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A New Moonlight Club in  Subotica 

20 April, 2007

The co-operation of the local government of Subotica, non-governmental organization Association for Positive Communication, the Balcan Community Initiatives Fund (BCIF), the Jovan Mikić Primary School in Subotica and the Hungarian Teacher Training Faculty of Subotica resulted in the establishment of a new, the fifth Moonlight Club, the opening ceremony of which was held on 17 April, 2007. The previous four Moonlight Clubs were set up within not much more than two years. This is a relatively short period for realising such a complex and sensitive innovation, and for the evaluation and assessment of the expected results. However, the positive experiences, the record  attendance at the clubs which is beyond our hopes, our second successful application at BCIF, the recognition and support by our local community prompted our organization to continue expanding the movement of night sport for the youth.

Our association successfully applied for financial support at BCIF this year for the second time. This time we won the support with our project entitled The reflections of the Moonlight Programme of Subotica. The title refers to the successful implementation of the previous project, and the further expansion and development of the same. This was our goal when we signed a co-operation agreement with the Hungarian Teacher Training Faculty of Subotica and with the Jovan  Mikić Primary School in Subotica  – with the support of the local government. In the framework of the co-operation programme, which is just starting to unfold, we set up a Moonlight Club where the students of the Teacher Training Faculty – future teachers – can get to know the Moonlight Programme, and can gain experience in applying it in practice. First they acquire the theoretical background with the help of a CD containing a presentation and promotional material, and from the presentations of the co-ordinators of the existing four Moonlight Clubs. They visit the clubs, in the first place Moonlight Club 5, which was among other things formed for this purpose with the help of BCIF – and join in the work in the clubs on a voluntary basis. Students write a seminar paper on the organization of free time activities of youth, with special regard to night sport clubs, and the possibilities of preventing the deviant behaviour of youth, within the framework of subjects Pedagogy, Psychology and Physical Education, the choice of which is optional. Within the framework of the project a survey is also conducted among the students in which they can give feedback about how they view the implementation of the Moonlight Programme in the clubs, how they see their role and importance in the positive socialization of youth, as well as about their observations and recommendations about improving the programme and the work of the clubs. On the basis of all this it can be stated, that the establishment of Moonlight Club 5, and the inclusion of the students of the Teacher Training Faculty in the project will not only strengthen the expansion of the humane idea of night sport clubs both theoretically and in practice, but will also develop the programme further.

The district of the town in the neighbourhood of the Jovan  Mikić  Primary School  may even be considered contradictory from a social point of view. It has a modern garden city part, a traditional urban part, and the suburb is also near. It is  a district where a lot of different sub-cultures meet, and it is not free of various conflicts. However, one thing is for sure. The premises of the foster home which was operating in the nearby for some decades, the partially empty and neglected parts of the building, as well as the sports grounds and parks surrounding it have become the meeting place for various gangs and drug users. This left a deep mark on the life of the locals, especially of children. Our organization decided on these grounds that it would seek a partner for establishing a Moonlight Club in this part of the town, so that it can contribute to the adequate socialization of the children living in the neighbourhood with its programme, by offering them useful evening leisure opportunities.

We didn't need to look for long. The renowned and selfless teaching staff of the Jovan  Mikić  Primary School, lead by head teacher Etuska Juhász, accepted to co-operate in the realization of the programme. She offered a beautiful two-wing entrance hall, the structure of which is similar to the Roman courtyards, as accommodation for the Moonlight Club 5, where the co-ordinator of the club, Milan Torbica and his aides can realize exciting sports programmes with the children on Friday evenings from 8 till 12 p.m.

The guests –  representatives of the council of the town, sponsors and supporters of the programme present, the students of the teacher training faculty, the teaching staff and students of the school – were greeted by the head teacher of the school, Etuska Juhász. Dezső Kiss, on the part of Club 21 – Association for Positive Communication, vice-dean Dr Géza Cékus and senior lecturer Dr Josip Lepes, on the part of the Hungarian Teacher Training faculty of Subotica  also delivered welcome speeches. They expressed their satisfaction and happiness that the faculty could contribute to the opening of a new night sport club, and also because in the newly established club the students of the faculty can become acquainted with this interesting and valuable form of children's free-time activities in practice.

Moonlight Club 5 was officially opened and handed over to the children by Andrija Romić, member of the City Council of Subotica, Councillor of Youth and Sports Affairs.


Dezső Kiss 



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