Annual NGO Fair Reflects CEU Partnership with Non-profit Sector

February 25, 2010

On February the 24th, the Human Rights Initiative at CEU (HRSI) hosted the 6th annual NGO Fair, bringing together students and representatives of 14 international and local nonprofit organizations. The event reflected the university’s commitment to advocacy on issues of human rights, social justice and the protection of minorities in Hungary.

This year’s fair involved the participation of Amnesty International Hungary; the Council of Europe Information and Documentation Center; the Public Interest Law Institute; the European Roma Rights Center; the Verzio Film Festival initiative at the Open Society Archives (OSA@CEU); the Hungarian Helsinki Committee; the Mental Disability Advocacy Center; Messzelato Egyesulet; the Open Society Justice Initiative; the Hungarian Volunteer Sending Organization; Romani Mundi; the Foundation for the Women of Hungary (MONA); the Partners Hungary Foundation; and the Demokratikus Ifjusagi Alapitany (DIA).

Szandra Gonzalez, project manager at HRSI, expressed her satisfaction with the Fair, which she called the most successful so far: “We are receiving incredibly positive feedback from the participating organizations”, Gonzalez stated. “Both Verzio and Amnesty International Hungary have doubled the number of student intern candidates with respect to last year’s Fair, which reflects a remarkable increase in interest in active involvement from both the student body and the organizations we partner with.”

The objective of CEU’s Annual NGO Fair is to bring together international students and the nonprofit sector in Budapest, and facilitate the arrangement of internships and volunteer placements in organizations where English-speaking staff is needed. The event also links the NGO sector with research initiatives carried out by students, and introduces HRSI’s partner organizations to a broader audience. This year, HRSI expects up to 30 summer internships to develop from the Fair, and an equally high number of volunteer placements.

HRSI plans to build on this year’s success in order to broaden the scope of the event to include an increased focus on environmental activism for next year’s fair. According to Gonzalez, “Both the World Wildlife Found (WWF) and Greenpeace Hungary have expressed their commitment to participate next year, and we look forward to welcoming them as our future partners.