Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Fund Raising Ball for Refugees & Victims

Archie Bonka reports
A fund raising ball for Somalian refugees and the victims of the atrocities caused by the Lords Resistance Army in the Ugandan town of GULU was held recently at the exclusive SYMBOL restaurant in Budapest.

The event, attended by the business community, diplomats, government officials and members of the public, was basically to bring awareness to the plights of Somalian Refugees and the victims of Ugandan Lords Resistance Army who are now living in Hungary.

The organisers of the event - Batthyany Kft, African-Hungarian Union and Respond Renuh - expressed different emotions when stating the reason for their involvement.

Balogh Sandor, the president of the Afican-Hungarian Union urged the private sectors to help "because their meager contributions will definitely improve someone's standard of living". Bálogh also advised the audience to emulate his organisation which he said had assisted the Somalian refugees in Biscke Camp by providing mathematics, Hungarian and English teachers, adding that it should not be a one day show.

Dabolyi Alexandra, European Union parliamentarian on projects, catastrophes and developments for third world countries, said that although Hungary has its own problems, it will be a good gesture in lending a helping hand for those who are desperately in need. "Such gesture," he added, "will go a long way in building Hungarian image abroad."

Two documentary films highlighting the awkward predicament of the Somalian refugees and Ugandan victims, especially women and children, were shown. The gory pictures in both films were said to move many people at the event.

As a result, Szillas Ildiko, African-Hungarian Union coordinator, spoke about the collaboration with Respond Renuh, a non-governmental organisation, to run an income generating programme for the women victims. "Such independent small scale entrepreneurship will help improve their living standard," Szillas said.

Present at the event were three painters to auction their works with the highest bidding at Ft175,000 (635 euro) for Robin Sperling from Britain; Ft150,000 (544 euro) for Kyan Smith's from France; while Etienne de Fleurieu also from France sold his at Ft 110,000 (399 euro).

Renowned Hungarian pianist, Kapolcs Zsoka with beats from Piaf Edith and Parady Katalin entertained the guests. The Senegal djembe mastero, Mbaye and Somalia songstress Flora also treated the guests with magic drum and soul voice.

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