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About: What’s a Kaláka?

Empowering Village Life in Transylvania


In the rural villages of Transylvania, small family farms struggle as young people leave in search of work. Hope comes in the form of volunteer efforts to revitalize folk traditions, renovate community spaces–and reengage the next generation. This kind of volunteer effort is known as a “kaláka.”

The mission of Unitarian Kaláka is to support these projects through crowdfunding–in order to help strengthen community life and culture.

Watch our video, Voices of Kaláka, to meet the people and get a feel for this special place in the world.

A Centuries Old Connection

Our ties to Transylvania go back to the Protestant Reformation, when Transylvanian King Sigismund and his court preacher Francis David (Dávid Ferenc) began a movement that has endured through the centuries. Davíd, a former Calvinist who became a Unitarian, delivered a persuasive plea for religious tolerance in 1568. Although King Sigismund’s rule was short-lived and David was later martyred for the cause, the idea of religious freedom took hold. Unitarian churches were established throughout the countryside…and they remain today.

home-slider-1At the time of King Sigismund up until World War I, Transylvania was part of Hungary. Today, it is part of Romania, where ethnic Hungarians exist as a minority population.  Read more about the struggles of Hungarian Unitarians in Transylvania and why they need our help today.

Who We Are

U_Kalaka_smallsquareUnitarian Kaláka is led by volunteers who share a commitment to the well-being of our fellow Unitarians in Transylvania. We are excited about the potential of crowdfunding as a way of supporting these small villages and towns.


First URecently we have deepened our relationship with First Universalist Church of Yarmouth, Maine, which has nurtured a close connection with Unitarians in Transylvania for more than 20 years. Current members of our advisory committee are Marge Titcomb, Lily O’Brien and Ann Swardlick, all active members of First U Yarmouth, Maine.


Our Transylvanian Partners

szka-logoWe collaborate with the Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation (, an NGO based in Szekelyudvarhely in Transylvania, Romania. Village projects are first proposed on the Foundation’s crowdfunding page, Give-Get-Do, where they receive financial support from local groups and individuals in the region.

Once proposals have gained significant local support in Transylvania, we begin our crowdfunding campaigns to raise additional matching funds from North American donors.

In this way, you can be sure that your dollars will go toward projects that are strongly supported by their communities and have the best chance of achieving their goals. Read more about our partners in Transylvania here: On the Ground in Transylvania.