Being diagnosed with a serious illness will put everyone into a shock and life changes instantly from one minute to the next. It is even more heartbreaking, when it happens to a child. Families in such situations are extremely challenged to provide their children with an environment that is as normal as possible and where they are not reminded constantly of their illness. Happy experiences influence the healing process very positively and will put children into a pleasant state of mind – effects of which can have a long-term impact. Mingling with children in similar circumstances makes them feel equal again, that is extremely important during childhood and adolescence: at the end all children want is to be accepted, to be like their peers and not treated differently than others.
Located in Hatvan (about 60km from Budapest), surrounded by forests and beautiful meadows, Bátor Tábor (in English: Camp of Courage) is a therapeutic recreational camp that was created for children under 18 living with childhood cancer, diabetes, hemophilia or chronic rheumatoid arthritis and offers them the opportunity to spend some unforgettable days in a fascinating and caring environment. The facility is a former pioneer camp that was renovated with close attention to accessibility and meeting the medical and psychological needs of campers. The camp also offers a huge variety of recreation facilities such as e.g. high-ropes course, rowing lake, archery field, synthetic turf field and indoor sports hall giving a unique and meaningful recreational experience to close to 1000 children and their families from Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland every year – free of charge. These are real fun activities that seriously ill or recovering children could not experience elsewhere due to their health conditions.
„Bátor Tábor is a ‘machine’, in which children are thrown into, and they all come out healthier, happier and with a lot of courage.” (Peter, 15)
Professional personnel, including healthcare experts at Bátor Tábor work on a voluntary basis and they enjoy giving back to society. The magic at the recreational camp is generated by the very positive attitude of the staff, called Cimborák (in English: Buddies), who do their utmost to provide campers with an unforgettable experience by increasing their self-esteem, by helping to develop children’s social relations and their re-integration into society, and by creating a more positive disease perception. Most of the campers have life changing moments during their stay at Bátor Tábor and plan to return as healthy volunteers a few years later.
This initiative is the brain child of Péter Küllői, a former successful investment banker, who consciously decided at the age of 40 to quit the banking sector and to dedicate his life and energy to a project that will help and change many people’s lives. Péter Küllői has gathered a group of like-minded professionals around him and turned the idea into a successful foundation. The entire recreational camp in Hatvan was built and is operated by private and corporate donations, and it enjoys the support of a lot institutions. The recreational camp management holds different fundraising events and cooperates with a set of companies and organizations to raise money for this good cause. Bátor Tábor is also a member of the Serious Fun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman, Academy Award winning actor.
During the 10+ years of its operation, Bátor Tábor has grown into an exemplary and professionally managed establishment that is considered very unique in terms of its approach to children with serious illness. It is definitely a flagship program that shall inspire others who have the means, professional experience and the desire to do their share by helping others. Even though the current economic situation is not very good in Hungary, this project is the living proof that everything is possible. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
If you would like to make a difference, your donation will be highly appreciated and you can definitely see, where your money goes. Also, as it is usual in Hungary, on your tax records you can dispose of 1% of your income tax to be routed to a foundation or non-profit organization. Please remember Bátor Tábor, when filling out your tax records (tax identification number of Bátor Tábor is: 18107913-1-41).
Next fundraising event will take place May 10, 5pm – May 12, 6pm at Akvárium Klub Budapest ‘Állj ki te is a Bátrakért!‘ (in English: Support the Courageous!).
Source of images: courtesy of Bátor Tábor and Épitész Fórum.