Project: Mahájána Foundation

Part of the Resilience programme

In 2011, the Mahájána Foundation (the Foundation) started working with disadvantaged children in the Csörög settlement. Its mission is to support the education of school children and to create a community where children and parents can count on each other. In order to increase the stability of its activity and operation, the Foundation entered the Resilience Programme in 2021.

The Foundation focuses primarily on children (mostly aged 6-14) and their individual development. Since 2011, the Foundation has come a long way – the Saturday leisure activities were replaced by focused afterschool work, five times a week. The team’s specialists assess the children’s competences at the beginning of each school year. Accordingly, and with the help of parents, a motivation plan and development plan are prepared to support the individual progress of each child.

The Foundation also emphasizes community building and provides various platforms and forums for joint activities between children and parents. This is particularly important since there is no primary school in Csörög – only a kindergarden – and therefore local children study in various neighbouring villages and towns. The Foundation offers summer camps and day camps for children, forums and training for parents, as well as sports and themed programmes for families.

The Badur Foundation has been following the activities of the Mahájána Foundation since the beginning and they have been partners for a number of years (Establishing a Community Centre, Expanding the Community Centre and Community Gardening Project).

As the number of children and families reached by the Foundation grew, so did the work of the organisation. At the same time, there was a need to rethink the existing operational processes and to clarify the scope of tasks and responsibilities. For these reasons, the Resilience Programme was timely for the team and they entered the Programme.

After participating in a holistic workshop series, the team formulated a development plan. The support from the Badur Foundation enabled the Foundation to focus on three areas over the coming years: organisational development, fundraising and communication.

For the Mahájána Foundation, the 3-year long implementation phase of the Resilience Programme started with reshaping procedures and division of tasks. As a result, not only did the organisational operation become more transparent but the structure of the afterschool programme also changed and became more effective. The afterschool programme now has four elements: individual work, homework support, team work and play. The various tasks and responsibilities have been clarified between the leader and her deputy, the special needs educators, the daily coordinators and the volunteers. Due to the newly implemented volunteer management system, the Foundation now has effective procedures to recruit, train and manage volunteers. The personnel changes have been carried out smoothly and effectively.

Although some steps have been taken to address the other development areas (i.e. automatising donations, corporate network building), fundraising and communication will be prioritised in the coming years. The Badur Foundation continues to work with the team and monitor the implementation of their development plan.