Initiatives and Projects


The weakness of social mobility and the early selection in the educational system is a general problem in Hungary. Pupils coming from underprivileged background, already when choosing secondary school don't have the chance and the opportunity to enter in a school which prepares them to higher education. They are also lacking information about the possibilities of education, therefor the awareness of learning and education is low.

The lack of educational history, positive experience and support within the family and educational institutions derives to lack of motivation not only to study and to improve skills, but as a consequence, lack of motivation to be active on the labor market.

 Project goals:

  • To enhance social mobility through education.
  • To provide support and motivate young people, coming from disadvantaged socio-economical background, to believe that they are also capable to enter good quality secondary and higher education.
  • To raise aspiration.
  • To engage educational institutions and teachers - elementary schools and universities - focusing on raising awareness and providing the methodological knowledge and tools in order to be able to make a change.
  • To strengthen civic engagement among CEU community.

 Target group:

Primary school students between the ages of 10-14, coming from lower socio economical background.

 One element of the program is ”Discovery Days” - offering schools an opportunity to visit the University, to experience new activities and facilities. Ideally, CEU volunteers visit pupils in their school before they come to CEU, introducing the concept of university and preparing the kids for the visit. Also, there is a second visit after the event, when CEU volunteers go back to schools to work with students to reflect on their personal strengths and their options for the future.

The personal interaction and experience can help bringing students closer to an unknown world, it strengthens dialogue and relationship between CEU community and visiting students and teachers. 


to bring about change to people in need in Hungary

Description of the Program

CEU's Civic Engagement Office, the Student Leadership and Services Office (SLSO), and the Human RightS Initiative (HRSI) welcome applications for their Learn & Engage program. The program provides consultation, training and resources to support CEU community members (student, staff, faculty) in designing, developing, and delivering their own civic engagement projects.
Members of the community are encouraged to bring their own project ideas to bring about change to people in need in Hungary.

Projects in the start-up phase, requiring financial support can also apply for small funding of up to 1,000 EUR.
The Learn & Engage Program provides an opportunity for members of the CEU community to apply their knowledge in practical endeavors. It also aims to offer support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights and human dignity.

Structure of the Program

  • The program has two application cycles (fall/spring).
  • A Selection Committee (Program Operators, 1 Faculty member, 1 Staff member, 1 Student Union representative) decides on the applications.
  • Successful applicants will be provided with a volunteer contract.
  • Upon being selected for the program,workshops on various project management related topics and consultations will be provided to the participants.
  • Program participants are expected to participate in at least two out of six workshops, organized by HRSI, during the academic year.
  • A narrative report, including photos and/or videos of the activities, are to be submitted upon the completion of the project.
  • If applicable, a financial report will also be required.

Selection Criteria

The submitted project proposals should meet the following criteria:

  • Applications can be submitted individually, or as a group, but each project should have one project owner.
  • The purposes of the project align with CEU’s mission and values and/or support its activities.
  • The project and the planned activities are based on real community needs and seek to affect change in the life of Hungarian people.
  • The project has potential to achieve long-lasting results in the area addressed.
  • For projects requesting financial support, the budget should be realistic and reflect the planned activities.
  • No political initiatives will be accepted for consideration.

 In addition to the criteria mentioned above, projects with the following aspects are preferred:

  • Projects building on strong partnerships with local communities.
  • Projects showcasing innovative and creative methods in their implementation.
  • Projects building on experience from similar previous activities/projects.


The maximum amount of funding available per project is 1,000 EUR. The following types of costs can be accounted for:

  • Direct costs related to the realization of the project activities (materials, services, meals and accommodation of project beneficiaries, etc.)
  • Reimbursement of expenses of the project team related to the realization of project activities (travel, meals, accommodation, etc.)

Please note that personnel costs (e.g. salary) cannot be covered from the funding.

Only projects which include a CEU employee (faculty/staff) can receive cash-advance prior to the implementation of the project. Projects that have no CEU employees on the team, but consist of students only, will be reimbursed, conditional upon submission of necessary invoices. Guidance on exact submission procedures will be given by the Civic Engagement Office.

 Application procedure and deadline

The following documents should be provided when submitting the application:

Application form (The document can be submitted online, submitting hard copies is not required):

 The deadline for submitting the applications is 2017.10.18.

Late submissions and incomplete forms will not be considered.

Applicants will be notified about the results of their applications within 10 days after the deadline via email.

Please contact us if you have any questions at


Theme: Helping the Homeless

Charity Brunch

In cooperation with the Budapest Bike Maffia, CEU students, faculty and staff distribute food to the Budapest homeless population.

Project owner: Dean of Students Office
Contact person: Chrys Margaritidis

CEU Care for the homeless

A group of students, staff, faculty from CEU who have been helping the homeless since March 2011. Volunteers are welcome to join the group to visit homeless people on a regular basis, and creative ideas on how to support them are also welcome. Members of the group are careful not to stigmatize the people receiving help since everyone has the right to live lives with dignity, even a homeless person. Shelters visited to date include: Oltalom Charity Society Headquarters, Golgota Homeless Ministry Hungary and the Franciscan Sisters of Charity.

Contact person: Tanja Manners

Cooking for Homeless People

This initiative provides weekly food donations to the residents of the Menhely Foundation.

Contact: Zsuzsanna Jaszberenyi

Clothing Swap and Homeless Charity Event

This initiative aims to help the CEU community exchange garments, sporting goods, books, etc. which are still in good condition, but no longer wanted. There is a four- to six- hour time frame for people to drop off their goods and get tokens in return to spend on other people’s goods. The rule is that people can take as many items as they brought and the remaining items are donated to charity.

Contact: Agnes Makary

MyBudapest Photo Project

The latest initiative of Budapest Bike Maffia in cooperation with Cafe Art is aiming to draw attention to the problem of homelessness through art. Members of the CEU community are also participating in the project. 

The organizers bought 100 pieces Quicksnap disposable cameras with the help of FUJIFILM Hungary Ltd., and asked homeless persons to capture  Budapest the way they see it. The best pictures will be chosen by a professional jury and exhibited in Budapest Pont (public and cultural space) on 30 August. Based on a public vote the best 12+1 photos will be printed as a calendar - My Budapest. 2017. 

As the aim of this Project harmonizes with the Open Society Mission, organizers welcome more members in their team from the CEU Community.

More information:

Contact: Bernadett Fekete,,

Theme: Mentoring & Preparation Programs

English Tutoring Program for Dr. Ambedkar School students 

The main goal of the project is tutoring Roma senior high school pupils to learn english and to prepare and help enable them to apply for further studies. 

The program is initiated by the Department of Mathematics and supported by Civic Engagement Office, Roma Access Program and HRSI. 

Contact: Karoly Boroczky, head of the Department of Mathematics


I. Vegetable collection and distribution 

Since 2015, volunteers have been spending their Thursday afternoons collecting fruit and vegetable donations in the market of Wekerletelep. After collecting the donations, volunteers bring them to their partner families in the community. 

II. Saturday school kids mentoring 

Saturday school kids mentoringEvery weekend, eight children from different partner families spend an afternoon of fun with volunteers. Tutors don't need to know how to speak Hungarian, and English is taught using games and other interactive activities. The  goals of the program include improving the kids' self-confidence and their social skills. This creates a cheerful, positive, and accepting space for the children in the community.

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact us at