In 2011, UUCM had a request from our Partner Church in Transylvania for college scholarship assistance. The UUCM Partner Church committee decided to undertake this as a project with a vision of making it an on-going scholarship. Most high school graduates in the village do not go on to college, but the church council in Szentmihaly would like our help in supporting those who aspire to a college career.
Their first candidate was Csilla Peter — a good student and very involved in congregational life. Unfortunately, her father, Karcsi, died from cancer a few years ago, leaving the family with a financial struggle. With the financial help of UUCM, Csilla recently completed her college degree. UUCM members got to meet her when she and her family hosted the Rothmans and the Higgs during previous pilgrimages.
The second candidate was Zoltan Tarscafalvi. He is 18 and has been an extremely enthusiastic participant in the UUCM partnership since he first became a pen pal in elementary school. Our pilgrimage group in 2004 was fortunate to spend a lot of time with Zoli when his family hosted the Stokes in 2004. He worked hard to help with translations and impart a sense of the local culture. At this point, Zoli is working to save for tuition.
Annual expenses including room, board and tuition are $1,200 – $3,000 per year, depending on the college and city. Household income in the village is just over $200 per month. It is a situation where our financial support can make a tremendous impact.
UUCM congregants have donated generously to support this effort through our Sunday morning Share the Plate program .