2018 Projects: Renovation of Wesley János nursery in Budapest

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In 2018 the RBIF and its supporters and sponsors helped renovate a nursery in one Budapest’s most disadvantaged districts.

The Wesley János nursery in Dankó utca, district 8 in Budapest, accommodates many children during the day who for various reasons outwith their control are unable to attend other nurseries perhaps closer to their home.  The nursery building was in a poor state, and Zsuzsanna Bozó along with Patrick McMenamin, two long-standing supporters of the RBIF, decided they wanted to do something about it. The project got off to a fantastic start with a donation of GBP 5000 from the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal.

Renovating an entire nursery is no mean feat, but thanks to Zsuzsa’s organisation skills she soon had a band of helpers, volunteers and organisations, including the RBIF, willing to get involved.

Unfortunately, soon after the work began it turned out that the nursery was in a far worse state than had originally been assumed, particularly the walls, and indeed the building was a health hazard to the children.

It was a setback, but soon the organisers had found the tradesmen to complete the extra work, getting rid of the mould, and the renovation was back on track.

This did mean, however, that a large chunk of the original budget had to be spent on finishing the unplanned tasks, and this put both the end-date and indeed the full completion of the project in doubt. The children were coming back to nursery after the summer holidays, so the building had to be fit for purpose by 1 September at the latest.

With the first nursery project sponsored by the RBIF in Zabar in 2017, the RBIF committed to buying a washing machine and a tumble drier. This proved to be a successful approach, where the equally disadvantaged children there were able to bring their dirty clothes into nursery in the morning, and be sent home with clean clothes in the afternoon. Experience showed that not having clean clothes was one of the reasons behind absenteeism at the nursery.

The RBIF had originally committed to buying a washing machine and tumble drier for the Wesley János nursery too, but once it transpired that the funding had been underestimated because of the unexpected problems, we were very happy to be able to offer Zsuzsa and Patrick the extra finance that they needed to bring the project to a successful conclusion. So not only did we help to buy the washer and drier, we also provided the funds to buy the furniture to equip the now clean, healthy and modernised nursery building.

This extra injection of money was largely thanks to the guests and sponsors of the RBIF Summer BBQ, held for the first time this year, and brought the RBIF’s contribution to the project to over HUF 1 million (EUR 3200).

Now that the nursery has been officially handed over and the children are enjoying their new and healthy surroundings, we would like to send our thanks to everyone involved in the nursery renovation, all of the organisations, companies, volunteers and helpers, including the St. Andrews Association and the Irish Hungarian Business Circle, who gave either time, expertise or dug deep into their pockets to make the Wesley János nursery a suitable and safe place for the many disadvantaged children that attend. This truly was an international effort.

For more information on the nursery projects run by Zsuzsa and Patrick, you can visit their website here.

This is one of the six projects supported by the RBIF in 2018 from the funds raised at the Burns Supper in January this year.