On 20 October 2023, the Hungary Helps Agency officially opened the new academic year and proudly celebrated the fifth year since this scholarship program launched. The Opening Ceremony was held at Church of St. Anthony of Padua.
The Opening Ceremony started with a joint Holy Mass for the students, featuring the talented singers of the International Choir of St. Stephen’s Basilica. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Father Ágoston. His sermon was heart-warming and welcoming. He guided the first year students through the history of the saints of Hungary. He showed them a little bit about the saintly lives of the people who gave their names to Hungary.
„You have come to this wonderful land, this wonderful city, this wonderful country” he said. „You have come to the country of Saint Stephen of Hungary the great man, who brought the church and the government together and married the country. You have come to the country of Saint Ladislaus the knight, the strong man. All holy, all saints. You have arrived to that country where Saint Elisabeth lived, the champion of charity work, the model of Caritas. Saint Margaret, you have come to her country, she is not easy. You have come to the city and the country of the son of Saint Stephen, we say in Hungary, Imre, the icon of sanctity, the model of clinginess and holiness. You have come to this wonderful country just to gate as their God, to enjoy as they enjoy. You are welcome! God bless you!”
After the Holy Mass, those present were able to listen to a wonderful performance, thanks to Jony Aski Oghli, one of our first year students and Alena Geppert, who played the well-known piece „You Raise Me Up” on the violin and the organ.
Péter Kovács, Director General of the Hungary Helps Agency, welcomed the first year scholarship holders with the following words: “I speak to young individuals, who fight not only for the knowledge, but also for the Christian faith and identity, even if the consequence is discrimination or persecution. You, students, at present, live your lives among us, and I am grateful to the Almighty God for this gift. […] You are the ones who can really understand the challenges the world faces nowadays — wars, disasters, lack of opportunities, economic difficulties, conflicts between religious and ethnic communities. We may not be able to tackle all these issues, but I strongly believe, that education is the main factor that transforms the world to a better place.”
This day was a milestone in the program’s history, because the Programme’s very first student who received a PhD degree was also celebrated. Francis Wanjohi Kiemo PhD who holds Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Crop and Horticulture Sciences degree now received a memorial award because of this special occasion, and had the chance to welcome the newly arrived SCYP students with the following words:
“Your shining bright faces show potential to make positive impacts, not only in your individual lives but also in your communities and beyond. I urge you to cherish this moment as the beginning of your transformation. Embrace and enjoy this rare opportunity to live and study abroad as the high achievers that you are. When trials come as they surely will, just remember who you are and where you come from. I pray that God will see you through and grant you huge success in this country”.
First year scholarship holders!
Welcome to Hungary! May these few years here be profitable and blessed for you!