hello world

For many years now as part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme, and in collaboration with FirstMed Centers, the Robert Burns International Foundation has supported the Infant and Paediatric Department at the Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg.

This hospital not only functions as a health-care institution for the 60,000 people who live in this town situated in the south-west of Hungary in Zala county. It is also the main hospital for the surrounding area, and accepts patients from throughout western Hungary, and even from across Hungary’s borders.

In 2022, after consultation with the team of doctors at the hospital, the decision was made to purchase a Nihon Kohden multi-functional Life Scope bedside monitor. This monitor is able to track and display many crucial parameters of a patient’s health, including the carbon-dioxide content of exhaled air.

What makes this monitor particularly special is that it carries a smaller integrated portable monitor that can be removed when the baby or child needs transporting to other areas of the hospital for treatment. This makes such movements much safer and allows the medical staff to keep them under full observation even when they are outside the ward.


Linking up once again with Norhot Kft. in 2022 as part of the SME Sponsorship Scheme, the Robert Burns International Foundation reached out to the Peter Cerny Foundation, well-known in Budapest for operating a fleet of well-equipped ambulances serving the needs of premature babies. Based in Budapest, this year the owners of Norhot Kft. wanted to support a project in the capital city, after previously helping to fund medical equipment in Székesfehérvár.

Following discussions with the foundation’s coordinator Barnabás Lendvai, the RBIF funded various pieces of equipment to keep the ambulances well stocked. The neonatal nitric oxide dosing and sampling kit will enable the ventilation of newborn babies with very severe respiratory failure. These single-use devices can be used to deliver nitric oxide molecules into a mixture of medical oxygen and compressed air, opening up diseased lung vessels and enabling effective ventilatory support for babies for whom conventional ventilation is ineffective.

The boxes of adhesive plasters and cannula clamps enable the attachment of a wide range of medical equipment (tube, probes, catheters, cannulas), while lancets for blood testing enable nurses to collect blood efficiently for the portable blood gas analyser and blood glucose meter.

The RBIF funded pads to be placed under each premature or sick newborn baby in the incubator, ensuring a clean, safe and comfortable environment. The bionector can be used to administer 3 types of medicine at the same time, while the umbilical catheters are used for umbilical cannulation, allowing for the safe delivery of medicine directly into the main blood stream.

With the Nellcor sensors and cables, the babies’ vital signs can be continuously monitored on the patient monitor, and finally, with the etCO2 cables it is possible to measure exhaled CO2 during ventilation, which provides very important information for doctors.

All of these items are crucially important to make sure that the ambulances are constantly on the road with the right equipment to make sure the doctors and nurses can take action at the right time, and we are delighted to have made a significant contribution in collaboration with Norhot Kft.

The Robert Burns International Foundation has been supporting the Premature Baby Unit of the Péterfy Sándor Utca Hospital for many years.

This assistance has enabled the doctors and nurses to care for their patients in a safer manner, greatly facilitating their day-to-day work. The neonatal wing is run by Dr Gábor Baross, who with the support of his team can deal with anything between 500 and 600 premature babies every year with a maximum capacity to accommodate 20 to 30 babies at any one time.

This year, Dr. Gábor Boross asked if we could finance the cost of two new baby incubators.

The incubators are an essential tool for the care of premature babies. Babies born prematurely can sometimes spend weeks or months in an incubator, and the environment they provide is extremely important.

“On average, we care for 4,500 premature, sick newborns every year. The vast majority of them are cared for in incubators for varying lengths of time. The department’s
incubator fleet is ageing, and most of them are more than 8-10 years old. In many cases, these old units make it difficult to provide the right environment for premature babies (ideal temperature and humidity, low noise level, etc.). For example, a noisy incubator can even lead to hearing loss in premature babies in the long term.

This is why the Foundation’s donation of two new, efficient and quiet incubators is crucially important to our work.

On behalf of myself and my little patients, thank you for your generous support”
Dr. Gábor Boross

In 2022 as part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme we were delighted to team up with a long-standing partner of ours, WhiskyNet, who have supported the RBIF in its work for many years.

Using money generously raised by WhiskyNet customers with their online purchases, Zsolt Sziget and Kati Szatmári asked if we could help a hospital in the eastern part of the country. Following consultations with the RBIF’s medical adviser Professor György Fekete, we identified the hospital in Mezőtúr as a worthy beneficiary.

Dr. Ferenc Antal runs the paediatric department at this small, well-equipped rural hospital. The wards are comfortable, each with a separate bathroom, toilet and TV, and following discussions with him it transpired that the RBIF could best help if we managed to buy an air-conditioning system.


“Having adequate air conditioning is more comfortable for a sick, feverish child than a warm, airless, humid environment. The RBIF has helped us ensure this by purchasing a modern, high-efficiency cooling and heating air-conditioning unit, which we were able to install in our central corridor so that the air temperature and movement can affect the air in all the wards. It would be ideal to have air conditioning in all wards, but now we have this to our great satisfaction!”, said Antal Ferenc.

The remainder of the donation was used to buy blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters, which are essential for the daily care of newborns, as every newborn is required to have four endometrial blood pressure measurements and pulse oximetry monitoring a certain time after their birth.


“It was a pleasure for us to have the RBIF visit our department and to personally thank Mr Douglas Arnott, Chairman of the Robert Burns International Foundation, for his repeated support. We were also able to talk about the support we received ten years ago and were able to have a look at the Pulzox monitor still in daily use in our outpatient clinic, demonstrating that even in such a small rural hospital, there are adequate conditions for the care of young patients.”

A few months after our successful 25th Annual Budapest Burns Supper we would like to give you a bit of feedback on the progress we are making with the funds that you all raised in January.

We have identified projects with 6 different beneficiaries around the country, all of which will benefit sick children around Hungary.


The beneficiaries are:

1. Neonatal Department of the Péterfy Sándor utca Hospital, Budapest

2. 2nd Department of Paediatrics, Semmelweis University, Budapest

3. Paediatric Department of Szent Rafael Hospital, Zalaegerszeg

4. Péter Cerny Foundation for Premature Babies, Budapest

5. Paediatric Department of the Csongrád-Csanád County Health Centre, Hódmezővásárhely

6. Infant and Children’s Department at Mezőtúr Hospital, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County


Five of these projects have already received the funding from the RBIF, and the much-needed equipment has already been ordered. After finalising the details on the 6th project we hope soon to be able to send that funding too.

Once the hospitals have taken possession of the equipment we will of course provide you with all the details and photos, so you can rest assured that your generosity at the January Burns Supper is being put to the best possible use!

At the 23rd Annual Burns Supper held on 25 January 2020 at the Corinthia Hotel we were delighted to announce that the 2019  Sponsor of the Year of the Robert Burns International Foundation was bp. We caught up with Jamie Anderson, Regional Director, Europe Global Business Services for bp, and asked him about bp’s connections with charity and the RBIF.

How important is corporate social responsibility to bp?

Giving back to local communities where we live and work, while doing something really tangible and helpful: this is bp’s community investment in action. Our five people aims cover clean energy, a just energy transition and sustainable ‎livelihoods, respect for human rights, greater equity and enhanced wellbeing. ‎They focus on how we think bp can make the biggest difference‎.

You have been a long-standing supporter of the RBIF. What prompted you to partner up in the first place?

I have been in contact with RBIF for a long time and I highly appreciate the charity work the foundation is doing. Supporting children in need is a cause very close to my heart and I’m proud our company has become your top sponsor in 2019. Any time you can make a positive impact in a young life can only be a good thing!

How does bp benefit from its association with the RBIF and its charity activities?

We believe in continuous learning and best practice sharing. RBIF – especially the Burns Supper – gives us the opportunity to network, to understand other companies’ social investment strategy and to join forces even with market competitors for a good cause. CSR is an important element of our employee value proposition as well: we want our staff (and future talent) to see we walk the talk.

What would you say to any other company that is considering sponsoring the RBIF and its work?

Supporting RBIF is a great way of doing social investment: one can make sure that the donation / sponsorship fee goes to places that need it the most. The nursery renovation in Istenmezeje and in Budapest district 18 (Gyöngyvirág children’s home), the Bethesda children’s hospital support and other charity projects speak for themselves. I also have huge respect for RBIF and the passion they bring in doing the right thing for the greatest impact.  Do not hold back in supporting! 

The 2018 Sponsor of the Year of the Robert Burns International Foundation was Budapest Airport. We talked to Kam Jandu, Chief Commercial Officer, to find out more about their CSR activities.

How important is corporate social responsibility to Budapest Airport?

It is fundamentally important to BUD for many reasons.  For example, being one of the largest single site employers in Hungary (supply chain wise, we have almost 11000 people), we have a huge responsibility towards society and in particular the local community where a sizeable chunk of our workforce comes from. Moreover, aviation is associated rightly or wrongly with environmental issues and of course noise related matters which is why we invest considerable time and energy with multiple stakeholders to both educate but also to listen to any concerns related to our sector.

You have been a long-standing supporter of the RBIF. What prompted you to partner up in the first place?

Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport

I was an invited guest one particular year to the Burns Supper and was pleasantly surprised by the occasion, calibre of guests, sense of community and above all the work of the foundation which was clear for all to see.

How does Budapest Airport benefit from its association with the RBIF?

In addition to bringing some aviation-related clients to the annual Burns Supper which is a wonderful evening in itself, we also found some great projects last year which talked to the ideas which are important for BUD from a CSR perspective, whilst still generating significantly to the RBIF. As the airport is located across districts 17 and 18 it is important for us to work with local causes in partnership with the RBIF. Two such projects in 2019 included a Children’s Home namely Gyöngyvirág and a children’s ward at the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky hospital.

What would you say to any other company that is considering sponsoring the RBIF and its activities?

I would wholeheartedly encourage it, because not only do you get considerable corporate benefit when helping a great cause, the level of personal satisfaction is also highly significant too.  We are proud of our association with RBIF and look forward to continuing to work with them on mutually beneficial contracts.

The Generali Foundation has been active for almost 25 years. What were the reasons for its establishment?

The foundation was brought to life with the goal of mitigating the risks that we saw in the insurance sector, to enhance people’s safety. Thus the foundation’s primary goals have been set to support road safety, health preservation, healing and rescue activities, as well as the protection of children. These goals have not changed since 1995, we work with our own initiatives as well as co-operating with partners that are active in these areas.

Generali and the RBIF teamed up to a significant extent in 2018. What prompted Generali to get involved with the work of the RBIF in the first place?

The pioneer was one of our colleagues, Eszter Balázs, who had long been supporting the RBIF and has also involved her clients in the gesture of helping, by offering a certain part of her income from each insurance policy. That innovative way of inclusion in a collective charitable move prompted us to get to know more about the foundation and we found its goals very much in common with ours.

What does Generali benefit from its connection to the RBIF?

We believe that companies working in a professional business environment have a responsibility to help social initiatives with both our knowledge and resources. I think the members of the RBIF demonstrate a best practice in terms of how we can team up to help make an impact on those in need, especially in the health sector.

Looking ahead, what are your future charity-related plans?

As deputy CEO of the insurance company, I would like to mention our global The Human Safety Net community initiative, focused on helping new-born babies who are born with asphyxia, a condition of scarce oxygen during birth. We are working together with hospitals, civil organisations and parents to help these families.

What would you say to any other company that is considering sponsoring the RBIF and its activities?

We were more than satisfied to have been able to contribute to the RBIF’s goal to provide special monitors for the Péterfy Sándor children’s hospital’s neonatal department to help prematurely born babies get even better care.  We highly respect the foundation’s restless ambition to help where it is most needed

In recent years the RBIF has been intensifying its activities beyond the boundaries of the capital Budapest, and 2018 was no exception.

As part of the SME Sponsorship Scheme, and as ever with the medical advice from Professor György Fekete, former director of the 2nd Department of Paediatrics at SOTE II in Budapest, we got in contact with Ferenc Papp, consultant physician and head of department at the paediatric unit in Hódmezővásárhely in southern Hungary.

Having teamed up with the RBIF in 2017, the staff at Inter Relocation Kft. again demonstrated their willingness to get involved with this ever-growing scheme organised by the RBIF. Such was the donation provided by Inter Relocation, and doubled by funds raised at the 2018 Burns Supper, that we were able to buy not just two but in fact three infusion pumps.

During our visit to the hospital in Makó in December 2018, where one of the pumps is already in use, Dr Papp explained that “the pump enables IV fluids and also medicines to be dosed very accurately compared to gravity-based drips”, which really enhances the standard of care. Until the RBIF donation was handed over, the hospital in Makó did not have any such infusion pump. The other two pumps are now also being used in Hódmezővásárhely.

In Makó, the RBIF represented by Chairman Douglas Arnott was accompanied by HM Ambassador Iain Lindsay, Honorary Patron of the RBIF, and Stuart McAlister, Managing Director at Inter Relocation Kft.

Stuart revealed he was delighted Inter Relocation were able to continue their involvement in the SME Scheme:

“Our sponsorship of individual projects, under the stewardship of the RBIF, plays a key role in Inter Relocation’s CSR program. It is incredible that we can make a clear and measurable difference to a hospital in need, by investing in key equipment. I was honoured to have the chance to meet with the staff of the hospital in Makó and to learn first-hand how our donation makes a difference to the staff of the paediatric department, and the children they treat there.”

Very early one cold December morning, when it was still dark, we hit the road to Zalaegerszeg in western Hungary, a place hitherto notable to me only for the unpronouncability of its name. 

I’ve since nailed the pronunciation (I had plenty of time in the car).  Anyway, I was undertaking a day of calls and public engagements on behalf of the Embassy in Zala.  And the most important event I took part in, as a member of the RBIF Curatorium, was the handover of a donation of a bronchoscope to the Zala County Szent Rafael hospital’s paediatric department with Dougie Arnott (Chairman) and Dennis Diokno of FirstMed.  This donation was enabled through our SME Sponsorship Scheme, with FirstMed teaming up with RBIF in this instance to double the value of the donation.

We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the Paediatrics Department by Dr László Gárdos, Head of Department.  There was a festive feel as, on 6 December, all the doctors and nurses were dressed in Santa hats for St Nicholas.  It was touching to meet some patients and their parents, and to witness the serenity and dedication of the staff.  Seeing the newborns was of course a particular joy.  We also saw the helipad of which the hospital was very proud – but sadly (or perhaps happily) no helicopters in sight.

Dr Gárdos received the bronchoscope on behalf of the hospital.  They have not, until now, had their own bronchoscope and he explained how it will help them diagnose a multitude of breathing problems much more easily and treat airway blockages when, for example, babies or children ingest small objects.

Dr Gabriella Halász, President of the Hospital, said it was a huge honour to receive the equipment.  In fact, I felt humbled by the whole occasion and thought, on the contrary, the honour was ours.

Caitlin Jones
Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy
Curatorium Member