Petőfi Program supporting dispersed Hungarian populations in the Carpathian Basin is launched

At a press conference held in Budapest on 12 March, State Secretary for Hungarian communities abroad Árpád János Potápi announced that the Hungarian Government’s new program named Petőfi Sándor Program would be launched on 15 March, Hungarian Register reports. The aim of the program is to stop the assimilation of Hungarian communities living in dispersed populations in the Carpathian Basin.

Under the program, fifty young Hungarians will have an opportunity to spend 6-9 months in dispersed Hungarian communities of the Carpathian Basin from 1 August 2015 onwards. The interns’ task will be to organize community and cultural events and to teach Hungarian language, history and folk dances.

The state secretary said that the target areas for the program will include the Carpathian Basin: Austria, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Southern Poland and the Romanian region of Moldavia. Mr. Potápi added that an estimated 50% of the 2.5-3 million Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin live in dispersed communities. 

The initiative will receive funding of 350 million forints (EUR 1.1m) and it will be based on the example of the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Progra which helps Hungarian youth visit Hungarian diaspora communities and helps them preserve their national identity.