The mission of the Children’s Nutrition Fund (CNF) is to provide food and education for children who would otherwise have to go without in Central-Eastern Europe. Firstly in Hungary, and eventually within the entire region.
The communist system may have fallen, but poverty has obtained a new aspect of ethnicity. So much so, that within the CEE region the word ‘poor’ is almost synonymous with the word ‘Romany’.
Before the fall of the communist system, all Romany adults had at least some work and a source of income. While there were widely spread prejudices against them, nobody would even suggest what the grim reality is now: segregation in schools. There is evidence that discrimination increases at times of economic hardship.
The anti-Roma feelings explain the success story of Jobbik, a Hungarian radical nationalist political party. This organization describes itself as "a principled, conservative, and radically patriotic Christian party". However, scholars and press outlets condemn it as a neo-fascist, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, and homophobic force. Jobbik has placed the Roma issue on the political agenda as a question of public security citing the so-called “Gypsy crime” phenomenon. Unfortunately, this resonated well with several groups of society. Pursuant to its quota of representation in the European Parliament and the National Assembly, it is Hungary's third largest party.
According to political analysts, the Magyar Gárda Mozgalom (in English: Hungarian Guard Movement) was funded by Jobbik. The Western press describes it as a paramilitary organization, a civilian militia, or party militia. The activity of this movement was banned by the court, but former members have been carrying on with their activities in slightly different uniforms and under different organization names. They continue to march and terrify people in villages where the population is predominantly of Romany origin.
Between 2008 and 2009 six Roma were killed in Hungary in a string of attacks. Among the victims was a five years old boy. The trial initiated against the murderers in 2011 is ongoing.
CNF thinks easing poverty can reduce racism too.