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Compulsory Youth Service in Hungarian Schools starting September 2012

While DIA has been advocating the importance of youth service since its creation in 1999, and reached out to hundreds of schools and thousands of students the idea beeing that young people should get at least one chance in secondary school to be involved in projects aiming at giving back to their local community, in December 2011, the government of Hungary made youth service compulsory for all secondary school students  obtaining a matriculation.

Since the government is not allocating any funding for the operation, and the entire school system in Hungary has been struggling with financial problems, the schools encounter a number of challenges. We are talking about almost 1 000 schools and roughly 80 000 students a year. That changed the landscape considerably and put DIA in a delicate position. Our response to that is that using our recently published youth service handbook as a tool, we offer professional development moduls and mentoring to schools. Funding comes from various resources such as the Open Society Foundations, and OTP, a leading national bank.