The Szécsény micro-region consists of 13 independent settlements, totalling 20,000 people, among which 4,000 children and a significant Roma population. The area is characterised by high unemployment and an accumulation of social disadvantages.
A pilot programme was launched in 2006 with a view to breaking the cycle of poverty and social exclusion faced by children in the region. The programme is based on a comprehensive approach that combines the improvement of nutrition and healthcare for children, the modernisation of social and childcare services, the improvement of housing conditions, the development of public education and of the information society, and the development of employment opportunities for parents. It was elaborated in partnership with the settlements, based on the premise that each local community is unique and must set its own local priorities, albeit within a framework of joint national targets.
Members of EAPN Hungary have been active in this project and the conference sought to ensure a continuation of the project. The project has also inspired similar projects to be establishes in 12 other micro regions of Hungary with support from the European Social Fund. The conference provided the opportunity to examine the elements of the project that are needed to ensure its successful transfer to the other regions.
This project has been the subject of a Peer Review under the EU Inclusion programme. For further details see: http://www.peer-review-social-inclusion.eu/peer-reviews/2010/promoting-social-inclusion-of-children-in-a-disadvantaged-rural-environment-the-micro-region-of-szecseny