Belvárosi Tanoda Foundation
1083 Budapest, Szigony u. 37.
tel./fax: + 36-1 303 6574
tel.: +36-1 210 0186



After one year of preparation, the Belvárosi Tanoda Foundation started its activity in 1990.
The main job of the Foundation is looking for young people dropped out from regular secondary schools, and providing for them aid and possibility of finishing their studies. These youngsters have more disorders than an average adolescent; they are manifested in many kinds of life problems, e.g. family backgroudnd, drug and alcohol abuse, mental or personality disordes, learning problems and so on. They are expelled from their school because their teachers cannot tolerate these special problems, the individual demands, and the unusual personalities.
The Foundation maintains a secondary grammar school without any fee, which takes governmental tasks as dealing with these young, "deviant" people dropped out from regular educational system, taking as main professional task their education in a special, person-centered way . This task is fulfilled within the frame of a special educational and personality-developing program.
The Tanoda admits from mentalhygienic point of view neglected young people. Our students usually are low educated, professionally untrained, mostly endangered socially as well, without any plans for the future.
We take care for such youngsters, who never get in touch with helping systems working within the frame of traditional institutions (Career Advisory Services, Educational Counseling Services, Family Counseling Services, Drug Outpatients, Youth Offices etc.) The young people applying to the Tanoda (app. 600 persons / year) do that according to advice of people of the same age, living in the same sub-culture.
The Tanoda, as a helping institute, tries to react for all the symptoms of deviancy at one place. The secondary school studies, the possibility of doing final exam, the re-socialization - these are the forms of the concrete help.
The certification of final exam got in the Tanoda means beyond the knowledge in traditional sense a better state of mental health, a real chance in life. This recovery itself means real profit for society, which can be expressed even in money.

The Tanoda-method resulted from continuous work. It is such a special helping-pedagogical method, which can be learnt and applied for long in education and care of endangered young people. The staff is organized according to some important considerations, such as the helpers' personality, the attitude towards young people, living in the margin of society, capacity of teamwork and appropriate qualification. The educational and supportive methods are usually different for each individual, as the various personalities and problems demand different approaches. Thanks to this unique methodology, during the past 11 years the Tanoda has became the place of practical studies for students of psycho pedagogy, social work and pedagogy.

The atmosphere of Tanoda is attracting for both endangered teenagers and the professionals dealing with them. We are in touch with some 100 people in every year; we try to react their needs for activities and care. The essence of our work is this continuous building upward from below, that is, from the side of needs.
Since the beginning we have made a lot of improvements. In the secondary school - as compared to the one in 1990 - we some different departments according to the special needs of young people; it means different ways of educational processes and helping contacts (we have a regular school, we deal with education of drug-users staying at rehabilitation centers, or recently leaving it, and education of young people staying in custody).
The Tanoda Club and the daily Duty care about those young people, who turn to the Tanoda, but who are not its students. There we are waiting for them with real helping contact, counseling in life problems, school questions and social affairs.
The professionals, relatives are regularly admitted. The possibility of visits and consultations is always assured for everyone, who also meets the problem of deviancy and wants to do something against it.
We assist on, and we do by ourselves researches and methodological work concerning the approach and the treatment of deviancy.

The independent program of the Foundation from the year 1998 is the Stop Group , which offers some
activities and personal attention beyond the school-time by organizing self-help and creative groups for the young people wrestling with life troubles and isolation.
Most of our students and applicants are affected by the problem of addiction. For this reason in 1999 the Stop Group started a drop-in rehabilitation program, offering all-day activity for addicted, for the moping, passive young people, looking for company - and for those intending to help them.
With our students, young people in care and colleges we regularly take part in talks, demonstrations at schools and on professional conferences.
Nevertheless, our most important success is the continuous work since 1990; the number of young people asking for our advice is growing; our services are used maximally by those, for whom they were made, that is, by youngsters looking for living-space, meaningful tasks, activities and human relations.

The basic professional aim of the Foundation is the complex treatment - including care, education, personality development and re-integration - of endangered, deviant young people, dropped out from secondary schools and the regular institutional system in general; they are lonely, confused, floating into the self-destruction. As Marek Kotanski says: "they are about being lost by life". Since the deviancy basically is a mode of life, so our task is, through different services, to show a new, positive way of living and to give a chance to try that.
During the past eleven years we have got a real image of endangered young people and the problems and deficiency of the institutional system dealing with them. The most important feature can be the bare number of the institutions trusted and valued as effective by those, who are concerned.
These institutions are mostly characterized by reacting on only one dimension of deviancy-problem, whereas those who are concerned would need - as they themselves formulate precisely - full day treatment, the possibility of doing different developing activities at one place, that is: the complexity. Moreover, they would need to be treated as personalities, not as "clients" or "patients"; they want to create real relationships, to get real tasks.

During the past eleven years the BTA has become such a complex receptive program and place which accept applicants without any specialized, concretely formulated aim, only with the hope of personal support and collective being. Though the different work-teams and programs have their own image and content, through the personal contacts there are crossings between them.

During our 11 years of existence, we experienced the deviancy as a multiple phenomenon, a group of symptoms determining the whole personality and guidance of life, that is, a choice of a certain way of living. Its roots cannot be clearly defined, but on one hand, they are certainly conditioned by the personality and on the other by the mechanisms of social environment. The human climate, the way of living and thinking, the system of values surely play role in its coming about. So in care of deviancy all these factors must be present at the same time. The deviant behavior is the result of certain processes of socialization, that's why it can be changed only by an other process. It cannot be reached by applying the problem- or treatment-oriented - maybe effective in their places - methods and institutes.

In the whole system of our Foundation's activities we try to accomplish such an effectiveness that can affect the personality as a whole. We do not want to apply one particular method, but we would like to reach effects, offering and mirroring more positive patterns of behavior through the deep connection with the persons. We do not want to change young people, but we want to show them some other ways - and the decision is theirs. Since the deviant behavior is an inner decision, breaking-off must come from inside as well. The care and the help can be effective only in this case. So the 'help', according to our consideration means creating such an atmosphere, which offers secure ground for changes of the individual.

During the realization of our programs we strive to apply or adopt all types of activities and methods that can affect the development of the target group. The change of deviant conduct requires changes in the individual's smaller and larger environment. We can offer patterns for this. That's why we emphasize more than ever the acceptance of relatives, teachers and professional helpers, the cooperation with them, the talks about their problems (groups for parents, individual consultations, self-help workshop for helpers, talks about prevention of drug abuse).

This approach, the effort for professional multiplicity means also, that we work in such a transitory field - on the boundaries of education, youth-guidance, social work, drug assistance etc. - which belongs to everywhere and at the same time nowhere. This fact many times causes misunderstandings, administrative or even professional problems. Nevertheless, maybe in this lies the key of effectiveness: we organize our work according to the approach the individuals with all of their problems, not the problems themselves.