Telecentres in the Centre of Attention in Hungary

Get Online Week campaign was used for raising the visibility of telecentres. We wanted to put “Telecentres in the Centre of Attention”, as the campaign’s subtitle said in Hungarian language.

Telecentres in Hungary face serious problems of sustainability as they do not have regular funding from the government. About half of the telecentres are operated by NGOs that makes their operation more flexible, but they are more affected by the economic crisis and the lack of grant and fundraising opportunities. The other half of telecentres are run by local governments where continuous funding is equally difficult to provide. In an ideal case the telecentre is integrated with the local library, cultural centre or village centre so all sort of community services can be provided in the same premises by the same staff.

The campaign was used to demonstrate that telecentres do exist and serve their local communities. The government should be more aware of the need for telecentres and the important role they play in increasing digital literacy in rural Hungary.

There is still a high need for telecentres in rural communities. János Boda, mayor of the village of Kajdacs (population: 1338), former telecentre manager said: “Finally they recognize the efforts telecentres have made over the past 15 years. We don’t want to be disappeared; the need for telecentres is greater than ever. Until recently Internet had been fun, from now on it is essential.”

János' telecentre is an excellent example for providing a great variety of services to the community, including advisory services, community development, social services, cultural services and adult education. They even organize summer camps for children. It is also a good example for joint effort by the local government and local NGOs to effectively maintain a multi-purpose telecentre in the community.

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