Volunteering to fight poverty and exclusion of children – 10 years of InDaHouse Hungary

Fruzsina Benkő


Starting from scratch, InDaHouse Hungary Association has built a complex system of support for children living in extreme poverty over the last 10 years, in which today around 300 volunteers work with nearly 300 children every week in three villages and a Roma settlement in Borsod. Step by step, we have grown up to this task. From individual emails to mailing lists, from excel sheets to an online volunteer platform, from weekend volunteering to a professional organisation with 20 employees. The goal was to give personal attention to every child who comes to InDaHouse and to realise the InDaHouse vision of children who are born into extreme poverty and exclusion, but who nevertheless can become empowered adults who can take responsibility for their own future and who can incorporate the support we give them into their children's education. At InDaHouse, volunteers work with the children, and the main task of the professional staff is to provide a framework and support for them. Most corporate leaders find it unrealistic that without funding a community that is hierarchical, skilled, accountable, and responsible can be built. Volunteering can give positive experiences and feelings like nothing else, so our volunteers, even if they are not paid, have strong intrinsic motivation. It is our responsibility to provide the necessary conditions for our organisation to be sustainable and for children to develop. These will be discussed in the following pages. The operation of the InDaHouse over the last 10 years and the volunteer-based system for children is presented in this study. The elements of the work with both children and volunteers will also be discussed.

Keywords: child poverty, exclusion, volunteering, complex development, non-governmental nonprofit organisations, Borsod county,