The Municipality of Budapest’s 5th District is working hard to make our city’s downtown not only a prestigious address but a real home for all families living there. We aim at providing all children, growing up in our quarter, a caring and sharing community where everyone may count on their neighbors. We look back at the developments during the previous years not without pride, at our work that earned the district prestigious honors for a Senior Citizen Friendly Municipality, a Children Friendly Community, and a Family Friendly Municipality, to name but a few. From among all the achievements we are especially keen to present here our latest, the “Downtown Community Center” (Belvárosi Közösségi Tér), that, so we hope, represents the spirit of mutual care and solidarity prevalent in our district. Our demographic data shows, that Budapest’s 5th District harbors one of the most aged populations in the whole country. Our assistance program aims at giving incentives for families with small children to move here and providing children, already living here, a wholistic assistance program.
BUDAPEST DISTRICT V.
The key points of our children-friendly investment strategies are to be integrated up-front into our family-friendly approach using both our assistance and service programs and our means to develop the district’s living quarters. Our municipality is committed to providing services and solutions well beyond those required by national laws and regulations. We offer more than twenty types of assistance plans for children, and families with children, on a voluntary basis. New-borns are presented with baby starter-kits and receive municipal assistance; family milestones are celebrated with so-called “Elisabeth Vouchers;” (for food), we cover the costs of optional vaccinations, provide additional support for the purchase of school books, school supplies, and public transport season tickets; and we also provide scholarships for our excelling young residents. Single parents and families with several children receive special offers and conditions. The availability of assistance is aimed at helping as many families with young children as possible. The municipality created its very own, so-called “Baby-Guard Program” that provides special assistance for young, malnourished children based on the recommendations of local family pediatrists. The program is organized in the framework of the Child Welfare Services, and it also provides free baby formulas for six months.
For children suffering abuse or involved in criminal procedures, we created a special communication room for children inside the headquarters of the 5th District Police Department. The task-forces of the district’s “Substance Abuse Forum” work in close coordination with the local Police Department. Our municipality organizes international youth programs in close coordination with almost all of our sister cities. Following the lead of our fifth-grade students, we organize a Car-Free-Day once a year. In the spring, we found an open-air “Downtown Family Picnic” in the Olimpic Park and a “Contemporary Children-Literature Playground” in the Károlyi Garden. These programs aim not only at providing family entertainment and developmental help for children but they also offer welcome occasions to support the local art and literary community.
In 2018, we provided the framework for the 12th “Downtown Festival,” Hungary’s largest free-of-charge music festival, that offered musical entertainment for three days on five locations. Our municipality entertains four parks in the 5th District, all of which with playground sections for the under 14 age groups. Our parks are developed with special attention to the needs and requirements of families with small children. We provide open-air nappy-changing banks, toilets with nappy-changing tables, parent-kid swings, public bookshelves, and protected sand-pits for special needs children.
The Municipality of Budapest’s 5th District created the “Downtown Community Center” with local families in mind, to provide a home-like atmosphere for our residents in a caring and sharing community from the first months of pregnancy to the golden years.