Children must be encouraged to develop a sense of Hungarian identity, patriotism, and be aware of the fact that the Hungarian nation is united both within and outside its borders. The “Without Borders” program is an excellent opportunity for this, the State Secretary for Hungarian Communities Abroad at the Prime Minister’s Office said in Budapest on Monday.
According to Árpád János Potápi, 1,510 valid applications were received for the program, of which 997 were funded. Seventy-two percent of the trips were organized in Transylvania (Romania), 14 percent in Slovakia, five percent in Vojvodina (Serbia), three percent in Croatia, and six percent in Prekmurje (Slovenia).
The aim of the program is that every student studying in Hungarian public education should visit a cross-border area at least once during their studies and experience that there are Hungarians living outside Hungary, the state secretary emphasized.
He pointed out that the program, launched in 2011, and fully supported by the government, is not just an excursion, as
the children are thoroughly prepared for the destination and the region during the weeks before leaving for the trip.
Since the launch of the “Without Borders” program, more than 10,000 study trips have been organized with the participation of over 520,000 Hungarian schoolchildren, the state secretary said.
Potápi added that the program has a budget of HUF 4 billion (EUR 10.36 million), and the amount of the funding available for each group can range from HUF 500,000 (EUR 1295) to HUF 5 million (EUR 12953). As he explained, they would like to increase the budget to allow groups currently on the waiting list to join the program.
Visits to local producers and farms have been added to the optional elements of the program, and a visit of a well-known local personality has been also considered as an extra credit in the application. Skiing was also allowed in the Szekler counties in Romania, he added.
Potápi stressed that the most important goal of the program is to strengthen the Hungarian identity and patriotism of children. He also pointed out that “the Hungarian nation is united, regardless of whether we live inside or outside the country’s borders.”
Via Ungarn Heute, Featured image: Facebook/Határtalanul 2023