Date: 14-12-2023

A former mayor become an early childhood development advocate in Hungary


A former mayor become an early childhood development advocate in Hungary

In the picturesque Hungarian settlement of Rábapatán, Kálmán Jutasi's transition from former mayor to a passionate advocate for early childhood development is a testament to the transformative power of community engagement and compassion. Alongside his wife, Kálmán is raising eight children, giving him a unique perspective on the significance of community support for families. Kálmán has gained invaluable insights into the intricacies of community dynamics and the requirements for children's proper physical and mental development. 

After serving as the mayor of this tight-knit community for eight years, Kálmán transitioned to become the head of the employment department at the Csorna employment center. It was during this period that he recognized numerous shortcomings in the local labor market, where job seekers encountered substantial challenges. 

Kálmán and his wife have long been dedicated volunteers at the Red Cross Directorate of Győr-Moson-Sopron County, contributing to various charitable initiatives. Their latest mission involves joining the efforts of Partners Hungary Foundation and the International Step by Step Association to implement the Primokiz approach. The approach aims to establish local teams and networks which bring together the different sectors, institutions, and stakeholders, and support them to work together effectively for responsive quality and equitable early childhood services for children from birth to six years of age. It is designed to create a comprehensive strategy for the well-being and early childhood development of young children. Kálmán believes it will be integral in alleviating some of the hardships related to poverty and exclusion of minority groups in his community.  

Kálmán emphasizes that poverty and exclusion are not unique to Eastern Hungary; communities in the west of the country are also affected. Many people struggle with the burden of home loans and unemployment and require guidance on how to reenter the job market. Kálmán and his team are determined to provide these individuals with essential skills for job interviews, CV writing, and reintegration into active life so they can care for their children. 

Their program, set to launch soon, will not only focus on job seekers but also prioritize the well-being of the youngest members of Győrszemere. They aim to collaborate with local specialists to develop a municipal strategy that unifies the efforts of various institutions. Kálmán envisions a holistic approach where Sure Start Houses, nurseries, kindergartens, schools, health visitors, general practitioners, minority self-governments, family helpers, and child welfare services come together. 

This innovative strategy, initiated with the support of the local Mayor, is set to commence in August. Kálmán Jutasi's remarkable journey from mayor to mentor underscores the importance of a united and compassionate community effort in addressing the needs of both adults and, most importantly, the youngest generation. 

The work of ISSA and  Partners Hungary  Foundation  in this area is supported by Minderoo Foundation. 

The image used in this article depicts the locla team working in Győrszemere and is courtesy of Partners Hungary  Foundation.