September Communion Retiring Offering: Immanuel House, Debrecen, Hungary
The September communion retiring offering is for Immanuel House in Hungary. The All Friends Together team had the joy of meeting two of the staff, Zsofia and Edit, when they came over to Scotland last year as part of our links with the Great Church, Debrecen.
Unique for Hungary, Immanuel House supports children and young people from age 6 up to 30 with a wide range of disabilities, including many with complex needs. For the pupils and their families, it is a place of community and belonging. Specially trained staff and volunteers create an environment for learning, communication and expression.
It focuses on individual tailored plans. Children with communication difficulties are able to convey their feelings and needs with the aid of technology known as Alternative Augmented Communication. There is a wide range of activities to make learning fun.
As an extension of the Great Church, spiritual education and development are also focuses for Immanuel House. When everyone is in lockdown because of coronavirus, digital technology is used to continue some of the learning and take some strain from families.
During their visit to Scotland, Zsofia and Edit visited schools and universities where they saw some of the latest technology and aids for children with complex needs. Although they have a limited budget, ceiling track hoists, which would make moving and handling so much easier, are high on their priority list.
Opened in 1991, Immanuel House has now grown to 40 staff and 80 children, including some young adults who would otherwise have no provision. They are hoping to extend their services to include early detection and support for infants. They have just received planning permission for a new, purpose-built building and are excited to see what the future holds.