Two of our photographers joined the volunteers of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and District IX council on their mission to deliver food and provide company for the most vulnerable groups in Budapest.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, life at the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has been about trying to protect and assist those most affected by the health crisis. This humanitarian organisation takes care of an average of 13,000 people in their institutions daily, while their assistance activities help further tens of thousands of people.

On weekdays, the social catering department of the charity organisation delivers 85 meals to mainly elderly residents in Békásmegyer, at the northern edge of District III.

Six care-providers and 13 volunteers have been helping 48 local elderly citizens who have been living on their own for the last 25 years. The assistance involves shopping for groceries, running errands, talking, going on walks and reading aloud for them. For the persons who need it, the charity workers help to bathe, cook and clean, while also serving as one of their only connections to the outside world.

The workers and volunteers wear the protective equipment required to offer safe assistance. The elderly experience these challenging times differently, some get through it by discussing it, some are reassured by the sight of face masks, while others are alarmed, and communication means keeping a longer distance apart.

As with many other Budapest districts, Ferencváros has also recruited volunteers to provide much needed aid to local elderly and chronically ill. Our photographer, Márton Koncz, followed three young helpers in District IX as they went around delivering food to people’s homes.

Among the volunteers was a bank employee putting their spare time to good use by lending a helping hand.