Our foundation, the ‘Real Pearl’ (‘Igazgyöngy’) has been active for 11 years in an area located in the east of Hungary, near the Romanian boarder, which is one of the 33 most disadvantaged micro-regions of the country. We also operate the Igazgyöngy Basic Art Education Institute, which provides an opportunity of creative activity at 6 different locations for 670 children coming from 23 different settlements. The students of the institute have won close to 500 awards at national and international competitions. Our methods have attracted great interest in Hungary and abroad as well. Nearly 70% of the students are underprivileged, of whom around 250 live in deep poverty. The majority of these children are Roma.
We aim to show that talent is present everywhere, and great treasures are lost if these children’s potentials are not fulfilled due to their circumstances. Art is just one of many examples of this potential. We hope the public will realize that instead of stereotypes, these children need to be known, and instead of rejection they need to be supported, so that they can find their own place in society when they grow up.
In recent years the foundation’s activities have broadened from providing education to social services, primarily to the families of the pupils (however in some cases these extend to other individuals in the region who do not have a family, but are just as well in need of help). These activities range from distributing aid (clothes, food, wood, building materials, transportation, etc) and very importantly advice on, and assistance with dealing with crises (e.g. collapsed roofs, illness or court cases) or understanding how to deal with authorities and official procedures.