Meet Vukovar, 365 Full of Life – Humanitarian Organisation Duga Vukovar

March 9, 2022 – Meet Jasna, Tijana, Tamara, and Nevenka, the presidents, administrators, and employees of the Humanitarian Organisation Duga Vukovar, who spoke about those in need in Vukovar, how they provide it, and how we all can do the same.

Duga Vukovar was founded back in 2013 to provide help to those who need it the most. This includes people who were marginalised for various reasons, but in most cases due to unemployment which leads to poverty. The elderly who live alone and in poverty are in an especially unfavourable position. Duga Vukovar has had a long tradition of workshops, programs and projects that would engage the most vulnerable members of our society, be it through education, financial support or by providing a place to enjoy some much needed friendly company while expressing ones' creativity. While Vukovar is developing and attracting visitors thanks to its modern infrastructure, interesting locations, awesome food and genuinely the nicest people, organisations like Duga exist to remind us that there are still many who haven't been able to live their full potential.

Tell us about the organisation. What do you do, which groups do you help, what inspired you?

Many demographic changes have happened in recent years, such as negative natural population movements, continuous emigration, unemployment of young adults, low pensions, increasing poverty rates. All this led to an increasing number of people whose incomes were insufficient for a decent life, especially in the elderly population. Often, they cannot even afford basic dietary and hygienic necessities, and unfortunately, some of them have no income whatsoever. In 2013, we decided to establish the Humanitarian Organisation Duga Vukovar to promote the quality of life and protect the human rights of the most vulnerable groups in our society, primarily those on the brink of poverty and the elderly. 

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In 2014, the so-called Vukovar Social Self-Service was founded through our organisation. It operates on the principle of collecting donations of food and hygiene items and their continuous distribution to the most vulnerable residents of the city of Vukovar. In accordance with the collected donations, we strive to continuously ensure the distribution of food on a daily basis every month of the year. This helped manage the organisation in a better way and ensured that we had more time to dedicate to each individual. It also helped build a better relationship and give people a sense of security, trust and belonging.

The self-service cares for about 600 families, which is roughly 1,500 people. Its clients are people living on the edge of poverty, elderly people with low pensions, users of social welfare, single mothers and fathers, people with zero or very low incomes. We noticed that in addition to the lack of financial resources, there is also a risk of social exclusion mostly for elderly people, as well as a lack of assistance in performing daily activities.

What is your mission, what are your main goals?

Our mission is to create a just and compassionate society of equal opportunities for every individual. Our goal is to improve the lives of the elderly and people at risk of social exclusion by having them actively participate in our projects and programs such as education and counselling programs on financial literacy, consumer rights, social and health rights which could help reduce health care costs. We also provide opportunities to learn about social care, health and disease prevention, entertainment, socio-cultural content and workshops, as well as excursions. We provide a space where people can actively spend their free time, increase their productivity and creativity, nurture their talents. We want them to feel a sense of belonging and empower them to develop a positive self-image. In addition to all that, we want to continue to network, develop and strengthen our partnerships, include new donors and continue working with our old associates, strengthen the capacity of the organisation and provide employment for the disadvantaged groups.

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Do you accept volunteers and which groups would you like to activate more?

We are especially grateful for our volunteers who enrich the work of our organisation. It is important to encourage all social groups to be actively involved in volunteer work because it is the responsibility of each of us to be active and responsible individual who participates and drives positive change in society. Of course, we would like the younger population of volunteers to be more involved. This would help shrink the growing generation gap with prejudice and stereotypes they might have towards the elderly, which can also lead to violent behaviour. Every stage of human life has its unique advantages and disadvantages. We can always learn from each other, pass on the knowledge and experience to future generations, create memories. We need to be more supportive of each other.

What is it like to run an organisation like this in Vukovar? Does the fact that you are in eastern Croatia affect your success?

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Once an industrial center, today the Vukovar-Srijem County is one of the least developed areas in Croatia, and Vukovar is one of the poorest cities. Still, if we look back at the starting days of our organisation, we do see significant progress. We keep growing and developing, and we want to expand our activities for the benefit of the wider community. As our organisation is a non-profit, we depend mostly on donations and projects. Unfortunately, such sources of funding are uncertain, with a limited duration. While the organisation is continuously making progress, the existing space has become too small and inadequate for quality implementation of our project activities and programs, hindering the work of our employees which should be a lot more pleasant. Yet, there are so many plans that we can and want to implement. Our biggest challenge at the moment is finding an adequate space. We are aware that any space that is unused and needs to be put into operation requires significant financial expenses, and as a non-profit, we are not able to cover that right now.

Would you like to participate in the Vukovar Card initiative? 

We would indeed like to participate in the Vukovar Card initiative. Vukovar has a lot to offer. Primary and secondary school students from different parts of Croatia visit us often, and they even help with donations for our social self-service. We would like their visits, as well as the visits of tourists to our city and our organisation to last longer for them to better experience all the beauty of the city. Unfortunately, most visits are only day trips.

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What are the ways organisations and individuals can help?

Our doors are always open to all who want to visit us and get to know us better.


Humanitarna udruga Duga Vukovar

OIB: 89493546468

Sajmište 23, 32000 Vukovar

Working hours:

MON - FRI - 07:00 - 15:00

Contact person: Tamara Mikulić 099 520 2211 / Tijana Prokić - 099 750 3734

Visit our website:

FB page: Humanitarna udruga Duga Vukovar

Instagram: Humanitarnaudrugaduga.vukovar

If you wish to financially support the work of our organisation, donations can be paid to the account:

IBAN: HR72 2340 0091 1105 9315 8


Privredna banka Zagreb

Payment description: Financial support to the organisation (Financijska potpora Udruzi)

If you wish to help the work of our Social Self-Service, donations can be paid to the account:

IBAN: HR42 2340 0091 5106 3886 7

For more, check out our lifestyle section.