Need is seen up close

Zoltán Ötves, Accenture employee, contacted me in April this year with the intention to join our volunteer team and spend his free time doing something good.

After a long discussion, we decided that he would start volunteering at the Emmaus Children’s Home, where his experience and professional skills would allow him to hold weekly sessions for children to learn how to use computers.

“The idea is to familiarize them with the digital world, to teach them how to use computers, how to use the internet, etc. I think they will need it, it will help them to find a job, to integrate, it will help them in their everyday life. Unfortunately, you can’t rely completely on school education, because there is still a lack of proper IT education in our country” – said Zoli.

The children’s home had only one laptop, so it soon became clear, that this is not enough and for an effective work more computers are needed. “It’s difficult to manage with just one old laptop, it would be better if everyone had access to one, they could use them in parallel and do the tasks. It became clear that we needed computers and equipment” – said Zoli.

“Then summer came and kids went home, time, during which I thought I’d ask my colleagues and friends if they had a computer, mouse, tablet, anything they could donate to help the kids’ digital development, so they’d have something when coming back in the autumn. Since the company where I work has an IT profile, there was a chance I could collect a few items from my colleagues. Meanwhile, we managed to get three good computers and a laptop, two mice, a tablet and an old computer, which we will disassemble into parts to examine them piece by piece then reassemble them, so that the boys can assemble. A space was set up for this purpose in the home, and the machines were checked by Caritas`s system administrator, so they were all ready-to-use, and children welcomed them with enthusiasm and excitement” – continued Zoli the strorytelling. In the meantime, the company offered used screens in good condition, so that children could finally start regular activities.

The successful donation was followed by another one, as every year the company pays attention to organizing fundraising activities that improve society. This time they chose the children’s home, which they wanted to support. Around 30 colleagues participated in this action and a total of 3000 RON was collected, which the company complemented with another 2000 RON. A part of the amount was used to buy cleaning products, school equipment, toys, toiletries, nappies for the younger children and a ping-pong table for the older children. The rest of the money was transferred to the current account of the children’s home.

I asked Zoli why he thought it was important to take this cause into his own hands and donate the items he received and bought to the orphanage. “Giving is good, and one can`t just donate material things like money or different objects, but time, service, knowledge, experience and care as well. I think, if someone feels that they are good on a certain field, they have learned a profession, they have gained some life experience – no matter on what field – , or you they have gathered some knowledge and experience from everyday activities or hobbies, sooner or later there may come a moment when they would feel: it`s worth sharing this experience, it’s also a value, and can create a value. This was my first intention, and who would be more receptive, more curious, more open, more interested than children. This is a challenge, of course, because you have to find methods to catch their attention so that you can involve them in activities.

I think it’s important for children, who don’t have the opportunity to use digital tools at home, to learn and to gain experience as adults, which will help them to find jobs and integrate in the society more easily. Without tools, this is impossible. These tools and equipment are also quite expensive. So, this is where the intention came from, later the need and idea, that donations would help them buy at least a part of the necessary equipment, and finally we succeeded. This fortunately coincided with a fundraising campaign at my workplace and as there was no specific goal yet, with the help of a dear colleague and friend, we managed to collect for Emmaus Children’s Home, so everything fitted and worked out as well as possible! Thank you all!” – ended Zoli our interview.

We would like to thank Zoltán Ötves again for his work, from the idea to the implementation, for his colleagues and friends for their donations, and last but not least, for the Accenture company for their support.

We also thank the Bethlen Gábor Fund for their support!

Written by: Gyöngyvér Csilla Fekete, coordinator
Translated by: Orsolya Barabás