Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Henkel Makes Donation to Croatian Charities, Alkaloid and PPD to Hospitals

ZAGREB, April 28, 2020 - Henkel has donated goods worth more than HRK 1.9 million to Croatia's Red Cross and the Caritas Zagreb, while Alkaloid has deposited HRK 250,000 to the Petrova Women's Hospital and Jordanovac Hospital for lung diseases as relief after the 22 March earthquake.

The donation from Henkel, this Duesseldorl-headquartered company specialised in adhesive technologies, beauty care, laundry & home care, is intended for elderly and disabled citizens affected by the situation regarding the coronavirus and as assistance for those people whose homes were damaged during the March 22 earthquake.

"We are grateful for organisations like Caritas and the Red Cross that, thanks to their widespread network of volunteers, help low-income people or people who had to leave their homes in the wake of the earthquake," said Henkel's Commercial Director for Croatia and Slovenia Marko Mintas, adding that he hopes that the donation will help relieve their everyday lives at least a little.

Red Cross executive director Robert Markt said he was glad that the donated products would make happy those people in trouble, whose lives have additionally been made more difficult with the coronavirus and recent earthquake.

Director of Caritas Zagreb, Sister Jelena Lončar said that the donation would help a lot of families who were affected by the earthquake and coronavirus.

The Alkaloid Skopje company, specialised in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, donated the financial assistance to the two hospitals in Zagreb to deal with the quake consequences.

The Prvo Plinarsko Društvo gas supply company from Vukovar has donated HRK 2.9 million for the procurement of medical equipment for eight hospitals throughout Croatia, the company informed on Monday.

HRK 800,00 will go to Osijek Hospital, HRK 500,000 to the Nasice General Hospital as well as to the Sestre Milosrdnice Hospital in Zagreb, HRK 400,000 for Vukovar General Hospital, and HRK 200,000 each for the Zadar, Varaždin and Dubrovnik general hospitals and an additional HRK 100,000 for the emergency ambulance service in Umag.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Caritas Croatia Launches Campaign to Help Albania Quake Victims

ZAGREB, November 28, 2019 - Caritas Croatia has launched a campaign of quick assistance for the victims of a recent earthquake in Albania and sent a quick financial assistance amounting to 10 000 euros to the Caritas Albania, Caritas Croatia reported on Wednesday.

"We sympathise with the people in Albania whose lives have dramatically changed in a brief moment, who lost their loved ones or whose fate is still unknowns. With this modest but concrete help and with prayers we want to show unity in this difficult situation for them," said Fabijan Svalina, the head of Caritas Croatia.

He called on Croatian citizens and companies to join the campaign and express solidarity with the victims.

The earthquake death toll rose to 27 with hundreds of Albanian citizens seeking medical assistance after the quake struck the country's capital Tirana and its surrounding area in the early morning hours of Tuesday.

The epicentre was about 30 kilometres west of Tirana and was felt throughout the Balkans, and in southern Italy.

More news about charity drives can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Last Year Individuals and Companies in Croatia Donated 9 Million Euro

ZAGREB, November 22, 2019 - Last year about 9 million euro was collected from 2,632 donors - individuals usually donated for health care while companies donated to the non-profit sector, a panel discussion heard on Thursday.

An analyst from the Catalyst Balkans philanthropist foundation, Zorana Brozović, explained that the foundation has monitored data about volunteer charity campaigns in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia since 2013. These donations do not include those by state institutions nor those by religious institutions, she added.

Brozović underlined that the funds collected in various campaigns were balanced and not centralised to the capital city, and that this is particularly pleasing.

"There hasn't been any great oscillation seen over the past three years when we talk about donations collected. Last year we recorded 2,623 individual donations of 8.9 million euro," she said.

Highlighting that the foundation collects information on individual donations, she added that available sources indicate that a lot of donors wish to remain anonymous.

"Most donations are made by companies and they usually donate to the non-profit sector, as much as 66%," Brozović explained. When it comes to donations by individuals, Croatians mostly donate for health care (40%) and marginalised groups (33%). This includes the disabled, intellectually handicapped, women and children who have suffered violence, and the aged.

However, in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina an increased involvement of citizens has become obvious and more money is being collected at charity events, whereas in Croatia companies are the biggest donors (51%).

Brozović believes that the media do not cover that segment enough and said that last year the foundation recorded 9,678 media reports on charities, mostly in national media.

A reporter for the HRT national broadcaster, Maja Sever, said that it was worrying that the media don't show sufficient interest in the topic of altruism. She recalled that after 15 years HRT removed the "Croatia Live" TV show and added that these topics need to be worked on systematically and not as individual stories.

More news about charity efforts can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 28 October 2019

SOS Children's Village Croatia Calls for Focus on Unprotected Children

ZAGREB, October 28, 2019 - The SOS Children's Village Croatia on Monday called for shifting focus back to unprotected children and increasing welfare funding, underlining the importance of abolishing institutional care for children so that they could grow up in family-type alternative care.

"Alternative care in the past meant institutions where a child would get lost. The process of de-institutionalisation, shifting focus back to children and advocating children's rights helps make progress," the head of the SOS Children's Village Croatia national programme development, Gordana Daniel, said at an international conference.

SOS villages care about children without parents and parental care and life in SOS children's villages resembles the life of any family, the only difference being that those children's families are bigger and that they are cared for by SOS moms. Also, children's villages develop numerous other services in an effort to respond to the needs of the target group. This puts the child in the focus of attention and its needs are heard and recognised.

In 2018, in the two Croatian SOS children's villages - Lekenik and Ladimirevci - 170 children were growing up in 31 SOS families.

In the SOS communities in Zagreb, Velika Gorica and Osijek, where children go after primary school, there are 49 high school children, and 29 young people have taken part in a programme of semi-independent living that helps them live on their own.

The SOS Children's Village Croatia association is funded mostly by sponsors and donors, Daniel said, adding that the state, even though it did finance the association to a smaller extent, was still not ready to set aside enough funding to meet all of the needs of children without parental care.

This is particularly a problem in small communities which lack strong social services and where families have difficulty accessing the necessary professional help.

"All the more important social services are now based on the empowerment of the family. We are not focused only on giving direct care to a child that needs to be removed from its family, we have been working for six years on programmes that empower families and help prevent situations in which a child is taken out of its family. That is the future," she said.

The head of the SOS Children's Village Croatia Association, Mariza Katavić, said that the need for new children's villages was constantly growing but that apart from a lack of funding, there was also a lack of other infrastructure - transport, healthcare and welfare.

"What is problematic is that we cannot expect the state and local communities to solve those problems because local communities very often do not have the money although they do have the will," she said.

Tatjana Katkić Stanić of the Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy Ministry said that children were expected to gradually leave children's homes and that such homes were expected to provide accommodation for only a short period of time.

"A precondition for that is the strong development of foster care and development of services for families at risk so that children who can do so, can return to their primary family with parents' capacity having been strengthened... while children who cannot be in their primary family would be provided for in some other way, such as adoption," Katkić Stanić said.

The international conference, called "Recognise, care, be proud", was held to mark three anniversaries - the 70th anniversary of the umbrella international association SOS Children's Villages International, which so far has supported four million children through the system of alternative care and family empowerment, the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 10th anniversary of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

More news about children in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 30 September 2019

6,000 Participate in 20th Terry Fox Run in Zagreb

ZAGREB, September 30, 2019 - The 20th Terry Fox Run took place in Zagreb on Sunday with some 6,000 participants running, rollerblading, walking and bicycling a 6.3 km marathon around Jarun Lake to support fundraising for the Ruđer Bošković Institute, which will use the money for cancer research.

Over 6.5 million kuna has been raised in the humanitarian drive so far.

The run was welcomed by Health Minister Milan Kujundžić, who recalled that Fox was only 20 when he was diagnosed with cancer and that he ran a marathon for two years to send the message that the gravely ill needed care.

"We must all take care for those who are ill because, so to speak, tomorrow we will all get cancer," the minister said.

Canadian Ambassador Alan Bowman commended the cooperation between Croatia and Canada in the 20-year-long tradition of organising the run.

Fox is a Canadian national hero who started the marathon that today takes place in over 60 countries, with millions of people running for nearly 40 years in honour of his passion for running and his desire to beat cancer.

Fox lost a leg to cancer and in 1980, in order to raise money for treatment, he embarked on a run across Canada which he called the Marathon of Hope. He ran 143 days, covering 42 km a day, but failed to finish the run because the disease came back, claiming his life at 22.

More news about charity events can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Six Local Heroes Commended for Humanitarian Work in Croatia

ZAGREB, June 3, 2019 - The European Commission has chosen six Croats who have distinguished themselves in humanitarian work or in environmentalist activities financially supported by the EU, and the selection of those "local heroes" has been conducted within the programme called "EU protects".

They are praised for their work which has had a big impact in their respective communities. "It’s the EU, which makes it possible for these heroes to come together to address the problems that go beyond national borders, whether organised crime or climate change," says the EC.

The EU Protect programme was launched six months ago across the European Union member states.

In Croatia, the four awarded people – three women and a man – were proclaimed local heroes for their humanitarian activism, and the remaining two "heroes " have distinguished themselves in the protection of the Adriatic Sea.

One of those six Croatian heroes is student Melani Boris from the Zamisli association that supports students with disabilities.

Benefitting from the services of the association, Melani joined their ERASMUS+ project, Support for Students with Disabilities in 2016, and began promoting these students’ right to live independently, the Commission says in the explanation.

She is now the manager of the Personal Assistant project, where she works as a mentor to welcome new beneficiaries of the project. She is also a part of a campaign to provide housing and support to young people with disabilities who wish to live independently.

The second hero is Tatjana Aćimović, art director of the Children's Rights Festival.

"For the past 10 years, Tatjana Aćimović has been helping to organise a festival that promotes children’s rights by screening European films, many of which were funded by the European Union. This is the first and only public event in Croatia accessible to people with visual or hearing impairments."

Mira Katalenić, a volunteer for the Croatian Guide Dog and Mobility Association, is also one of the three female local heroes.

Katalenić joined the group of activists working for the Croatian Guide Dog and Mobility Association at the beginning of the 1990s. The association carries out several EU-funded projects, one of which provides mobile support services to create conditions for better inclusion of blind people in the labour market and society.

"All Mira’s time and energy is now devoted towards developing orientation and mobility programmes for blind people in Croatia, assistance dog programmes for people with disabilities and children with developmental difficulties."

Budimir Šobot Buda of the Association for Disabled People, has been chosen for his dedicated 18-year-long activism aimed at raising awareness of the needs of people with autism.

"At the Association for Disabled People in the town of Petrinja, Sisak-Moslavina County, Budimir works on two main projects that receive EU funds. His aim is to make sure that autistic people have the same rights as everybody else. In his effort to raise awareness of autism, he broke a world record by spending 24 minutes and 11 seconds under water without air."

Researcher Draško Holcer, who works as a senior curator at Croatian Natural History Museum, has distinguished himself in in ecology and the conservation of large marine vertebrates..

This marine biologist currently coordinates LIFE Euroturtles, an EU-funded project, and helps sea turtles in the Northern Adriatic. He and his team have worked with LED lights as a tool to mitigate sea turtle capture in fishing nets.

The third male hero in this group is Tonći Prodan, who was a maritime safety consultant at Croatia's National Protection and Rescue Directorate during the international field exercise Adriatic 2018, and who was proclaimed a local hero for his efforts to protect the Adriatic Sea.

Funded by the European Union, this large-scale spill pollution exercise aimed to coordinate action among the concerned countries around the Adriatic Sea. Tonći led a team of eminent Croatian experts and scientists from the security field. He holds a doctorate on "The US and the EU in combating terrorism - strategy, models and results" and is a European and world-renowned expert in the field of terrorism and security threats.

More news on the European Commission can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

#SPASIME Fund for Domestic Violence Victims Presented

ZAGREB, June 2, 2019 - The #SPASIME initiative and the SOLIDARNA foundation for human rights and solidarity on Sunday presented the Fond#SPASIME fund for helping and protecting victims of violence and announced a big campaign to collect funds for financial, legal, psychological, medical and housing assistance to victims.

According to Interior Ministry data, 10,272 persons were reported last year for domestic violence, down 10.7% on 2017, but 3,198 crimes with elements of violence between close persons were recorded, up 5.5% from 2017. Domestic violence was committed 623 times in 2018, up 11% from 2017.

"It's essential that the victims be urgently taken care of, financially, legally, medically, that they be enabled to talk with an expert or provided with safe accommodation far from the bully," said Jelena Veljača, who launched the #SPASIME initiative in March.

She called on everyone to participate and donate by calling 060 9003. Everyone has the right to a safe life and we are all entitled to a violence-free society, she said.

The payments can also be made into the Croatian Postal Bank's account HR8023900011500151640 or via the Indiegogo website (https://igg.me/at/fond-spasime).

More news about the status of women in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 1 April 2019

28 Million Kuna Raised for Treatment of 2-Year-Old Leukaemia Patient

ZAGREB, April 1, 2019 - More than 28 million kuna has been collected in fundraisers over the past few days for the treatment of Mila Rončević, a two-year-old girl suffering from a rare type of leukaemia, which is more than the 18 million kuna needed to continue her treatment in the United States, the child's parents told a news conference on Monday.

The child's father, Marin Rončević, noted, however, that due to the latest problems in communication with the hospital for children's diseases in Philadelphia where the child is expected to continue her treatment, her departure for the United States was still not certain.

The father said that "some hiccups have occurred in communication with the hospital" which does not approve of making public the cost of treatment or treatment plans that have not been defined on the basis of medical examinations, adding that he expected the situation to be clearer on Monday evening, when the hospital was expected to inform the family of its conclusions regarding the child's treatment and whether she would be included in its experimental treatment programme.

If everything goes well, the family should leave for Philadelphia on Tuesday, but if that does not happen, the alternative is to seek experimental treatment in Switzerland, where the treatment costs roughly the same as in the US, said Rončević who with his wife called the news conference to thank everyone for their donations and for fund raisers organised over the past few days to collect money for their daughter's treatment.

Rončević also thanked Croatian medical experts Dragan Primorac and Ivan Đikić for their help as well as US Ambassador Robert Kohorst.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Fast Food Restaurant Providing Free Meals to the Needy

According to official data, the town of Nova Gradiška has some 12,500 inhabitants. However, the locals say there are about 5,000 people left in the town. Shops, cafes and restaurants were closing down over time until two weeks ago. Then a new fast food restaurant opened in Nova Gradiška, offering pancakes for 10 kuna, sandwiches for 15 kuna and pizzas for 26 kuna. And if you do not have the money to pay – you will not stay hungry, reports RTL on January 18, 2019.

The 21-year-old entrepreneur Dora Vukšić has recently opened the restaurant. It is the first restaurant in Croatia to provide free meals feed to people who do not have enough money to pay. "People contact us on Facebook. They say they want a pancake, we prepare it, write that it is the pancake for that person. Before the person arrives, we pay for it, and the receipt stays with us. They just come to collect the meal,” explained Dora.

Everybody is welcome to come. And the employees of the restaurant guarantee them anonymity. “Most of them contact us over the phone or through the Facebook profile. There have been about a dozen such people, although we expected them to come in larger numbers. Perhaps people are ashamed to come,” Dora said.

Four people are employed in the restaurant and everyone, including Dora, have the same minimum wage. As soon as the business results allow it, she says she will increase everyone’s salaries, with her coming last. She explained that she is still getting used to being an entrepreneur. “I have a seal, and I have to carry it in my bag all the time. Still, I am happy because I know I am working for myself and I know it will be worth it,” said Dora.

The young mom used to work different jobs, including being a cleaner in Munich, Germany. But when she realised that it was not all milk and honey in Germany, she returned to Slavonia. Her fellow citizens are delighted; they say the town has finally woken up.

About 800 pizzas have come out of the restaurant kitchen since the beginning of the year. The business is doing better than expected, and they need more workers. "We are looking for a kitchen worker, but no one wants to work,” said Dora.

The young team, which feeds those who do not have the money to do it themselves, hopes that other restaurants will follow their example.

More news on charity initiatives in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from RTL (reported by Aida Šukurica).

Friday, 16 November 2018

Zagreb Firefighters Racing to Top of Skyscraper to Help Children

The Zagreb city firefighting brigade, in addition to everything they do for citizens 365 days a year, is always ready to invest additional efforts to help the needy. Six years ago, the firefighters launched a charity project, reports Večernji List on November 16, 2018.

The project in question is the Firefighters Stair Challenge to the top of the VMD skyscraper in Strojarska Street, which will this year be held on December 1. Firefighters in full gear and with a breathing apparatus on their backs will compete who will be the first to reach the top of the building. They will climb a total of 31 floors, or 666 stairs. In this way, they will check their readiness to perform their firefighting duties, but also do one more good deed. This year, the race will include junior firefighters as well, who will race four floors.

The money collected by the charity project, all the registration fees and donations, will be used to help the Kolibrići Association, an association of parents of children with life-threatening diseases, primarily for the procurement of a CoughAssist device.

The project has been endorsed by the City of Zagreb. From the very first year, the race has been an international project (with fellow firefighters from Slovenia taking part since the beginning). Every year, there are more and more firefighters participating in the race; last year there were 161 firefighters.

The promotional activities for the race will include a presentation at the Dolac market on November 17, where fire-fighters will train together with members of the Kolibrići association.

All interested citizens can join the project by coming to the race, volunteering their time in the organization of the event, or by donating funds. More info about the event can be found on the website.

For more on charity projects in Croatia, click here.

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