewable sources of energy should be reached in time.
  4. A sustainable world is one where the rights of the child as written in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are universally respected. We demand these rights be implemented.
  5. We call for the end of multinational sponsorship of public institutions (eg. schools and medical services) and demand that governments meet the needs of these institutions.
  6. There should be clean water and equal access to health care worldwide. We call for action to preserve and not pollute clean water supplies. Whilst this need is commonly accepted it has not been achieved. Now do it.
  7. With the aim of establishing global equality we demand that the national debts of the world’s poorest countries be immediately cancelled.
  8. Violent conflict between peoples damages environmental and social sustainability. We demand that governments try and use methods for resolving conflicts that do not involve violence, that promote cooperation instead of competition, and that respect the hopes and desires of all young people.
  9. Young people do not have enough opportunity to have their opinions heard by decision-makers. We therefore call on all governments to include young people in a meaningful way in determining their lives.
Adopted 9 August 2001

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Stetement of IFM-SEI on a Hungarian case
accepted by the International Committee Meeting in Berlin (18.11.2001)

The International Committee of the International Falcon Movement - Socialist Educational International expresses the solidarity with the two children and their family who were put out of their temporarily flat last week in Hungary.

Those states, so the Hungarian Republic as well, who signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child -which will be 12 years old on the 20th of November- accepted to consider the interests of the children as supreme interests, which importance stand above all others. According to this, the governments ensure all children`s right for a life standard that enables a proper physical, spiritual, moral and social development for them.

We shall not ignore such an action, standing against all our values. We cannot accept in the beginning of the XXIst century, that the basic children rights are not taken into consideration and the children in the greatest need are put out to the street together with their families. Those children need proper and satisfying home, education and family. We demand that these should be given to them immediately.

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Ist International Childfriend Festival
Sepsiszentgyörgy (Romania) June 29-July 7 2002

Together in Europe for the Childfriend Society!

Moral patrons were:

Álmos Albert
     Mayor of Sepsiszentgyörgy
Heinz Fischer
     President of the Austrian Parliament
László Kovács
     Foreign Minister
     President of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)
Béla Markó
     President of the Association of Democratic Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ)
Adrian Severin
     former Foreign Minister
     President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The three national flags on a white field put onto the top of three green tents (Austrian, Romanian, Hungarian). The heart keeps them together.

Link: Pictures from the Festival

Reply letter of Béla Markó to our request


Association of Democratic Hungarians in Romania

Federal Presidency Seat

21 September 2001

Dear Mr. President!

I thankfully accept your honouring request to be a moral patron of the International Childfriend Festival in Sepsiszentgyörgy during July 2002.

Friendly regards,

Béla Markó

Reply letter of Adrian Severin to our request

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

The President

19 October 2001

Dear Mr. Vilmos Hanti!

I appreciate very much the initiative taken by the Movement of Hungarian Childfriends to organize the 1st International Childfriend Festival in Romania, next year.

I am convinced that organizing such an event is a good opportunity to assess and positively respond to the needs of the children from our countries. I am glad Romania has been chosen as the first host of the Festival and I shall be honoured to be one of the moral patrons.

With friendship,

Adrian Severin

Link: Pictures from the Festival

Festival Report

On the summer of 2002 between 29 June and 7 July the Hungarian Childfriends organized the first International Childfriend Festival in Sf. Gheorghe, Transylvania, Romania in co-operation with its transborder organization and the Austrian Kinderfreunde-Rote Falken to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its refoundation in 1992 after the changes in East Europe.

Originally the movement was founded in 1917 in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy along the Kinderfreunde, as the Hungarian Workers’ Childfriend Association. Later it was banned twice, first by the Nazi-vassal extreme right Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, later by the extreme left at the dawn of the one-party system, both in the 1940s. After almost half century of this forced intermission it was reorganized in 1992 as the Movement of Hungarian Childfriends and became a full member of IFM-SEI in 1997, at the year of the International Camp in Zanka, Hungary. Today we have 67 local organizations throughout Hungary and 3 more transborder ones in Voivodina (Serbia), Subcarpathia (Ukraine) and Uplands (Slovakia). Though Hungary had 4 years of conservative regime we are keen on the children’s issues and do our best for their interest.

The motto of the Festival was: „Together in Europe for the childfriend society”. The event had a large supporting body, not mentioning the moral patrons: Adrian Severin (former Foreign Minister, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), Almos Albert (Mayor of Sf. Gheorghe), Heinz Fischer (President of the Austrian Parliament), Laszlo Kovacs (Foreign Minister, President of the Hungarian Socialist Party) and Bela Marko (President of the party Democratic Association of Hungarians in Romania). The participating children were mainly 10-16 year-olds from Austria (12), Romania (20) and Hungary (40).

A solidarity action was made by the Austrian and Hungarian side what ensured the free participation of these 20 Romanian children who couldn’t pay for themselves otherwise. Therefore the official languages of the whole Festival (including the Festival Newspaper too) was German, Romanian and Hungarian. The programme consisted of elements like coach excursions, workshops, national nights with traditional programme and stylish dinner, etc. Many of the programmes were open for everyone interested from the town.

1st day: start of the coach travel, incl. sightseeing and commemoration at Arad, the city of the 1849 executions.
2nd day: arrival in the early morning, later: Opening Ceremony in the City Theatre, torch march on the streets.
3rd day: Walk tour in the city, getting to know the town. Romanian Night.
4th day: Full-day coach excursion to famous historical sights and other places.
5th day: Workshops, Austrian Night.
6th day: Half-day coach excursion to a traditional village. Hungarian Night. Memorial inauguration by Uwe Ostendorff.
7th day: Working groups. Closing Ceremony set and run by participating children.
8th day: Set off for Budapest. During the travel, bathing in Algyogy and visiting the castle of Deva.

At the end of the Festival IFM-SEI Secretary General Uwe Ostendorff inaugurated a memorial on the spot to let the people remember this very first big initiative. He and FACC Chair Thomas Wengler were guests of the Festival. The participants constructed and accepted a Declaration in harmony with the theme of the Festival, children rights.

Closing Declaration of the participants
of the 1st International Childfriend Festival

Between 29th June and 7th July 2002 in Sepsiszentgyörgy (Romania) the Movement of Hungarian Childfriends organized the International Childfriend Festival to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its refoundation. The participating children investigated, what are the most important further duties of the governments of their countries (Austria, Hungary, Romania) for the more successful realization of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The participants accepted the following closing declaration that will be sent to the three PMs of the three countries.

The participating children of the 1st International Childfriend Festival acknowledge the measures of the state leaders that they exerted so far to exercise the rights of the child. We found out on our Festival that from the 3 countries’ participants the Austrian children have the best knowledge and good examples about children rights.

We wish that in all countries the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child would get greater attention and would be entirely attained. We ask our countries’ governments to ensure more possibilities for the children and adults to get acquainted with children rights. The adults shall take into consideration our interests above all during decision-making. We ask to have much more possibilities to make friendships and get to know each other with the neighbouring countries’ children, the border crossing shouldn’t take hours. During decision-making, the adults shall keep an eye on the rights that are linked to children with the freedom of opinion, healthy and safe environment, learning of the own language, learning of the respect for other cultures. We ask the public figures to set children a good example. The televisions shall broadcast open programmes of high standard that look out to the world instead of aggressive and vacant ones. Our governments shall respect the organizations fighting for children rights.

The participants of the Festival rejoice at the meetings of their countries’ leaders to strengthen their contacts but also ask them to speak about the enforcement of children rights.

Sf. Gheorghe (Romania), 5 June 2002

The Hungarian Childfriends - becoming brave of the big success and also learning from that experience - organizes the 2nd International Childfriend Festival in 5-13 July 2003 in Sf. Gheorghe.
For this Festival all interested organizations are welcome to join – up to our and the place’s capabilities.
The motto of the 2nd International Childfriend Festival is „Together in Europe against racism”. If your group is interested feel free to contact us at !

Link: Pictures from the Festival

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2nd International Childfriend Festival
Sf. Gheorghe (Transylvania, Romania) 5-13 July 2003

Together in Europe against racism!

The Movement of Hungarian Childfriends was refounded in 1992 and therefore organized the 1st International Childfriend Festival in 2002 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
(Article+Report+Declaration on the Museum page!)

The Hungarian Childfriends this year organized the 2nd International Childfriend Festival in 5-13 July 2003 in Sf. Gheorghe.
The motto of the 2nd International Childfriend Festival was „Together in Europe against racism”.
Please feel free to contact us at for more information!

Link: About the 1st Festival (including its Report and Declaration)
Link: Pictures from the 1st Festival, 2002

Link: Pictures of the 2nd International Childfriend Festival

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3rd International Childfriend Festival
Sf. Gheorghe (Transylvania, Romania) 26 June - 4 July 2004

Together in Europe against discrimination!

After the previous years' positive feedback (1st year, 2nd year), this summer the Hungarian Childfriends organised the 3rd International Childfriend Festival again.

The third festival hosted more than 100 people, more than ever before. They came from 4 countries: apart from the Hungarian Childfriends there came also a group from Nuoret Kotkat (Finland), a group from "Gyermekekért" (Romania) and 2 groups from Woodcraft Folk (Great Britain).

The theme of the festival was discrimination, the participants could learn the local and international experiences and participate on a conference where they could also listen to renowned Szekler experts.

There were of course other interesting programmes like the country nights, coach excursions, workshops, the village day, etc.

But what did the participants say after the festival?

"I didn't find nothing what I didn't like in the camp. Everything was so perfect. Except that Finnish flag xD It was wrong. But it's ok... :)"
Kati from Finland (Nuoret Kotkat)

"I liked the English people very much, especially those who came from the group of 23 people from Gloucester. It was so lovely that everybody really came to our country!!!"
Young person from Romania (Gyermekekért)

"We had a brilliant time and the programme was very well organised and well balanced."
"The hospitality and friendliness of everyone was fantastic!"
Leaders from Gloucester and Cheltenham (Woodcraft Folk)

"The organised activities made the experience even more memorable."
"Some highlights were: the swim in the volcanic lake, the bearskin trick, the International football tournament, DIY Disco, Sculpture garden, campfire."
"I loved the whole camp, great people, great activities. Thanks for inviting us. See you again soon."
"It was amazing. I want to go back. It was lush and everything was so cheap."
Young people from Gloucester and Cheltenham (Woodcraft Folk)

"I think I had the week of my life."
Young person from Hungary (Hungarian Childfriends)

"It is so wonderful here, so much different from any other camp I've been in!"
Young person from Wimbledon (Woodcraft Folk)

Link: About the 1st Festival (including its Report and Declaration)
Link: Pictures from the 1st Festival, 2002
Link: About the 2nd Festival, 2003
Link: Pictures from the 2nd Festival, 2003

Link: Pictures of the 3rd International Childfriend Festival

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