Jim Field, our associate director and director of community organizing, will file reports as he teaches organizing in Hungary and Slovakia this month.
Jim is the second CCH organizer to be invited to teach through “Building Grassroots Democracy in Minority Communities,” a program funded by the U.S. State Department. CCH hosted four trainees from eastern Europe these past two springs, and two new interns will work with CCH in October.
I arrived in Hungary on Friday the 30th of August and spent the remainder of the day relaxing at our hotel in downtown Budapest, which is a short walk from the Danube River. I met with the woman who will co-teach a 4-day community organizing training, Cathy Woodson. Cathy works as the central Virginia organizer with a group called Virginia Organizing, based in Charlottesville, Virginia.
We have been invited here to teach community organizing to people in the Roma community. The training will be conducted at a retreat center three hours north of Budapest. We have been told by our hosts that the response to the advertisement for the training has been enthusiastic. Seventy Roma people from all over Hungary have applied for 35 class slots.
On Saturday and Sunday Cathy and I spent some time working on our curriculum for the training and also took a walking tour of the city. It is a gorgeous city, with the Danube River running right down the center. One side of the city is called Buda, on the west side of the river, with Pest on the east side. They were at one time two separate cities.
Today we leave Budapest to travel to the retreat center.
I will have more updates as this journey unfolds.