News Release

Celebrated Social Entrepreneur in Hungary Receives Aid to Help Disabled Adults

Latter-day Saint Charities donates ten new patient lifts to Equal Chances Foundation

Equal Chances Foundation (ECF) was founded in 1989 in Budapest, Hungary by Erzebet Szekeres, a struggling young mother who was committed to providing a more self-sufficient life for her differently abled son Tibor. ECF has since grown to 13 facilities spread across Hungary. These facilities have helped over 900 disabled and multiply disabled individuals, many of whom are both physically and mentally challenged, to lead more productive, satisfying lives through workshops, counseling and by participating in simple paid jobs to earn money. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through its humanitarian organization Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC), is supporting ECF with the purchase of new modern equipment that will help those with mobility challenges. “Our residents and patients are handicapped, yes. But I believe everyone can serve and love if given the chance,” commented ECF Founder Erzebet.

The daily task of caring for these handicapped individuals often requires the use of manual patient lifts to help transport patients for various tasks and needs including baths, wheelchair access, access to workstations or basic recreation. It also relieves staff who must manually operate the lifts day in and day out. In April of 2021, Latter-day Saint Charities purchased and donated ten modern, electric patient lifts to replace manual lifts which needed repair at ECF facilities. LDSC had previously assisted Erzebet in 2020 with the purchase of refrigerators and washing machines for resident dormitories at her facilities where patients can work but also live as required. Erzebet currently has 600 individuals working at her Hungary facilities, with 130 occupying the dorms.

“Latter-day Saint Charities already had a relationship with this incredible woman and her organization, so we were thrilled to assist in her growth and expansion as she prepared to serve a larger patient base,” said Mac Richards, LDSC Humanitarian Missionary.

“You can’t even imagine the difference these modern lifts make in caring for the daily needs of our patients,” exclaimed Erzebet. “They are overjoyed that they can now do things they never thought they could do. As I always say, even the most severely handicapped can do something to contribute.”

Patients at ECF have disabilities ranging from Autism to Asperger’s to Microcephalus and beyond, including many suffering with more than one physical or mental challenge.

ECF facilities offer a variety of basic paid jobs, including sewing, broom-making, ceramics, game assembly, puzzle construction and metal works recycling, just to cite a few examples.

Erdenet Szekeres and her story are featured in a book titled How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by author David Bornstein.  Her son Tibor is now 42 years old.  Doctors told her at his birth that he would not live beyond 4 years of age.

In summary, Erzebet added, “Physically and mentally challenged individuals want to contribute and be more self-sufficient. At our Equal Chances Foundation facilities, each patient has responsibility for something every single day.” 

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