Aktuális / Beszámoló

Succesful, straightforward and human – report on non-violent communication training


If you feel like „if not me, nobody will ever” because somebody is always expecting something from you, so anger has accumulated inside you, than go and participate in the training of Non-violent Communication at the School of Public Life.

„Never,” „nobody,” „all the time,” „always,” „somebody” are the keywords of violent communication and if you hear yourself use them often, it is very likely that neither you nor the people in your environment communicate non-violently.

On one hand, communication is necessary. On the other, it is good. You will be shocked if you go through with the two trainers the endless verbal and non-verbal labyrinths of manipulation, sub- and superordination and harmful communication.

You will be especially surprised when you get to know the small but powerful toolkit of non-violent communication. Respectful asking or telling, spiced with some empathy and some eye contact - without blame and vague references. Clean, simple, free from frippery.  Succesful, straightforward and human. Hard, but not impossible.

And, I think, it is the natural need of many many people. But we have to learn non-violence again because the games that we are forced into during our lives make us forget open communication that aims at consensus.

I am happy that I could take a really interesting journey in the honest world of words and gestures.

I recommend for everyone to get a taste of this training (too) at the School of Public Life!

Andrea Csengei

Photo: István Várady

„I learnt a lot about human rights and I know where I can get legal help” – report on the course in the prison of Eger


„I learnt a lot about human rights and now I know where I can go for legal support. We have heard about issues that we don’t get to know in everyday life” – this is how one participants summarized what she learned at the training on citizenship co-held by the School of Public Life and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. The training was held in the fall semester of the 2016/2017 academic year and its aim was to raise awareness about the opportunities for the enforcement of civic, democratic and fundamental rights and to develop participants’ abilities for self-advocacy. The course took place in a women’s prison in Eger and we were happy to see many returning participants: around half of the 18 women had already participated in our training on social inequalities held in the same institution in the previous semester.

At the beginning of the course, we got to know universal human rights. Participants discussed the rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and tried to agree on which ones were the most important for them. Although not every group managed to reach a consensus on the 10 most important human rights, the discussions were good and participants tried to convince each other with strong arguments. From the discussion, it became clear that human rights cannot be divided and are mutually related, creating a uniform system, where it is not possible to get rid of one element without endangering the others.

During our next session, we studied the relationship between civil, political and social rights and examined the importance of self-determination with the help of a simulation game. First, we looked at signing a contract with a phone service provider, entering into a loan agreement and submitting a request for social aid. Second, using a real medical information package, we checked the conditions for self-determination in the health care system, which information is useful for patients to make responsible decisions, and how to assert our right to information.

Then, we studied the role of the state, constitutionalism and the rule of law and we also discussed the advantages of democracy and the deficiency of the democratic institutions. In this context, we clarified the most important things we need to know in order to exercise our right to vote (within and outside the prison), and we also listed the opportunities of civic participation in between two elections. The participants had many questions about different types of elections and about how someone can become a candidate. From the conversation it became clear that before the training participants had little knowledge about the right to be elected, but our discussion made them realize its importance. Some participants expressed an interest in becoming elected representatives for their own communities.

During the last few sessions, participants got to know the institutional system of the state of Hungary. We focused on what kind of cases belong to which authority, law court or institution, and where we can go if we want to practice our civil rights. We dedicated a separate class to the topic of discrimination and the possible actions against it. Participants found these classes particularly useful. At the end of the course, we dealt with the rights of detainees and opportunities for advocacy after their release.

We ended the training by playing Sociopoly, a board game that simulates life in small-town Hungary. Participants couldn’t wait to try if they would succeed in breaking out of poverty. Then, sadly, what we learnt together is that regardless of the strategies they chose, it was almost impossible to break out of the desperate situation that many small towns and villages are locked in. It is clear that the only path, according to what the participants learned during the training, is: „we need to stand up for our rights” and „we cannot give up”.

Based on the experiences of this year’s training, we want to improve this course in the following ways:

1.     The detainees have noticed the decline of democratic institutions and the rule of law and their life circumstances before detention and after release are often characterized by vulnerability to state institutions. So, in the future, we will narrow the detailed exploration of the ideals of democracy and the rule of law, because participants are aware of this ideals – precisely because of their vulnerability. (In short, state institutions should operate exactly the opposite of how they treat these people today.) Instead, we are planning to put more emphasis on the development and acquisition of civic skills and knowledge for advocacy in today’s Hungary. We will also try to clear some of the more abstract questions about democracy and the rule of law through practical examples such as the difference between legal aid and interest-based advocacy

2.     In the future – during the courses held for people outside penitentiary institution – participants will have to develop an independent civic project and demonstrate an action plan. We would like all participants to think about how they could use the tool-kit gained at the training when they fight against social injustice. The others would give feedback about the action plans, so that participants in the future would use what they will have learnt immediately for the problems they experience in their environment or everyday life.

3.     In groups where trying different „life strategies” during Sociopoly is not particularly new because participants have already tried these in real life, we will pay particular attention to rework the game in a way that can help participants learn new ways of responding to injustice. If this game cannot be adopted to the needs and interests of the groups, we will try and find another game to end the training with.

Mariann Dósa and Attila Mráz

Miközben másoktól tanultunk, a saját erőinket fedeztük fel - beszámoló az önkormányzati képzésről


Még fél éve sincs, hogy Szegeden elkezdtem önkénteskedni egy szexuális kisebbségekkel foglalkozó informális csoportnál, így mindig keresem azokat az alkalmakat, amikor többet megtudhatok a közösségszervezés és érdekvédelem alapvetéseiről. Ezért is nagy várakozással indultam neki a Közélet Iskolája legújabb képzésének, és nem kellett csalódnom.

Ahogy korábban, úgy most is egy sokszínű társaságba csöppentem, akik között találtam civileket, önképzőket, de olyanokat is, akik egy adott pártcsaládot képviseltek a kétnapos képzés során. Az pedig külön öröm volt számomra, hogy az önkormányzatiság témáját feldolgozó képzésre nem egyedül, hanem másik két csoporttaggal együtt érkezhettem. Velük a közösségünket is érintő önkormányzati vállalásokat és azok remélt hatásait én is komplexebb módon fel tudtam mérni, mindezt a jövő évi önkormányzati választásokra való felkészülés jegyében, amikor különösen nagy szükség lesz az érdekérvényesítő szerepünkre, hogy számunkra is elfogadható döntések szülessenek helyi politikai szinten. Miközben másoktól, tőletek tanultunk, valójában a saját erőinket fedeztük fel.

Köszönöm a Közélet Iskolájának azt a platformot, ahol a vélemények szabadon és bátran megütközhettek!"

Hegedűs Gábos, önkéntes aktivista, Szegedi LMBT Közösségért Csoport

Fotók a képzésről >>>

Fotó: Várady István

I thank a lot of new information to these two days – report on the strategic planning training


I was looking forward to these two days since I had the chance at a previous training to get a short insight into strategic planning. I definitely felt that the Living indepentently - in a community group, which I represented during the weekend, has a great need for this to operate more effectively.

The training was held by Borbála Iványi and Tessza Udvarhelyi, who shared with us a lot of practical examples and experiences over the two days. The aim of the first session, after a short introduction, was to get to know as much as possible about each other’s organzations, ant to make it clear where we all are the process of creating our own strategies. It turned out soon that we were quite a diverse group: somebody had a well developed strategy which was evaluated regularly with the other members of the organization, while others just recently formed their groups.

After lunch, all of us had to imagine what the world would like like where we wanted to live. On one hand, we talked about our own personal images and then we talked about the ideal world for our groups. The second part may have been harder for those who represented an organization on their own – such as me -, as I was not sure about how my own and my group's common image were similar or different.

In the morning of the second day we got to know the basics of strategic planning. We talked about the difference between vision and mission, the theory of change, and how long and short-term goals are derived from these. By the time we had discussed all the steps of the planning process, it became more clear to me how important it was that our everyday actions also helpe the realization of he mission, even though we often tend to forget about this.

After the theoretical introduction, everybody had to work out their own organization’s vision, mission and theory of change and then we talked about a few of these. For recreation, we played a strategic game, which was interesting and at the same time difficult because we had to resolve a problem without using any form of interaction.

The most exciting part of the training came Sunday afternoon, when we started to plan together the strategy of two organizations – The City is for All Pécs and Civil Kotta from Szentendre. On the one hand, it was very interesting to experience how strategic planning works in practice. On the other hand, it was good to play the role of a member of another organization and give them advice.

I received a lot of new information over these two days. Besides learning a lot from Bori and Tessza, it was instructive to hear other organizations’ experiences and problems as well. Now I can understand more clearly the process of strategic planning and I think that the knowledge I have gained will become valuable when we fill the various steps of strategy with actual content.

Zóra Molnár

Hogyan szervezzünk csoportot? - Laura beszámolója

Unknown title
on youtube

A Közélet Iskolájában 2018. szeptember 1-2-án tartottuk a "Hogyan szervezzünk csoportot?" című alapképzést, amelyről Juhászné Pap Laura Edina osztja meg a tapasztalatait.

A résztvevők így invitálnak másokat erre a képzésre:

  • Állj föl te is, állj ki te is!
  • Lássátok, hogy miért szerveződtök és hogyan!
  • Ez a csúcs, amit ha eljössz és megmászod, tudni fogod hogy jó helyen vagy, voltál, és leszel.
  • Ha részvételi demokráciában akarsz élni, ezt a képzést nem hagyhatod ki!
  • Téglából épül a ház, feladatból a változás, emberekből a közösség.
  • Az eredményes működéshez nem árt tudni a csoport működésének alapelveit.
  • Nyiss, hogy te is megnyílhass.

Közpolitikai mentorálás a CEU-n


Munkatársunk, Dósa Mariann az előző tanévben roma és menekült diákokat mentorált közpolitika témában a Közép-európai Egyetem két mesterszakra felkészítő programjának keretében (Roma Graduate Preparatory Program és Open Learning Initiative). Az RGPP program egy diákjának beszámolóját olvashatjátok a kurzusról.

Miután már munkatapasztalatot szereztem nemzetközi szervezeteknél, minisztériumoknál, ügynökségeknél, helyi önkormányzatoknál, valamint roma civilszervezeteknél és hálózatoknál Szerbiában, úgy döntöttem, a szerbiai roma közösségért akkor tudok többet tenni, ha tovább fejlesztem magam a közpolitika terén. Ezután választottam ki a Közép-európai Egyetem romákat továbbtanulásban segítő programját, az RGPP-t, ahol másokkal együtt egy tízhónapos Bevezetés a közpolitikába kurzuson vettem részt.

A nagyon összetett és átfogó, de mindenekelőtt nagyon élvezetes kurzus során Mariann rávezetett minket, hogy analitikusan és kritikusan gondolkozzunk közpolitikai problémákról, megoldásokról és az általánostól eltérő lehetőségekről is. A kurzust úgy tervezték, hogy tágítsa a látókörünket, a figyelmünket a közpolitikai témákra, fogalmakra és elméletekre irányítsa, és ezeket kritikai szövegeken, órai beszélgetéseken és prezentációkon, írásgyakorlatokon keresztül vitattuk meg.

Az órák tökéletes környezetet és lehetőséget teremtettek olyan általánosabb kérdések megvitatására is mint: Mi az a közpolitika? Mi a kapcsolat a közpolitika, a politika és a hatalom között? Csak úgy, mint ennél specifikusabb kérdésekre: Mi az a társadalom-, egészség-, oktatás-, foglalkoztatás-, kisebbségpolitika? Én személy szerint nagyon hasznosnak találtam a kurzus második felében tanult elméleteket és elemzési kereteket, amiket a közpolitika megértésére és igazolására vagy akár kritizálására is használhatunk. Ezek lehetővé tették számomra, hogy tanuljak róluk és használjam is ezeket a magyarázó és kritizáló eszközöket, és komolyabban alkalmazzam is ezeket olyan közpolitikai problémákon, amikkel a roma közösségek napi szinten szembesülnek. Összességében a kurzus során lehetőségem volt tanulni arról, hogy milyen egy kutatási folyamat, és milyen módszerekkel érdemes közpolitikát kutatni. A mentorom segítségével egy kutatási anyagot készítettem a kurzus végére, amiben többféle kutatási módszert és felfogást is alkalmazok, ami elengedhetetlen ahhoz, hogy a közpolitikai diskurzus valódi eredményeken alapuljon.

Először azért jelentkeztem az RGPP programba, hogy az angol nyelvben fejlődjek, és hogy felkészüljek a közpolitika mesterszakra. De a Bevezetés a közpolitikába kurzus nem csak azokat az alapképességeket és tudást adta meg nekem a közpolitika területéről, amit vártam tőle, hanem olyan eszközöket és önbizalmat, amivel tényleges változást hozhatok a közösségemnek.

Igor Kostic


Tutoring Roma and refugee students at CEU


In the past school year, our colleague Mariann Dósa was tutoring Roma and refugee students in Public Policy in the two master's studies preparatory programs of Central European University: the Roma Graduate Preparatory Program and the Open Learning Initiative. You can read an account of the classes by a student of RGPP below.

After gaining working experience with international organizations, ministries, agencies, local self-governments, as well as with Roma CSOs and networks in Serbia, I decided to pursue further academic development in the field of public policy in order to achieve more for Roma community in Serbia. As a next step, I have chosen the Roma Graduates Preparation Program (RGPP) of Central European University, where I have, among others, attended the ten-months-long course of Introduction to Public Policy.

During very complex and extensive, but foremost enjoyable course, I have been guided toward thinking analytically and critically about policy problems, solutions, and alternative perspectives to mainstream paradigms. The course was designed around raising awareness and debating fundamental policy issues, concepts, and theories in the field of public policy through critical readings, in-class discussions and presentations, and writing practice.

The course was a perfect environment and opportunity to explore the general questions like What is Public Policy, What is the relationship between policy, politics, and power?, as well as more specific: What are Social, Health, Educational, Employment, Minority policies. I have personally appreciated very much further course’s focus on theories and conceptual tools utilized in understanding, justifying as well as criticizing policies. This enabled me to learn about and practice using these explanatory and critiquing tools and applying it in greater depth on the policy issues that Roma communities are facing on a daily bases. Ultimately, during the course, I had the opportunity to learn about the research process and methods of pursuing research in the field of public policy, as well. Guided by the mentor, I have worked on a final research paper, at the same time learning about different research approaches and methods in public policy, which is the essential tool in bringing evidence to policy discussion.

At first,  I have applied to RGPP to advance my English language skills and to prepare myself for further MA Public Administration Studies. However, Introduction to Public Policy course gave me not only fundamental skills and knowledge about the field of public policy but moreover, tools and self-confidence to bring desired changes to my community.

Igor Kostic

„Our operation will be more organized and transparent” – report on the group-organizing training


As a member of the „Christians for Gays” group, I had the chance to participate in the training of the School of Public Life titled „How to organize a group?” Over the past years, we have often felt in our group that we do not have enough knowledge to lead and organize ourselves in an appropriate way. This is why we were very happy to hear that the School of Public Life offered such a training.

The themes of the training were very exciting: we learned and talked about things that are essential to the operation of a group. Over the two days, we engaged in many practical exercises, which we solved in groups. Besides learning together, these workshops were a perfect chance to get to know each other, the different organizations the participants represented and the challenges they face. The practicality of the training helped us understand the theory of group organizing, so we can apply it easily to our own organizations.

From all the interesting things, I would highlight the exercise that made us think about the barriers of expanding our group from the points of view of people committed to the organization at very different levels and in many different ways.
We also got an introduction to strategic planning by planning together the strategy of my own organization. It was a very positive experience for me to see how different participants helped me develop our strategy with so much enthusiasm and empathy.

All in all, these were very inspiring two days and I think our group will profit a lot from it. We will be able to clear a lot of undefined things and our operation will become more organized and transparent. Thanks a lot to Közélet Iskolája for the opportunity!

András Papp

Video advocacy – report about the training


See and make others see through the eyes of the camera! I was happy to read the call for participation in this training that my association received from the School of Public Life. And I applied! I told the chairman of my association on the phone that I know we lack the resources, but I will give it a try. And I succeeded!

The training was important for me because in the Association of Patients with Rheumatism for the Targeted Therapy, my job is to keep our webpage and other media platforms up-to-date. Video making was missing from my communication toolkit, because I didn’t have enough knowledge about it.

I travelled enthusiastically and happily to Budapest from the countryside to learn as a 67-year-old because I want to do a lot more for the people with disadvantages in my association.

I got to know István Gábor Takács and Ádám Surányi from Rightsreporter Foundation as amazingly helpful people with great knowledge. Nothing was impossible for them even when they had to solve the most unexpected technical problems. They did all this smiles on their faces, a positive attitude and with a huge amount of knowledge.
What did I learn? A lot of things in which I was always interested. On the first day, video advocacy theory and strategies that we analyzed through several examples. The second day was about production including the necessary equipment, camera settings, basic video knowledge, composition, interview techniques and image editing. I enjoyed it especially because it was a very active day.

The third day was the day of follow-up. We got to know the Blackmagic Design Da Vinci Resolve program. We practiced cutting, subtitling and other important technical things on our video recordings from the day before, and then we watched our completed works cheerfully.

The follow-up was a challenge for me because I progressed slowly due to my poor computer knowledge. But István and Ádám were there at the right moment and put me back on track. I am thankful to them! Now, what is left for me is practice, so that I can use this knowledge in my advocacy work as soon as possible.

Thanks to the School of Public Life for the opportunity! I wish them success in their very useful work and I hope I will have the chance to participate in another training in the future.

Lajos Weisz

Photo: István Várady

As a man I also suffer from the gender role expected of me – report about our gender training


I participated in the training about gender roles, because I didn’t know enough about the subject. I expected to get to know more about the discrimination that women experience today in Hungary. Compared to this, I got a lot more, because the training enlightened a lot more things for me. For example the fact that I do not treat women as equal partners in many of my relationships. I realized that I, too, suffer as a man from the gender roles expected of me. It is better for me, too, if I don’t have to meet expectations just because I am a man, and it is better for me, too, if I don’t expect things from the other person just because I suppose what and how they should do.

Instead, let’s talk with the other person – as we did in the training – and doing so, we can get better results as we work together.

Before the training, I was excited about how it was going to think about questions of which my social group is the cause and the maintainer. But the presence of trainers, Móni and Mariann, was reinforcing all along. First of all, it was clear that they are familiar with the subject – the two days were super-informative. On the other hand, they never made me feel that I am the oppressor, instead, they listened openly when I expressed my opinion.

I would recommend this training to everybody. Apart from the subject itself, one of the best things in the training was that I could meet people who I didn’t know before, and who I would happily meet again. We started out as strangers, but we got to know each other a little. I realized how narrow my world is, and how rarely I have the chance to think together with unknown people in such a calm and safe environment. It was super to meet so many kinds of people, who are out of my circle and experience that I can broaden the boundaries of my world by participating in such a training.

Zoltán Somogyvári

Photos by István Várady

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