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Healing the Soul as Well as the Body

Hungary’s Bátor Tábor provides camps at its base in Hatvan throughout the year for chronically ill children and their families, totally free of charge. Thanks to the activities organized, “children become children again”, as Péter Küllői, chairman of the board, explained to the Budapest Business Journal. Whenever the camps take place, the idea is broadly the same: Placing children outside of their comfort zone so they can overcome their fears and gather strength to face their illness through a very unique experience.

Péter Küllői, chairman of the Bátor Tábor Board.

The foundation has been around for more than one-and-a-half decades. How do you see this period?

We now have nearly 1,000 participants in our camps every year, and this means a huge improvement through time. Since last year there have been some changes, such as the nomination of a new CEO. I think this is something normal for any company, considering that changes are always part of the game.

What are your short- and mid-term plans for the future?

We represent a regional center with children coming from different countries beside Hungary, such as Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland. Our plans now include strengthening what we are already doing and the development of new programs, in order to also extend the possibility to take part in these camps to all those children who cannot leave hospital due to their medical condition.

What is the main rationale of your charity?

Children who have a chronic disease cannot cure themselves completely in hospitals. A total healing means also curing the soul, and not just the body. We do something that goes further than what doctors or teachers can do. And we do it in different places than schools or hospitals.

How many children do you deal with on a yearly basis?

We have grown a lot since Bátor Tábor’s foundation. Now we can count nearly 1,000 participants yearly. We do not do just summer camps, but fall and spring ones as well. Those are also open to the children’s family members. When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness it is going to change the life of the whole family. It affects the parents and the siblings, and also their relationship. That is why we consider it extremely important to offer programs to the closest family members as well.

What programs do you organize for the children?

We would like children to become children again through a wide range of activities, including archery, horse riding, rowing and wall climbing. And they do not take part in these activities individually. We like to put them together, building teams, make them work and enjoy time together.

How can someone support your cause?

We have many supporters nationwide but we would really appreciate having more. Becoming a volunteer can surely help us. We currently count on many volunteers who do their best to make things work. Then there are people running marathons for us such as the Élménykülönítmény [Fun Squad, see Ready to Rumble in the previous issue], a charity sport community that is helping us to raise funds. Furthermore, people are collecting money from their colleagues, friends, families and they gladly do so because they know it is for a good cause. Another easy way to help is by offering 1% of your tax. There are hundreds of good causes that could be supported this way, ours is one of them, and it takes only a few minutes from your lives. Some might believe it is unimportant or the amount is so little that it wouldn’t make a difference. However, the truth is that little streams can make great rivers.