Sunday, May 16, 2010

New project throughout Hungary

Many of our readers have seen children hospitals inside and outside in Hungary. Most of the hospitals needs more paint and nicer gardens. That is exactly what we are planning to do shortly. Our Communication Manager, Tricia Garrison, is in charge of this very project, which is actually her own brainchild. Focus will be on children drawings on the walls in children rooms and on beautifying the gardens of the hospitals.

We plan to execute this project with the help of volunteers from the business community through the CSR-flag (Corporate Social Responsibility). We already have a few companies in mind with whom we will further discuss all details: which hospital, how many volunteers from the company, professional guidance for painting and gardening, etc.

We all hope that a new elan in Hungarian politics will take place. In any case, we will try from our side to bring a new elan in children wards in Hungary by making wards and gardenings of children hospitals more attractive and therefore uplifting the soul of the young patients, their parents and the medical staff.

Dr Albert Royaards
President of the Board of Trustees
Smiling Hospital Foundation

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Smiling Hospital in Morocco

Together with the Founder of the Smiling Hospital Foundation, Countess Éva Csáky Bornemisza, I went to Morocco for three weeks; one week in Casablanca, one week in Marrakech and one week in Rabat. The objective was to meet with the directors of children hospitals in these three cities and to find out whether there would be any interest in a "smiling hospital entertainment". A very clear and positive response from the hospital-directors in all three cities.
The second step was to find local artists, who will give weekly performances. And the final step is to raise funds in Morocco to pay the artists "charity-fees", which will be much lower than the usual commercial remuneration.

The success of our trip was the result of many kind persons. First of all, the Hungarian ambassador in Rabat, Mr László Pap, who organised a "working luncheon" with 12 important guests from the health sector. Then the wonderful help from the family of the Moroccan ambassador to Hungary, Mr Moulay Abbes Kadiri; especially Madame Assia Alami whom we have appointed our "Ambassador" for Morocco. I think that we could start in Morocco within few months.

It was interesting to note how different in a positive way the young generation Moroccans behave when compared to younsters in the Western world: not much smoking, not much drinking of alcohol, no tatouages or any kind of piercings; even obesity seems not much of a problem for those who could afford to pay. Is this because of values in western world become decadent or because families in Morocco stick together and family-discipline still strong? Or does the Islam have such calming effect contrary to what we read about the motivations of terrorists? Much to think about when one travels through Morocco.

We look back at a splendid time in Morocco and are grateful to all those kind persons, who helped us realising our goal to prepare for "smiling hospital activities" in the local hospitals.

Albert Royaards

Monday, March 22, 2010

Morocco in sight

The international activities of the Smiling Hospital Foundation are growing fast. Much of this week will be spent for the preparations of a trip to Morocco by our Founder, Countess Éva Csáky Bornemisza, and myself as President of the Board. We are going to Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech and hope to witness the first artistic performance while we are there.

We are very grateful to have the support from five ambassadors (three Dutch ones, one Moroccan and one Hungarian). It is always important - when talking about our international activities - to emphasize the fact that all expenses are borne by local sponsors in the respective countries and by individuals like myself. Never we have used and never we will use funds generated in Hungary or any other country for purposes outside that very country.

When back from Morocco, I will recount our experiences on this blog.

Albert Royaards
President of the Board of Trustees
Smiling Hospital Foundation

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Smiling Hospital Golf Weekend" in Hencse on May 29 and 30

For the third year in a row, we are organising a golf tournament. This year will be in Hencse on May 29 and 30. The essential details are below:

Weekend of "Smiling Hospital Golf Tournament" at the European Lakes Golf & Country Club in Hencse on May 29 and 30, 2010. Starting time on May 29 at 12.00 noon. Texas Scramble. Maximum 72 players. For each player a prize!
Total cost: HUF 27.500 for single player and HUF 25.000 per person for a couple. This price includes following:
a) green-fees for two days (tournament on May 29 and free tee-off time on May 30)
b) hotel-room at European Lakes Golf & Country Club
c) celebration dinner in evening of May 29
d) breakfast in morning of May 30
e) donation for Smiling Hospital Foundation

Sponsorship: HUF 500.000 per hole - with "tailor made" promotion for the sponsor in Hencse and through the media.

Golfers and sponsors are most welcome to send me an e-mail if more details required, for confirming participation as a golfer or for discussing possible sponsorships. My e-mail address is:

Albert Royaards

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flag of Smiling Hospital Foundation reached top of Kilimanjaro

We are proud and very pleased to have Dr Viktor Szücs on the board of our Foundation. Dr Szücs has taken the effort to bring along a flag of the Smiling Hospital Foundation during his climb of the Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Once standing on the snowy top of the Kilimanjaro, a photograph was taken by a fellow climber. This picture can been seen on our website:

These are happy experiences, which inspire us with our work for the sake of sick children in hospitals. It makes us feel for a while as if we ourselves are "on top of the world".

We regard this successful climbing feat as a symbolic introduction to a beginning of our "smiling activities" in Africa later this year. In March, Countess Éva Csáky Bornemisza, our Founder, and I will visit Morocco for meetings with directors of hospitals in Casablanca and Rabat. We hope that Morocco will be the first country on the African continent where we bring smiles to children in hospitals.

Albert Royaards
President of the Board of Trustees
Smiling Hospital Foundation

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to engage the young..........part 2.

Not easy to find the right and elegant method to engage the young people with a good cause as ours. Our last try was using Facebook and to have a page of our own, which we named Smiling Knights; besides we formed a group on Facebook with the name of Smiling Hospital Foundation. During the first few weeks, many names were listed; at the moment 69 Fans for the Smiling Knights and 44 Members of the Smiling Hospital Foundation. But no further increase during last two weeks.
How to get more young people joining us as Fans and Members on Facebook? We tried a quiz and offered to send the winner anywhere in the world (we have Fans and Members from 15 different countries) a book of his choice with a maximum of Euro 20. Nobody applied sofar. Either the question was too difficult or - more likely - users of Facebook only like to chat or read quickly about the latest news and are not inclined to spend time on serious matters.
We are slowly learning to make best use of advanced methods of communication and technology.
But clearly we have not done well in this respect and need support from others. If any reader of this blog has a good idea how to engage young people towards the cause of the Smiling Hospital Foundation, we certainly would much appreciate to hear.
Albert Royaards

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to engage the young....

Hungary is such a beautiful country. I have lived here for already 14 years. I met a great number of wonderful Hungarians in this period and have seen quite a lot of the country during my 6.000 km biking tour through Hungary and on my other trips by train, car, bus, boat and even on foot (my walk in 2001 from Hungary to Holland).
For me (and supposedly for many others as well) it is so sad to see the slow progress Hungary is making in economic, social and many other fields. In many aspects, I see that things get even worse (e.g. many more homeless than in 1996). As long as the reputation of the government, regional and local authorities is known to be corrupt, bureaucratic and with all energy focused on their internal conflicts, I see little hope of change. Until....... the young generation will not accept this anymore.
The young Hungarians will travel and will be able to compare differences in life-style, income and opportunities with other countries. This country needs only a few young, clever and very determined minds to change Hungary for the better. It is a question of time. At one point in the future, Hungary will be as prosperous as many countries in the West and as Hungary has been once in the past.

The Smiling Hospital Foundation will engage the young very soon in a particular way. This effort may contribute towards a change in mentality Hungary needs. About this more next week.

Dr Albert Royaards