This blogpost is particularly close to our heart, because Mash&Co adventure – as a project and then as a start-up – is inspired by the wonderful country of Hungary where we lived. There we met amazing people that we consider our family now. Hungarian culture has a particular tune with nature and parents transmit this link to children through various activities.
Among the many people we met, there is Anikó, mother of a 9-year-old boy. She works as a full time travel buyer in a multi shared service center. Her family lives in a small town just outside the capital Budapest.
As we have seen, the beauty of the villages around Budapest can be found in the sense of neighborhood’s community. Anikó confirmed everyone can count on everybody’s help, as if they belonged to one family. Those need to bring children to school or need a babysitter can always count on getting helped.
The town where Anikó lives has schools and a local library. Twice a year, the community organizes events for families, providing different activities related to sports and arts. However the small town lacks activities for children aged ten and over. In this regard activities involving music, sports and languages are the best, Anikó says. Fortunately being near to Budapest compensates this lack.
How does Hungary and its government help combine motherhood and work? The maternity leave last up to three years. The government allows additional days for both parents, depending on the number of children. So for example two extra days of annual leave is equivalent to one child, four days for two, and seven days for three.
It is not always easy to be parents in Hungary, Anikó says. For financial reasons, many mothers choose to go on maternity leave up to two years. The ideal would be to combine work and family through a part-time or remote job. Unfortunately there are few cases in which this occurs.
Meanwhile, the government is also trying to encourage the population growth offering 10 million forints (€ 33,000) to those families with at least three children and willing to buy a house.
As for health care, the waiting list for medical visits can be long, especially if there is no particular emergency. Sometimes unpleasant situations occurs when doctors refuse to visit patients with no reservation, even if there is no one in the waiting room.
But it is also our duty to recognize the efficiency of the healthcare in Hungary. Once in Budapest, we had an emergency involving the eyes. We have been rescued immediately, visited and followed up on subsequent days. It was a stressful moment with a happy ending luckily.
As for school education, Anikó didn’t notice any particular improvements during the past years. She thinks new measures can be done. However universities can reach high levels: particularly medicine and finance faculties are the most renowned. In this regard Hungary is witnessing an increased trade with countries and foreign students.
In our opinion, another good school is MOME, the school of applied arts where our team has been introduced to animation. It is a highly formative school. Hungarian students who pass the entrance exams do not pay college tuition, unless they go off course. The environment is very dynamic and the institute support its students and especially graduates in design and visual arts domains by promoting and investing in their talents.