Croatian Families Host Refugees for Christmas Lunch

By , 26 Dec 2016, 11:26 AM Lifestyle

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“We have opened our doors to refugees, he have let strangers in our homes which we share with the people we love.”

Twenty Croatian families have opened their homes on Christmas and hosted a Christmas lunch for about 50 refugees, as part of the “Christmas Lunch with a Refugee” campaign, organized by the Jesuit Refugee Service. The goal was to encourage communication between local communities and individuals who are granted asylum or are seeking asylum in Croatia, reports Večernji List on December 26, 2016.

The “Christmas Lunch with a Refugee” campaign was presented on 2 December with a call to the Croatian society to open the doors of its homes to people who came to Croatia in search of safety and protection, said the Jesuit Refugee Service said in a statement.

The director of the Jesuit Refugee Service Tvrtko Baron pointed out that they received daily calls from Croatian families which wanted to take part in the campaign, and last week they organized a group meeting so that the families and their guests could meet.

“This initiative was a call for specific action – to open the doors to a refugee, to let a stranger in our home which we have created and which we share with the people we love. It is an act of hospitality, without hesitation, without asking for anything in return, in confidence against fear. That is how people behave when they listen to their hearts”, said Baron.

He called on everybody to continue building a welcoming society, society which will be open to all who are forced to flee persecution and war.

Sameer from Afghanistan, who currently resides at the Reception Centre for People Seeking International Protection in Zagreb, said that he and his brother had found new friends in the family who had invited them to the Christmas lunch. “When I left Afghanistan, I left behind my brothers, parents and friends, I left my life. I did not think I was going to find another life here again. Today, after a long time, I did not feel like a stranger”, said Sameer.

The “Christmas Lunch with a Refugee” initiative is part of the “Assistance to Beneficiaries of International Protection and People in Detention Center Ježevo” project, which is funded by the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • The A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče and A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorways, the Pag bridge, as well as Dr. Franjo Tuđman bridge in Dubrovnik are open to all vehicle categories. Due to strong wind there is a traffic ban on double-decker buses, campervans and motorcycles on the following sections: -on the A7 motorway between Draga and Šmrika, -on the Krk-bridge, -on the DC8 Adriatic road between Bakar and Novi Vinodolski. There is an additional ban on delivery vehicles and vehicles with covered cargo area on the DC8 Adriatic road between Novi Vinodolski and Sveta Marija Magdalena. A1 MOTORWAY ZAGREB-SPLIT-PLOČE - On the A1 motorway there is a 2 km long queue at Lučko toll station in direction Zagreb. - Traffic is proceeding with difficulties between Posedarje junction and Sveti Rok tunnel in direction Zagreb. - Due to a traffic accident between Novigrad and Karlovac junctions traffic is proceeding slowly in direction Zagreb. A2 MOTORWAY ZAGREB-MACELJ There is a 3,5 km long queue on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj motorway at Trakošćan toll station in direction Slovenia. A3 MOTORWAY BREGANA-LIPOVAC - There is a 2 km long queue on the A3 Bregana-Lipovac motorway at Bregana toll station in direction Slovenia. - Due to a traffic accident on the A3 Bregana-Lipovac motorway traffic is proceeding slowly in a 2 km long queue at Križ junction in direction Zagreb. A7 MOTORWAY RUPA-DIRAČJE At Rupa border crossing in direction Slovenia there is a 2 km long queue. A8/A9 MOTORWAY IN ISTRIA - There is a 5 km long queue at the border crossings Kaštel und Plovanija in direction Slovenia. - There is a 2 km long queue at Učka tunnel in direction Rijeka. KRK BRIDGE Traffic is very dense on the Krk bridge: 3 km towards the island, from Malinska in direction mainland. Roads are wet and slippery countrywide. Rockfalls and landslides are possible. Drivers are advised to adjust the driving speed to the road conditions and to keep the safety distance. Strong wind is blowing on the A1 motorway between Sveti Rok tunnel and Božići viaduct. The queues: on the A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče there is some queueing traffic between Karlovac and Lučko in direction Zagreb at the toll station Lučko 1 km in direction Zagreb, an Demerje 500 m on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj at the toll station Trakošćan the queue is 3 km long in direction Slovenia at the border crossings Kaštel and Plovanija in Istria 7 km queueing traffic towards Slovenia on the A7 Rupa-Diračje on the state road towards the border crossing Pasjak 4 km The roads are occasionally wet and slippery in the northwestern parts of the country and in the Croatian Littoral. Driving restrictions: freight vehicles exceeding 7,5 t - Sunday, 20th of August; 12AM - 11PM Sections of the roads closed due to roadworks: -the DC29 from Novi Golubovec (DC29, DC35) -the DC502 Smilčić-Pridraga state road -ŽC5042 Višnjan-Tićan. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only: -on the DC1 state road in Knin, on the section Sučević-Otrić in Otrić -on the state road DC2 in Vukovar, (Kudeljarska and Priljevo street) -on the state road DC66 Pula- Raša bridge -on the state road DC206 Valentinovo-Petrovsko. With the sunny and dry weather, more and more cyclists and motorists are on the roads. Other vehicles (such as cars or trucks) should look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic. Check your mirrors and be aware of blind spots before turning. While at a stop sign or red light, make a complete stop in order to let bikers pass, and check for unseen riders. Respect the right of way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you. Cyclists are not immune to traffic violations: pay attention to red lights and practice arm signaling!
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