Friday, 22 April 2022

The Road to Freedom: Vukovar Welcomes Ukraine from the Front Line

April 22, 2022 - Croatia 1991 - Ukraine 2022: The Road to Freedom. Meet Vukovar 365, full of compassion. The city that is still recovering over 30 years later knows the pain. Its people have been through hell and back. They would not wish this upon anyone, yet it's happening. Ukrainian people have always been Vukovar's friends, their culture enriching the area that this minority has historically been a part of. Not that we should seek reasons to help, but the people of Vukovar have got plenty and they are always willing to step up.

Hrv reports on a conference that was held in Zagreb, titled "Croatia 1991 - Ukraine 2022: The Road to Freedom", citing Vukovar's hero war reporter Siniša Glavašević who said, "You have to rebuild. First, your past, your present, and then, if you have any strength left, invest it in the future".

As the title suggests, the topic of the conference was the similarities between the ongoing war in Ukraine with the war that Croatia fought in 1991 to gain its independence and freedom. Damir Luka Saftić, representative of the "Za Vukovar" association commented that the pearl of the Danube bled 31 years ago like the Azov Sea's Mariupol is today, saying that "the resemblance is appalling".

The participants of the conference included Vasilj Kirilič, Ambassador of Ukraine to Croatia, Željka Antunović, former Minister of Defense, Yevhen Stepanenko, Ukrainian journalist, Tomislav Marević of the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate, Robert Barić, military analyst, Jakov Sedlar, film director, and Vukovar veterans Damir Poljaković and Tomislav Orešković.

"Croatia has defended its independence and the message for Ukraine is that it can do so too because we are strong in spirit and I believe that we will defend our country. The city of Mariupol is a symbol of defense, as is the Croatian city of Vukovar", said Ambassador Kirilić.

"When you know that your whole family, wife, child, and parents are in the basement, your whole city is in that basement, everyone from your street, friends, your football club, factory, then your strength appears from somewhere and it was either us or them, there was nothing else," said Damir Poljaković, a Vukovar hero who defended the city in 1991 at Trpinjska cesta.

Following the conference, and with Orthodox Easter approaching, the city of Vukovar in partnership with the local Red Cross organised a humanitarian donation action for the Ukrainian refugees in the city. 

A total of 40 refugees from Ukraine are accommodated in Vukovar, writes hrv, which includes 16 families with 18 children. To provide assistance in difficult times, but also to celebrate the upcoming Easter holidays, the City of Vukovar and the Vukovar Red Cross Society provided special food packages for refugees from Ukraine in the Vukovar area, as well as candy packages for the youngest.

The packages were handed over to the Ukrainian people by the Deputy Mayor of Vukovar, Filip Sušac, who emphasized that the City of Vukovar, in cooperation with the Red Cross, is trying to make life easier for refugees. "The city of Vukovar has decided to help Ukrainians who are in the area of ​​our city through a series of measures. In cooperation with the City Museum, the City Library, and sports clubs, we have ensured that all Ukrainian refugees can use their services completely free of charge. The City of Vukovar has called on all fellow citizens to help the refugees as much as they can, and we appeal to the Government of the Republic of Croatia to make Hostel Zagreb available - explained Sušac.

Marija Semenjuk Simeunović, Secretary of the Ukrainian Community of the Republic of Croatia, emphasized that all persons who came from war-torn Ukraine feel welcome in Croatia and thanked everyone for their support.

"Displaced persons who came from Ukraine to our city, county, but also the Republic of Croatia, in general, feel welcome. We have all shown compassion and solidarity in some way, especially since we went through the horrors of war 30 years ago. Through their programs, our Ukrainian associations from the entire Republic of Croatia want to include and integrate the Ukrainian people into our society", said Semenjuk Simeunović.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Caritas Croatia Raises €333K For Ukraine

ZAGREB, 16 March 2022 - Caritas Croatia has raised HRK 2.5 million for the Ukraine war victims and is currently collecting material relief, the charity said on Wednesday.

There have been about 44,000 calls to a donation line and Caritas will forward all the money raised to Ukraine.

People may bring their material relief donations to Caritas warehouses or parishes.

All the necessary information is available on the charity's website.

Caritas also said that it was participating in providing for and ensuring psychosocial assistance to Ukraine refugees in cooperation with local Croatian Red Cross and Civil Protection branches.

 

Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Civil Protection Calls for Donation of IT Equipment for Ukraine

ZAGREB, 15 March 2022 - The Croatian Civil Protection Directorate has called on companies and citizens to donate IT equipment for Ukraine, its humanitarian drive starts on Wednesday and it will organise the delivery of the collected and listed IT equipment to Ukraine.

The equipment will be collected based on a request made by Ukraine through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the Croatian Ministry of the Interior said on its website.

Companies and citizens have been asked to donate video equipment (IP cameras, video cameras), generators, communication equipment (modems, routers; IP phones, secure IP phones), personal computers, computer components (cables, headphones, computer mice); network equipment (wi-fi routers, switches, cables); mobile devices - phones, laptops; office equipment - printers, scanners, TV sets; software (Windows and Office servers); servers and server room air conditioners.

Special equipment may also be donated, such as radiofrequency measurement devices, headphones for radio devices, batteries, electromagnetic field meters, radio devices; external hard drives, USB drives; encrypted USB drives; cloud services - firewall, VPN, cloud storage services.

The IT equipment will be collected at the Civil Protection logistics facility, Kruge 52A in Zagreb, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 16-20 March.

The Civil Protection calls on everyone wishing to donate equipment to ensure the equipment is in working order, not older than 5 years and is delivered in packaging suitable for transport.

For more information donors can contact the phone number 01/237 06 73.

Friday, 23 July 2021

HDZ, Labour and Solidarity Party and SDP Receive Largest Donations in H1 2021

ZAGREB, 23 July 2021 - In the first half of 2021, the three political parties with the largest donations are the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which received HRK 1.9 million, the Labour and Solidarity Party of the late Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić with 1.7 million, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 1.1. million.

According to the data provided by the State Electoral Commission (DIP) on its website, there were 250 donors who financially supported the ruling HDZ in the first half of 2021.

In terms of the amount of donations, the Križevci-based construction company Radnik was the top donor for the HDZ with HRK 150,000 donated. The Šibenik-based Impol-TLM contributed HRK 128,500 and the Širjan company, specialised in growing cereals, provided HRK 70,000.

The top two donors of the Labour and Solidarity Party were the Ivanić Grad-based construction company RAUD and the Gornji Vugrovec-based Agrina PAD specialised in landscaping services.

The top donors of the SDP party were Crodux Plin and the Crodix Derivati dva, each contributing HRK 200,000 (the maximum amount allowable as a donation to a company).

The Zagreb Is Ours party received HRK 70,000 in donations, and its member Urša Raukar-Gamulin, who has recently attracted the media limelight after her declaration of assets showed her to be one of the richest MPs, and her husband donated HRK 5,000 each.

The We Can party received HRK 52,000 in donations and one of the donors, Rajko Bajakić, donated HRK 5,000 three times, or 15,000 in total. Bajakić has attracted the attention of the media after he was appointed by the new Mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević, as a member of the supervisory  board of the Zagrebački Holding multi-utility conglomerate.

(€1 = HRK 7.522815)

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Inspiring Croatian Diaspora Story: Dusica Hoban  – Making Individual Donations to Croatia from UK

March 27, 2021 – In an inspiring Croatian diaspora story, meet Dusica Hoban, a woman who has been helping Croatia with her selfless donations.

In the last 6 years, I was part of the team that organized — Meeting G2 — a business conference for Croatian Diaspora. It was an exciting project that allowed me to meet a lot of Croats from the diaspora and to discuss their ideas, wishes, but also problems and obstacles that they are facing when coming to Croatia and trying to do business here. Through the Crowdfunding campaign that I did for Visnjan Observatory, I also met Dusica Hoban, who dedicated a lot of her time and financial resources to helping people in Croatia. Since I found her motivation and results rare in Croatia and the Croatian diaspora, I proposed doing a short interview. Hopefully, her enthusiasm will inspire others to similar actions or to connect with her and maybe in the future to create some humanitarian trust.

1. For the beginning, share with us a bit about your background story? How long are you living in the UK, and what are you doing right now?

I was born in Pazin, and from 1966 I lived and studied in Sweden. From 1972 I lived studied and worked in the U.K. For many years I worked in the NHS in finance and business management. Following several personal tragedies in 2004/5, I had to leave that work and rethink how to survive financially to enable me to continue to support myself and my two children, to finish the private education system and universities. That is when I took steps to start investing and have continued to do so to this day.

2. How did you come to the idea to help Croatian people, institutions, or the state in general?

My charitable effort really started with a Moldovan boy Andre, around 2006/7. This boy had a hole in his skull when an electrical cable fell on him; at that point, he had not been outside for three years to prevent infections. The local doctors only managed to patch up his skull with some skin, but what he actually needed was a metal plate and many operations performed in the U.K. over a period of two years.

Andre successfully recovered and learned fluent English at a private school in Surrey, which was not far from the hospital where he was being treated and staying with a compassionate English family.

As I was being updated on Andres's progress, it made me realize how important it is what we individually do for others…in some cases literally saving their life.

The reason I have decided to focus primarily on helping in Croatia is following a talk at the Croatian Embassy in London. The talk was by EBRD Bank, about the integration of Eastern European countries into the EU. I was shocked to hear that Croatia was the country they were concerned about the most, even falling behind Bulgaria and Romania. At the end of the talk, I challenged the speaker to explain Croatia, and his short answer was - Croatia lacks quality people…This came as a huge shock to me!

3. What types of projects are you aiming at?

I have been aiming and concentrating mainly on a humanitarian concept, although I have been known to dip into culture and education.

4. You participated in Visnjan Crowdfunding, did you had other successful ideas or projects that you backed up or initiated?

This is the list of projects that I supported in the last few years:

2017 — Pazin School (books, English club)

2017 — Maggie’s, Charring Cross Hospital (Cancer support)

2018 — Senoa House, Zagreb (Repairs)

2018 — Pazin Hospital (Palliative Care)

2019 — Podravsko Sunce (Montessori Materials)

2019 — Pazin Hospital (Ultrasound)

2020 — Adra, Zagreb (Earthquake first aid)

2020 — Nismo Same, Zagreb (Cancer support)

2020 — Zvjezdarnica, Visnjan (Education)

5. What is your favorite so far?

I think my favorite so far has to be the ultrasound equipment for Pazin hospital. When I was shown around by the hospital manager, and I realized that they only had some old broken X-ray mc. They were working very hard to obtain the palliative care status so that the chronically sick patients didn’t have to pay to stay and be cared for in their last few weeks in this world. To obtain that status and for the government to fund this service, they had to have a European standard; however, on my visit, they were still missing adequate beds, shower rooms, etc. I decided to buy them two beds and two televisions immediately. I had a subsequent meeting with the director of Istarski Domovi Zdravlja and promised to pay a substantial sum towards a new ultrasound, providing he could explore how to fund the rest. It all took about 20 months to materialize, which included a fantastic concert and a play to raise the money and not forget that some Croatian people sent money from Canada and Sweden. They decided to invest in superior ultrasound equipment to develop further clinics at the center, and the vulnerable didn’t have to travel to Pula/Rijeka.

6. You had a certain number of interactions with „locals" in Croatia, representatives of the different government or state bodies and institutions. What is your experience with them?

I am sorry to have to say that initially, I didn't find the people I was trying to obtain information from very helpful. In the beginning, I didn’t know where to start, so I wrote emails to the heads of towns, hoping that they would guide me to the right departments, however at times, I sent three messages and did not get a reply. This was very disappointing for me, considering I was looking to help, and they couldn’t even be bothered to reply to my messages. Also, one institution didn’t even acknowledge the receipt of the donation, I had to keep ringing them, and the head has not to this day personally contacted me to acknowledge anything, just got a member of her staff to write to me, at which point in quite a rude, arrogant manor.

Also, I tried to contact an ex-Ambassador, when I was planning to sponsor a top student to study in the U.K. He never replied to my message, following that I sent a message to his wife, just in case he didn’t receive my message, she also did not reply. All I needed was a contact at the university…

Also, I feel that people are not used to someone giving something with no expectation in return. Often they don’t want to get involved because that would mean more work for them, and they choose to do the minimum and choose not to be helpful, even if it means that someone else will lose out. I find that very sad.

7. How are you connected with other members of the Croatian diaspora, and do you have any plans?

With regret, I am not connected to the diaspora. I have tried but have not been very successful. The few I have met in London have not been in any way inspirational, not even vaguely interested in what I am trying to do. I was told that they are only interested in culture…

8. From whom did you get the most support in Croatia so far?

I would love to be able to say that it was a Croatian person who was the most helpful and supportive in my charitable endeavor. Still, it is with pride that I can tell that it is Ambassador Andrew Dalgleish, who has taken the trouble to meet up with me on several occasions and Andreja Maretic. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do. Sometimes it just needs a kind word from people I respect to give me strength and belief to continue, despite the negative people one meets on the route.

9. What are your plans for donations?

Hopefully, if good health serves me well, I intend to continue for the rest of my life.

Ideally, it would have been brilliant if I had met someone with my outlook and passion and form a trust, which would have enabled me to do even more. But as it is now, if I get involved with one or two projects per year, I am happy. Otherwise, it would take up all my time, and I feel having worked exceptionally hard in my youth, I intend to enjoy some of my free time before I get too old.

To read more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Bosnian Companies Donate Building Material To Banovina

ZAGREB, 3 March, 2021 - The Bosnian Federation Chamber of Commerce, acting in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), has organised the delivery of eight trucks full of building material donated by Bosnian enterprises for earthquake victims in the Banovina region of central Croatia, the HGK said on Wednesday.

The donation includes cement, bricks, concrete blocks and roof tiles, which will be distributed to Sisak, Petrinja, Glina and Hrvatska Kostajnica.

The Director of the Federation Chamber of Commerce, Marko Šantić, said that they had collaborated with the HGK on many projects.

"We look upon the HGK and Croatia as an EU member as our older brothers who are helping Bosnia and Herzegovina to overcome its economic problems and join the European Union. This was an opportunity for us to reciprocate," Šantić said, thanking all Bosnian companies that took part in the donation. 

Speaking on behalf of the four towns, the Mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbović, thanked the Bosnian companies for the donation.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Slovenia Donates Nine Trucks Full of Timber to Earthquake-Devastated Petrinja

ZAGREB, 3 March, 2021 - The Slovenian association of wood processing companies, Sloles, has donated a large amount of timber for the reconstruction of roofs in the earthquake-devastated central Croatian town of Petrinja, and nine trucks set out for the Banovina region on Wednesday carrying 300 cubic metres of timber.

Croatia's Ambassador to Slovenia, Boris Grgić, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jože Podgoršek and officials from Sloles attended the handover of this shipment at Novo Mesto.

Ambassador Grgić stressed the importance of the aid from Slovenia, which was among the first countries to respond after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Banovina on 29 December, leaving seven people killed and extensive property damage. He said that the aid showed the importance of cooperation between the two countries and good neighbourly relations.

Minister Podgoršek said that this time too it turned out that neighbours were the first to come to aid and that by doing so Slovenians proved to be good neighbours, always ready to help.

Immediately after the disaster, the government of Prime Minister Janez Janša showed solidarity and sent housing containers, power generators, heaters and heated tents, and the Slovenian Red Cross initially donated €10,000.

Several times over the last two months, with the assistance of the Slovenian army and private hauliers, a number of mobile homes and housing containers have been brought to the earthquake-affected region, as well as many private donations of humanitarian aid, including those raised by Croats living in Slovenia. 

Friday, 26 February 2021

Red Cross Pays 80% of Earthquake Relief Donations to Victims

ZAGREB, 26 February, 2021 - The Red Cross Croatia has so far paid 80% of the HRK 51 million raised as earthquake relief to 31,835 households whose properties were damaged.

HCK executive president Robert Markt told a news conference in Petrinja on Friday that the Red Cross had started distributing aid to the owners of damaged properties in Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Zagreb counties.

Over the past three weeks, 34,580 claims for financial aid have been submitted and another 354 are being checked for compliance with the set requirements, he said.

Single-person households to receive HRK 900, others HRK 1,900

Markt went on to say that 10,039 claims for aid had been submitted by single-person households, which would each receive HRK 900 (€119), while 21,796 had been submitted by households with more than one member, and they would each be given HRK 1,900 (€251).

"We had expected that we would be able to help every household more significantly, but the unexpectedly large number of claims has determined the final value of grants," said Markt.

He added that 80% of the funds raised had already been paid into the earthquake victims' bank accounts and that Croatian Post would deliver the remaining ones to earthquake victims in the next few days.

"That way we have done everything we have announced and promised," he said.

He noted that the amount of grants was not conditional on the degree of property damage, announcing that the funds to be collected subsequently would be distributed in line with the same model or would be donated for the renovation of kindergartens, depending on the amount raised.

Markt thanked all citizens and companies in the country and abroad for helping the Red Cross raise more than HRK 51 million.

Of that amount, 1.7 million was donated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and national Red Cross organisations.

Markt stressed that the Red Cross toll-free phone line would be open until March 28 and that more donations were expected.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Government Says All of Earthquake Relief Donations to be Spent on Reconstruction, Housing

ZAGREB, 25 February, 2021 - All of the HRK 101.5 million collected in donations for earthquake relief will be spent on housing reconstruction - the demolition of damaged houses and construction of new ones - in the earthquake-struck areas, the government said on Thursday.

The government adopted a decision on the distribution of donations to the state budget for earthquake relief, allocating that money to a special account of the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković denied media reports that only 40% of the donations would be used to rebuild quake-damaged houses and that the rest would be allocated to four ministries.

"I wish to deny media reports that appeared today. The distribution of the funds will be completely different from what has been reported," said Plenković, adding that the donations collected would be "spent on reconstruction in the earthquake-struck areas."

"There must be no unclarities about that," said Plenković.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that by 24 February a total of HRK 101.5 million had been collected in donations and that the money would be allocated to the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing. It will be used to remove damaged houses and build new ones as well as perform other work within the remit of that office, he said.

Any donations that are received subsequently will also be allocated on a monthly basis to the central reconstruction office, he said, adding that the office is obliged to report to the government each month as to what the money has been spent on as well as publish this information on its web site.

"We have been informing the public in the most transparent way of donations received and will continue to do so," said Marić.

He said that an assessment of the damage caused by the 29 December earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County is being made and that it was likely to exceed by far that for the Zagreb earthquake.

The main source of financing for the reconstruction process will be the state budget, that is, taxpayers' money, and there is also money from the EU Solidarity Fund and international financial institutions, he said.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Red Cross: HRK 48.6 Million Raised for Earthquake Victims So Far

ZAGREB, 20 February, 2021 - Red Cross Croatia executive president Robert Markt said on Friday that the Red Cross had so far raised HRK 48.6 million (close to €6.4 million) for victims of the 29 December earthquake and that one-off allowances would be paid to all citizens whose properties were damaged. 

The citizens whose damaged properties are located in Sisak-Moslavina, Zagreb and Karlovac counties were able to submit their applications for aid by February 19. So far, 19,000 applications have been received.

In an interview with Nova TV, Markt said the Red Cross would wait for applications that had been sent by post to process them as well.

He explained that the two main criteria for aid were that the applicant had permanent or temporary residence in the earthquake-hit area on 29 December and that they had proof of the damage caused to their property.

Markt could not say how much the one-off allowance would amount to, noting that it would depend on the number of applicants. He added, however, that it would be different for single-person households and families.

Markt also said that the campaign to raise money for the earthquake victims would last until the end of March.

He stressed that donations continued arriving to the earthquake-hit area.

"We are glad that Croatian and international companies keep contacting us with offers and donations," he said.

Page 1 of 3

Search