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Bridging the Gap Between Intellectual Excellence and Civic Initiatives


Natural Lifestyle Foundation:
Day Tour of Organic Farming and Sustainable Forestry Projects

On 2 April 1999, The CEU student NGO organized a day tour to the Natural Lifestyle Foundation (NLF). The NLF is situated on approximately 130 hectares near Tata, one hour northwest of Budapest, Hungary. The NLF promotes systematic sustainable living alternatives based on human and ecological principals. Their programs demonstrate:  [ Tata, Hungary ]

Atilla Czumpf, the NLF's Director, gave the group a brief urban ecology lecture in Tata's central park. Czumpf linked Hungary's political changes and the NLF's mission. "People should be educated about the long-term social and environmental impacts of their actions," he said. The park's spring-fed lake became unpotable following the Soviet industrialization; now soda bottles dot its banks as well. "While Hungary's problems may be easy to identify," he said, "they will take a long time to correct. The Foundation is trying to teach people that the cheapest solutions are usually not as inexpensive as they seem."

Outside of Tata, the group met two civil servant volunteers, working on the NLF's forest management project. Like Czumpf, all NLF members are volunteers. In Hungary, men can choose 18 months of voluntary civil service rather than perform nine months of military service. The two men chose forest management with Czumpf. "I believe they enjoy the opportunity to work for a community-based organization which has a commitment to long-term care for environmental resources," said volunteer Foundation staff member, Gyorgyi Labanc.

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What Can Be Done?
The Natural Lifestyle Foundation sees great opportunities to work more closely with CEU students, which can only be done if small grants are raised to cover minimal operating costs. Students plan to organize annual day trips to the Foundation and work with NLF to research their Maser's theses. While they only receive $130 each month, the students donated about $15 and raised more than $30 more to support NLF activities. If you would like to know more about making small donations to environmental projects like this one click here for more information .

If you would like to know more about the NLF or how you can be a donor, please visit:
Sustainable Development in Rural Hungary, or contact Shannon Simrell.

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