Good vibes, outdoor activities, camping, art workshops, real socializing and lasting friendships – this is what one gets when joining the Dávid Ferenc Unitarian Youth Association (DFUYA, ODFIE in Hungarian), the youth association of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, open to youth aged between 14–35.
The first Unitarian youth organization was founded in 1900 under the name of “Youth Club of the Dávid Ferenc Association”. A structural organization of the group was founded after World War I, with the establishment of youth associations in more and more congregations. The life of the organization was destroyed by World War II and by the critical period after 1948, during which the Communist authorities forbade every function of religious civic organizations.
After the restoration in 1991 and their search for direction during the following years, in 1996 they created a comprehensive constitutional framework and vigorous administration of the central and local associations.
The Mission, Vision and Goals of the Dávid Ferenc Unitarian Youth Association
The “DFUYA” national-wide Unitarian youth organization has the mission to bring people together, to help them in their work of creating a sustainable future for their service, establishing opportunities for faith and culture, and affirming and representing all of these ideals in the society. Members of the “DFUYA” can have other religious beliefs than Unitarian: youth, who adhere to the goals and principles of the Association. They strive to the survival and the growth of Unitarian religion, – the only religion founded in Transylvania – by showing their liberal faith and traditional Unitarian values (patience, openness, freedom of conscience); on the other hand,they wish to contribute to our country’s integration in the democratic structures.
DFUYA now has around 35 active local groups with 1000 registered members among the 126 Transylvanian Unitarian congregations. Volunteers at both the local and national levels run the entire organization.
The core of the organizational life are the local groups, and each of them has their own individual schedule and events. Beside the individual programs of the local groups, they have important national programs run by DFUYA. In 2018 they had 23 national, 10 local and 18 partner programs.
The most vibrant national program: the Universal Arts Festival
This event will complement this year the traditional Annual Drama Festival. The basic idea is, that the Transylvanian Hungarian Culture should be promoted through other forms of arts too, not just drama. Of course Drama and plays will be a significant part of the camp, but this year the organizers introduced 9 new forms of art to be part this event: poems, folk songs, music (individual and bands), slam poetry, creative writing, painting/graphic, arts/handmade activities, photography, folk-dancing. Their main goal is to help discovering the talented youth, helping them grow in what they like most, sharing their message, art and ideas, and providing them an artistic and intellectual workshop. One of the main benefits for this program is not only the talent scouting, but the possibility to get in contact with multiple forms of arts and to learn more about our Hungarian heritage and contemporary cultural presence.
The new program will have a brand new website and image. As being a combined event of so many different areas of interest, also its novelty will appeal to a larger number of participants. There program will be held between the 8th and the 12th of August 2019 with the approximately 400 participants.
Dávid Ferenc Memorial Pilgrimage (22th edition)
This is a visit to Dávid Ferenc’s memorial at the fortress in Déva/Deva by the delegates of local associations. DFUYA members honor the memory of the founder of the Unitarianism in Transylvania, and the first Bishop, at the castle of Déva, where Dávid Ferenc suffered imprisonment for his religious belief. He died 1571 in November. The pilgrimage activities include worship in his memory, occasional speeches, and small performances, putting a wreath in his memorial cell, old music and lectures about unitarian church history. Approximate participation: 1200; duration of the program: 1 day.
Other national programs: Common Paths – Round trip with a Youth Sermon, Mammoth Round Trip, Omnium-Youth Sport Olimpics, Leadership training for local and district leaders, ODFIE Youth Gala, The Unitarian Youth Conference (43rd edition) July 12-15, 2019