Together with his wife Anita Herczeg, Hungarian President János Áder will set up a foundation for children orphaned during the coronavirus pandemic, he announced on public radio on Sunday.
Áder said that unlike during the first and second waves of the coronavirus epidemic, the third wave of the pandemic resulted in a significant number of young people, including parents raising children, dying from the disease, leaving their children orphaned.
“My wife and I have been thinking for weeks about how to help in this situation. I wondered how many families and how many children could be affected by this epidemic. There are more than 600 children and more than 400 families,” Áder said. He added that the affected children should be helped financially at least until they reach the age of majority or until they enter a profession or possibly receive a university degree.
He said about the foundation that the legal preparatory work had been completed, the memorandum of association had already been completed, with Áder serving as the founder and his wife was a member of the board of trustees. He also invited clinical psychologist Emőke Bagdy and physicist Diána Ürge-Vorsatz to the board, both of whom accepted the position.
He added that the foundation has not yet been registered — court proceedings will start next week — so they cannot accept donations for the time being. The foundation starts with seed money of 5 million forints (€13,845), which Áder said comes from “their personal savings”. At the same time, Áder said he is confident that support will eventually come from his circle of acquaintances and even beyond that.
He stressed, however, that without the help of municipalities, mayors and notaries, this program could not be made successful, as they know the families involved and exactly what financial support is needed. He also said that they thought a lot about the name of the foundation, and in the end they chose the name of István Regőczi.
Regőczi (1915-2013), was a Catholic priest who at the end of World War II convinced the Ministry of Defense to donate a half-finished military barracks to be converted into a home for war orphans.
Title image: Hungarian President János Áder. (MTI/Zoltán Balogh)