Csaba Kovacs

Ashoka Fellow
Velence, Hungary
Fellow Since 1999

Citation

This profile was prepared when Csaba Kovacs was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Csaba aims to replace the traditional treatment of alcoholism in Hungary with holistic care that relies on professional assistance, self-initiative, and counseling and group support. The Liget (Park) Model, as Csaba calls his approach, restores alcoholics to addiction-free, productive lives through methods that are new to Central Europe. It includes components of the twelve-step program popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous, along with ideas adapted from the program advanced by Betty Ford and by the Minnesota Model, which relies on support from a multidisciplinary team, including recovered alcoholics. Except in acute cases, the Liget Model facilitates wellness without requiring the patient to leave family or job.

Csaba established the Halfway Foundation in 1994 to provide Hungary's estimated one million alcoholics with improved clinical and psychological care, resources, and support. The Foundation also tries to prevent alcoholism through public education and innovative partnerships with businesses. The Foundation is training individuals to identify the onset and symptoms of alcoholism, and to seek early treatment before the illness becomes acute. It has also established school and workplace programs and a symbolic "Day of Dependency" to encourage Hungarians to address the problem directly, rather than lapsing into the tradition of sweeping alcoholics aside as lost causes.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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