Triratna Jobs, Volunteering and Communities

Dr Ambedkar School, Hungary, Seeks New Manager

Posted by Centre Team on Sat, 8 November, 2014 - 03:20
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Centre Team
Eight years ago, Hungarian Mitras who are themselves Gypsies, established the Jai Bhim Network, a Triratna affiliated organization with Subhuti as Kalyana Mitra. Their focus of activity has been providing educational opportunities for Gypsies young and old, who have not succeeded in the Hungarian education system, either because of poor teaching, lack of supportive conditions in the Gypsy settlements, or outright discrimination. They have established the Dr. Ambedkar High School in one of the poorest and most backward regions of Hungary, where the local governments are dominated by extreme right wing racists and where unemployment amongst Gypsies runs to more than 90%. The school currently has some 250 students who are finding for the first time the opportunity and interest to learn, many of them coming in their teens with very limited ability even to read and write. Numbers of these students are now able to graduate from high school and some go on to university, whereas many had not even completed primary school or had done so in name only when they first came to the Dr. Ambedkar High School.

The policy of Jai Bhim Network, inspired by Dr. Ambedkar and the Dalit movement in India, is to have the ownership and control of the organisation in the hands of qualified Buddhist Gypsies. This is an important and radical principle in the development of a highly marginalised and backward community. However, the circumstances of historical marginalisation mean that there are very few Gypsies with the capacity to run such organisations and, fro some time, help is required from non-Gypsies, both to manage the organisation and to train Gypsies to do so. This is a sensitive task that requires considerable understanding and skill, since it is of central importance that final decision-making is in the hands of the Gypsies.

The principal initiative in the Jai Bhim Network is now taken by Janos Orsos, who is President (Chairman in UK Triratna terms), and Tibor Derdak, who is the Director of the school. As is so often the case with new organisations that are meeting a very great need, there is far more work than they can manage. They need a colleague who can take on the management and administration of the organisation, leaving them free to work with teachers and students and to manage the many political problems that have arisen because of the rapid drift of Hungary into a populist authoritarianism in the Putin mould.

Besides the school, the Jai Bhim Network runs a number of other activities, such as social work, a Buddhist Scout troop, choirs and other cultural activities, a small farm, and activities in surrounding Gypsy settlements, including in Slovakia - all aimed at broadening the horizons of the young gypsies and integrating them into the larger world. The organisation has ten buildings and other infrastructure that all require looking after. The Manager would be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the administration were running smoothly and effectively. he or she would especially be responsible for training and supervising those managing the various tasks undertaken by the Jai Bhim Network, often with very limited personal and cultural experience of administration, and for establishing effective systems for their work.

It should also be mentioned that the Jai Bhim Network has conducted a number of public talks in Budapest and has a small but growing community of Buddhists, both Gypsy and non-Gypsy, and is finding that there are people all over Hungary who are interested in the Triratna approach to the Dharma. There is the opportunity for the person appointed to this post to assist in organising and teaching Triratna activities and to contribute to the development of a Hungarian Triratna Sangha.

We are looking for someone who is:
  1. A Buddhist associated with the Triratna Community, preferably an Order member or Mitra.
  2. Understanding and supportive of the idea of Dharma Revolution on the principles established by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Urgyen Sangharakshita.
  3. Experienced in management of NGOs and skilled in working with people.
  4. Able and willing to work among people from marginalised communities, who have limited experience of organisation and collective action.
  5. Willing to contribute to the teaching and practice of the Dharma amongst the small but growing group of Buddhists, Gypsy and non-Gypsy, associated with Triratna through the Jai Bhim Network.
  6. Willing to consider relocating to a relatively remote village in Northern Hungary, 3 hours from Budapest, to live either in the community house in which Janos and Tibor live with other teachers and workers or in separate accommodation in the village. The post could suit someone with a partner who would also be able to work for the organization, for instance teaching any subjects on the curriculum in the medium of English.
  7. Willing to consider a long-term commitment to the project, after an initial trial period of one year..

Anyone interested should first visit the website of the Jai Bhim Network at www.jaibhim.hu Further enquiries can be made directly to Janos Orsos: janosorsos [at] yahoo.com or Tibor Derdak: derdak [at] ambedkar.hu Enquiries can also be made to Subhuti: subhuti [at] gmail.com
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