New Partnership with the Hungarian Scout Association Offers Improved Outreach to Ukrainian Refugee Children

IOM Hungary signs new MoU with the Hungarian Scout Association

Scout Corner helped refugee children and their mothers

Friendship booklet

New MoU between IOM Hungary and the Hungarian Scout Association

Memorandum of Understanding Signed between IOM Hungary and the Hungarian Scout Association

Budapest , 22 May 2023 -  IOM Hungary and the Hungarian Scout Association recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the war-affected Ukrainian population temporarily living in Hungary. The IOM and Scouts have agreed to support each other’s activities and recommend each other’s services to their beneficiaries.

“This new Memorandum of Understanding with the Hungarian Scouts will enable us to extend our activities, pool our resources, and improve our outreach to some of the most vulnerable of the Ukrainian refugee population. We are especially grateful that the Scouts are addressing social inclusion issues through their initiatives - particularly with regards to mothers on their own and their children."  - Andras Molnar, Programme Support Specialist (Partnerships), IOM Hungary

The first example of this cooperation is the sharing and distribution of the Scout’s new Friendship Activity Books (Barátság füzetek) for children ages 6-12 and 12-18 in the Ukrainian and English languages. Some of the refugees are from Hungarian diaspora communities and speak Hungarian, so the booklets are also available in Hungarian. The books will build bridges and strengthen links between host community children and Ukrainian refugees, especially when they sit down to use them together in pairs or groups. The Friendship Activity Books are available online, at the Scout Corner, and at the Budapest Helps! Information and Community Centre run by IOM Hungary together with the Municipality of Budapest and UNHCR. 

"At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which broke out more than a year ago, Scouts all over Europe rushed to help the victims and refugees - including here in Hungary. These initiatives were brought together and made much more effective and sustainable in the long-term by the cooperation that was established between the European region of WOSM and UNICEF in April 2022 and will last until May 2023. During this period, we have actively worked to help refugees - with particular attention to helping refugee children - and involving many young volunteers, with which, in addition to concrete assistance, we also aimed to shape attitudes.” - Hungarian Scout Movement

Partner Spotlight: Hungarian Scout Association

First Response
The Scouts first helped at major train stations and border crossing points. Later, their volunteers held information sessions at refugee hostels. In August-September 2022, the Scout Corner (“Cserkész Kuckó”) was launched to reach out to Ukrainian children ages 4-18 before the start of school and kindergarten. The venue and background assistance were provided free of charge by the Single Parent Center, and was complemented by support from by long-term partner Caritas Hungary. From the beginning, the main goal of Scout Corner was to relieve the burden on the parents and to provide a community experience for the refugee children living here. Volunteers and animators prepared various developmental tasks and crafts for the children, while several interpreters helped to overcome language barriers. Mental hygienists, teachers and a visual artists who joined in the activities were a great help. The small playhouse at the Center was an ideal place for preschool and elementary school children to relax. The nearby playgrounds provided a great opportunities for outdoor play. As a result of the mutual will and commitment, a multilingual, safe and friendly place was born where parents could leave their children with a calm heart and in good hands. 

Future Plans

As the largest youth education movement in the country, the Hungarian Scout Association (MCSSZ), which is 110 years old this year - the education of community-minded citizens who wish to undertake community service is also extremely important. For this reason, the association will also announce the thematic year of social responsibility starting in September, which is connected in many ways to the objectives of the CSERKÉSZEN A SEGÍTSÉGRE - UAct Hungary Project. Many scouts have joined as animators and volunteer helpers. Implemented in cooperation with UNICEF and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), the project enables both scouts and non-scouts to provide broad, long-term and efficient help to children, young people and their parents who come to our country as refugees. The project is open to all people who would like to help, regardless of community affiliation.

The Scouts are currently working on organizing summer day camps for refugee children from June to the end of August with the support of the Ecumenical Aid Organization. More information will soon be available on their webpage or the Scout Corner Facebook page.

For more information, please contact: 
Daniel Swartz
Media and Communications Coordinator
International Organization for Migration
Country Office for Hungary
Budapest – Hungary (GMT +1)

Márton Tóth 
Communication Manager, Hungarian Scout Movement
Scout Corner Email:
Scout Corner Facebook Page: 

Budapest Helps! Information and Community Centre

The Hungarian Scout Association
Scouting is the world’s largest educational youth movement. It engages 54 million young people, adult leaders and volunteers in 224 countries and territories worldwide. As a growing movement, Scouting is deeply embedded in local communities; responding to the diverse needs and aspirations of young people through transformative education, training and learning opportunities. In the 200 groups of the Hungarian Scout Association, which was founded in 1912, there are more than 10,000 Scouts actively working in collaboration with the Hungarian Scout communities living abroad. 

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