Iványi's in trouble - Who helps the helpers?


Iványi's in trouble - Who helps the helpers?

Republikon Intézet

Republikon Institute held a conference on November 9th 2023, during which we examined the critical  state of Gábor Iványi’s social institutions with the help of both political and social – civic experts in order to find a solution for saving these institutions and the 20 thousand vulnerables they help, along with the additional 1000 employees.



At the beginning of the event, Gábor Horn, the chairman of Republikon Foundation said that the Institute invited all relevant Hungarian parties, including Fidesz – KDNP, Jobbik – Konzervatívok and LMP, however, these parties didn’t attended the conference at all. Gábor Horn also explained the personal relationship that ties him to Gábor Iványi: they used to be in the same party.

After this, Gábor Iványi, the chairman of Oltalom Karitatív Egyesület (Oltalom Charity Association) greeted the audience and talked about the last 50 years of his life, during which he worked in the social sector. In addition, Iványi also mentioned the measures directed towards him by the Orbán – regime since 2010, thanks to which the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship lost its church status. The government still has unpaid debts towards them from the last 7 years and this made maintaining the institutes and paying the employees a lot harder.


What can politics do?

Éva Sebők, the MP of Momentum talked about the social security system and why its state is crucial for Hungary’s future. Despite all of this, she doesn’t think that social problems and social security system cases will be significant in the 2024 local elections.

Ágnes Kunhalmi, the co-president of MSZP spoke about, how her district in Budapest, the XVIII. district helps Iványi and his institutes regularly. Furthermore she also mentioned, that in case of a potential change of government / system, the freedom of religion should be recovered, because we shouldn’t let any goverment decide which church is good and which one is bad.

According to Tímea Szabó, the co-president of Párbeszéd, the social security system is the state’s task primarly, while civic organizations and churches have the option to contribute to this. In addition, she also mentioned that, while the Hungarian government spends 300 billion HUF for the 2023 World Athletics Championship, it pursuits those, who try to fight against poverty.

Gergely Arató, the MP of DK disapproves of the fact that during the Orbán – regime it is up to political preference which homeless person gets access to proper healthcare, which starving person should get food and which children have the option to go to school. Thus, he thinks that Hungary needs a change of government and with that a total rebuild of the social security system. In addition he also mentioned that state and church should be separated.


The possibilites of the Hungarian social – civic sector:

Barnabás Farkas, the lead social worker and institutional director of Oltalom Karitatív Egyesület works at the institute since 1999 and according to him, none of the regimes provided the proper financial support to the field of homeless care. Furthermore, he thinks that it is always about „trying to put out the fire”, but no one tries to find the real solution to this situation.

According András Pikó, mayor of Józsefváros (8th district of Budapest), measures against Oltalom Karitatív Egyesület are political assassinations. Furthermore, despite the (financial) resources of his municipality, the social security system is a larger – scale problem, which should be solved both politically and in terms of the society.

László Donáth, priest and the chairman of Aranyág Foundation told that the current situation is a total catastrophe, but in case of a change of goverment, he wouldn’t trust the new leadership either. Donáth added that he disapproves of the exploitation of social groups, because when it comes to an expert, it doesn't matter whether he / she comes from a church or from the civic sector.

Nóra L. Ritók, the founder of Igazgyöngy Foundation said that in the current state structure, social problems can’t be solved. To keep the legal status, unbelievable amount of experts are needed. Furthermore, the system doesn’t have any trust towards the civic sector and because of this an excessive amount of mandatory administation is required.

According to László Herczog, economist, the minister of social services and labour of the former Bajnai goverment, the government should accept the fact that it is responsible for every citizen of Hungary, including the poorest. Furthermore, he admitted that we have to face multiple problems of the system, which the government cannot solve completely, but moderating them should be possible. In addition, he thinks that churches and social – civic organizations are necessary, because they have the chance to observe the problems from much closer and they could forward these cases to the ministies.

 Eu Co Funded En

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.