Sam isn’t doing too well at school.  But without the support of TK2 he wouldn’t be in school at all.

The 14-year-old is having to repeat grade six because he didn’t show up to re-sit an exam – one which his tutors at Blythswood’s after-school programme believe he could have passed if he tried.

At TK2, Sam has proven that he has real ability, especially in acting, dance, choreography and music.  “He has played major roles in all our musicals so far,” says Adrian Popa, director of Blythswood’s Talita Kum project.  “His drums teacher says that he could easily play in a band.”

Sam is the youngest of five children from a low-income family who share three small rooms in a former army barracks lacking even the most basic amenities.  From the day he started school he had difficulty fitting in: his bad language and physical violence caused frequent disruption.

“Even Blythswood’s social workers thought of giving up on him,” Adrian admits.  “Only their patience, love, discipline and determination have kept him from dropping out of school.

“Sam is still causing trouble in and out of school but is a totally different child at Talita Kum, respectful and trying to get ready for the next day.”

Social workers from TK2 sometimes visit him at school and sit in on his classes.  “This provides a significant incentive for Sam to behave,” says Adrian.  “The teachers would love this to happen more often.”

Adrian is in no doubt that without the incentive provided by TK2 Sam would have dropped out of school completely.  Admission is conditional on having attended classes that day.  “Sometimes he goes missing for a day or two and gets into bad company.  But he comes back and admits he was wrong and promises to be stronger next time.

“Every day he is torn between what he learns with us and what he thinks he has to do and say to please his friends.”

TK2 extends Talita Kum’s provision of nutrition, education and cultural activities to children aged 11-14, giving them the support they need to continue their schooling, despite disadvantages at home.

1) Mezőtúr Városi Kórház (Mezőtúr Town HospitalPaediatric Unit, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County. Mezőtúr lies in the centre of the Alföld (the Great Hungarian Plain), about 150 km (90 miles) southeast of Budapest.

Pulsoximeter and sensor: a sensitive monitor for blood oxygenation in the intensive care of newborn babies, as well as in infants and children. “The modern intensive care of urgent, life-threatening diseases simply can not be done without this appliance,” says Professor Fekete.

Air humidifying chamber and camera: for the treatment of children suffering from asthma. This is important throughout the whole year, because asthma is a very frequent disease in childhood.”

Total support HUF 1,099,080.

2) Felső-Szabolcsi Kórház (Upper Szabolcsi Hospital) Paediatric Unit, Kisvárda, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. Kisvárda is about 280 km (170 miles) northeast of Budapest.

Electrocardiograph machine, bought by Upper Szabolcsi Hospital with RBIF funds, in use.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Sándor Molnár 

ECG CARDIETTE AR 1200adv VIEW: electrocardiograph machine for every-day diagnostic evaluation of the heart. “An updated, excellent machine,” the Professor says.

Paramedic iPad Defibrillator: for use in acute emergency situations, when heart function stops. “It is obligatory for all hospital units where severely ill children are referred and treated.”

Injection-infusion pump: for intravenous infusions when dealing with shock or infectious diseases. “This is the modern method of long-term fluid and electrolyte infusion therapy in infants and children.”

Total support HUF 1,039,400

Városi Kórház Rendelőintézet Gyógyfürdő és Rehabilitációs Központ (Town Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre and Spa), Paediatric Unit, Kiskunfélegyháza, Bács-Kiskun county. Kiskunfélegyháza is in southern Hungary, some 120 kilometres (75 miles) southeast of Budapest

ECG Cardioline AR1200 View monitor: for permanent observation of heart functions,

ABPM-05 ambulatory blood pressure monitor: for 24-hour monitoring, and computerised evaluation in several disorders causing elevated blood pressure.

Total support HUF 970,000

4) Szent Lázár Megyei Kórház (County Hospital of St. Lazarus), Paediatric Unit, Salgótarján, Nógrád County. Salgótarján lies about 110 km (70 miles) northeast of Budapest.

POX Infusion Pumps: for function, see 2) above.

Total support HUF 1,000,000

5) Tolna Megyei Balassa János Kórház (Tolna County Balassa János Hospital), Paediatric Unit, Szekszárd, Tolna County. Szekszárd is roughly 150 km (90 miles) south of Budapest.

CAS MEDICAL SYSTEMS, Inc. CAS-740-1 blood pressure monitor: For function, see 3) above.

Total support HUF 427,470

“All of the equipment applied for by the above mentioned hospitals and paediatric units has a major impact on the high quality management of diagnostic and treatment care of children suffering with severe, sometimes acute and life-threatening, diseases,” Fekete says.