The referendum held in 2nd October 2016 was the first referendum since 1989 regarding the vote of the resettlement of refugees, suffrage extended to Hungarian citizens who do not have a permanent residence in Hungary. An overwhelming 99% of Hungarians in Transylvania did vote NO to the resettlement of refugees. Looking on these numbers it seamed an almost impossible task to change this, when Szabolcs Georgescu, VSPS Migration Program participant, started organizing the first Critical Thinking on Migration Workshop. He thought this would be a hard shell to crack. Then Szabolcs recalled his favorite motto, which has guided him through the toughest moments: “What we have done to ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”.
This phrase was Szabolcs’s intro for the two Critical Thinking on Migration Workshops attended by 300 teenagers at the Szekely Miko Kollegium and the Mikes Kelemen Liceum in Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania, a city inhabited mostly by the Hungarian national minority. After the workshops it became clear, that change is possible and inevitable, the youth does not comply anymore with political will or receive indications from political parties or government. All in all, the young generation doesn’t ignore the fact that human tragedy happens on the other side of the fence, they are perceptible and open-minded and the feedback received after the workshop gives hope.
In addition, the workshops resulted in increased interest among the local community and resulted in interviews in local radio, Sepsi Rádió 98.5 Fm – Szerkesztőség, and newspaper, which is available HERE.