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Kek Vonal: A Safe Haven for Children in Hungary 

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My journey to Budapest had never been so complete and inspiring since I got the opportunity to visit Kek Vonal, the child helpline in Hungary. My visit to Kek Vonal, also known as the Blue Line Children’s Crisis Foundation, was life changing. As soon as I walked into their call centre, I felt the warmth and compassion of the counsellors, who were eager to assist children in need. It was a humbling experience to meet Sara, the communications officer, and Ivett, the Ukrainian counsellor, who work tirelessly to ensure that every child is heard and helped. 

Since its establishment in 1993, Kek Vonal has been committed to providing support, care, and guidance to children, teens, and young adults facing various crises. The organisation believes that children and young people should be treated as partners and that their voices should be heard. Kek Vonal offers 24-hour free counselling operated by trained counsellors who are ready to listen and assist children in Hungary who are in trouble or whose rights have been violated. Kek Vonal’s counsellors also work tirelessly to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where children can share their problems and receive the support they need. 

What impressed me the most about Kek Vonal was their dedication to helping children affected by the war in Ukraine. They have established a child helpline specifically for Ukrainian and Russian-speaking children, young people, and caregivers who wish to speak with a counsellor in their languages. The service in Ukrainian and Russian currently only operates on Tuesday and Thursday from 16.00 to 20.00. Ivett informed me that they currently train several prospective Ukrainian and Russian-speaking counsellors so that they can provide more support to children, young people, and caregivers affected by the war in Ukraine. This initiative demonstrates Kek Vonal’s commitment to assisting children of all nationalities and backgrounds. 

During my visit, I witnessed how Kek Vonal operates first hand. I was amazed to see the counsellors at work, tirelessly answering calls and providing comfort and support to children who most needed it. Ivett and Sara told me that children and young people call them about a variety of issues, including violence, bullying, loneliness, relationship problems, and others. 

The Kek Vonal office had a homey atmosphere. The nice thing is that they also have a bed for the night shift counsellors. Sara also showed me the most interesting corner of Kek Vonal, which is a collection of child helpline flyers from around the world attached to the office’s wall. It is so incredible to see that there are numerous counsellors and child helplines around the world that are available to assist children and young people at any time and wherever they are. 

As I left, I was reminded of the importance of organisations like Kek Vonal. The office is comparatively small, yet it has a significant impact on the lives of children and young people. They also provide a safe haven for children who are facing difficulties and offer them hope and a chance to be heard. Their work is truly inspiring and deserves recognition and support from all of us. 

My time at Kek Vonal was both touching and humbling. The dedication and passion of the staff were truly inspiring, and I’m glad I got to see them in action. Kek Vonal is a shining example of how organisations can make a real difference in children’s lives, and I hope that their efforts to help more children and young people and ensure that they are seen and heard will be successful. 

Arista Kusumastuti
Communications Officer – Ukraine Project