Family Friendly Settlements Expo

We organized a one day long professional and family program in Kecskemét under the title Family Friendly Settlements Expo, where numerous family friendly towns and villages, professional and civil organizations dedicated to the cause of families participated. The event held at the Hírös Agóra Cultural and Youth Center was opened by the mayor of Kecskemét, who called families the most important cornerstones of life. Klaudia Szemereyné Pataki pointed out that their city has been cooperating with family organizations such as the National Association of Large Families (NOE), the Single Parents’ Centre and the Mária Kopp Institute (KINCS) for the past ten years and the cooperation agreement just signed further strengthens this alliance.

The Secretary of State responsible for families of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation (KIM) spoke about the results of the past 14 years, as well as the Hungarian family support system covering the entire life course, which is unique in the whole world and a true Hungaricum. Dr. Ágnes Hornung said that significant progress has been made in the three main areas of family policy since 2010, and the constantly expanding Hungarian family support system - from home creation and renovation subsidies to family tax benefits - now includes more than thirty forms of family support.

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Public Administration and Regional Development praised the activities of Professor Mária Kopp and her husband, Árpád Skrabski, who believed that the Hungarian future can only be built on healthy families. According to Dr. Csaba Latorcai, we Hungarians are perhaps few in the world, but what we believe, profess and implement about families is exemplary and unique. As he said, the government has been working since 2010 to ensure that strong families form the backbone of the nation, both mentally, spiritually and financially, on which the survival of the nation can be ensured. That is why they will continue to provide all support in the future so that the desired children can be born.

Tünde Fűrész emphasized that the most important resources of successful settlements in Hungary are the families living there. According to the president of KINCS, only those countries and settlements have a future where families like to live and feel comfortable. That is why their support and protection is the responsibility of the local governments, in addition to the state, as well as the civil and church organizations, the media and the actors of economic life, in accordance with our pivotal law.

Károly Szita praised the government's family support system, to which local governments - in his opinion - only need to add their own knowledge and experience. The mayor of Kaposvár said that for those who plan to start a family, the most crucial things are to have their own home and good financial conditions. It is also important to create a good atmosphere (kindergarten, school, playgrounds) and conditions in their settlement.

Jenő Schmidt, president of the National Association of Local Governments (TÖOSZ) emphasized that a settlement is also like a family, and the smaller a family, the more cohesive it is. He also spoke about the fact that more than half of Hungarians currently live in cities, and there problems of a completely different nature appear than in smaller settlements. He emphasized that the task of local governments is to ensure the best possible conditions for living and raising children in the given town or village.

At the Family Friendly Settlements Expo in Kecskemét, towns and villages committed to the cause of families presented their programs at a round table discussions titled ’Family Friendly Cities and Settlements’. At the professional discussions, Klaudia Szemereyné Pataki, mayor of Kecskemét, Csaba Dióssi, mayor of Dunakeszi, József Michl, mayor of Tata, Mónika Sótonyi, municipal representative of the General Assembly of the City of Veszprém, László István Kuris, deputy mayor of Kiskunhalas, Jenő Schmidt, mayor of Tab and Endre Szebellédi mayor of Nagymágocs took part. The discussions were moderated by Tünde Fűrész and András Székely.

At the Family Friendly Settlements Expo, the professional programs were followed by a performance by Ciróka Puppet Theatre, who entertained the children with László Vitéz, one of the legendary figures of Hungarian theater culture. There was also a performance by Kecskemét Dance Ensemble and the little ones had the chance to sing with Ringato, the winner of the Hungarian Heritage Award.

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