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Dear all my friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances,
This year will have marked my 4th year as a High School English teacher in Miskolc, Hungary. I have had an incredible time teaching my students in Hungary while learning about Hungary's beautiful culture, language, cuisine, people and landscape. I, myself, am proud to be both a US and a Hungarian citizen even during these crazy and unprecedented times between managing teaching online during the pandemic and now with the general malaise that accompanies there being war raging between Ukraine and Russia that is less than 200 miles from the city where I am currently teaching.
As my colleagues know, teachers in Hungary are very poorly paid by both EU and regional standards, yet I must pay $750 every year to the Central European Teaching Program in order to continue teaching in a country whose students have inspired me with their intellect and motivation to learn. The pandemic's affects took a hard hit on my financial situation both as a teacher and a translator due to the massive inflation on prices for virtually everything in my life.
As a side note, it is precisely because of this reason that I give my full support to the ongoing, nationwide-teacher's strike for better working conditions and a massive pay-hike. Teachers cannot afford to live anymore on their own salaries and the both the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, which is right at Hungary's borders has exasperated this problem; resulting in higher living costs as well as the use of a currency, the Hungarian Forint having lost 25 percent of it's value against all major currencies since I began teaching in Miskolc in 2018.
I am eternally grateful to all those who donate towards my cause of continuing to teach in Hungary as you are both helping me and young Hungarian students with their academic endeavors as they are able to be taught English by a native teacher. It is never easy for Hungarian public schools to find native teachers, and given the current geo-political situation I imagine it to be even harder for the schools than it would be if there wasn't the uncertainties of a war a few hundred miles from where I am currently located. That being said, I feel at home with both my Hungarian family who are all located in the northeastern side of Hungary as well as with my students, friends and colleagues that I have grown to love and appreciate.
Any contribution that you can make towards this yearly €750 fee will be greatly appreciated; both by my students and me!
Louis Anthony De Francesco-Szabo
If you make a donation of at least 15 dollars, I will make and mail you a handmade bracelet as a thank-you-gift.
If you make a donation of at least 25 dollars I will make you a personally-tailored bracelet with a selection of gemstones and/or words to your liking such as the one that I have made for friends and family in the photo.
If you make a donation of at least 50 dollars I will make you a personally-tailored necklace with a selection of gemstones and/or words to your liking such as the one that I have made for friends and family in the photo.
- Louis Anthony De Francesco
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