Friday, 29 January 2021

Samsung Electronics Adriatic Donates to Croatian Red Cross for Quake-Hit Areas

January 29, 2021 - As a global and socially responsible company that actively participates in the local community's life, to help the earthquake-affected areas, Samsung Electronics Adriatic donated 150,000 kunas to the Croatian Red Cross.

Due to the strong earthquake that hit Banovina at the end of 2020, including the towns of Petrinja, Sisak, and Glina and the surrounding area, many lost their homes and property. A month after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Sisak-Moslavina County, donations do not stop coming from all sides. Samsung Electronics Adriatic also decided to make a contribution and, together with its employees, made a financial donation to the Croatian Red Cross to help earthquake-affected areas.

Samsung responded to the Red Cross's appeal with this donation to help the residents of the affected areas, to provide them with the necessary assistance and decent living conditions.

"As an international company that actively participates in the daily life of the local community, Samsung has decided to donate 150,000 kunas to the Croatian Red Cross, which is currently working on collecting humanitarian aid, so that all affected citizens get the help they need. An additional contribution to this donation was provided by the company's employees, who donated their own funds. At Samsung Electronics Adriatic, we think globally and act locally," said the newly elected President of Samsung Electronics Adriatic Hyoung Min. Park.

Samsung Electronics Adriatic operates in eight countries in the region. These include Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Northern Macedonia. It sets new standards in the world of televisions, smartphones, wearables, tablets, digital home devices, network systems, as well as solutions in the areas of memory, LSI systems, and LED devices.

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Monday, 4 January 2021

Croatia Civil Protection Authority Gives Instruction for Aid Delivery from Abroad

ZAGREB, 4 January, 2021 - Croatia's Civil Protection Authority on Sunday presented instructions for better organisation of the delivery of humanitarian aid from abroad.

Donors and organisers of relief aid shipments are asked to provide their data on the e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. before they depart for Croatia.

They are kindly asked to give information about the identity of drivers and other persons engaged in the transport of the aid as well as the registration numbers and kinds of vehicles they are using for the transport.

For instance, the information on whether vehicles are higher than four metres is also necessary.

The providers of the assistance are also asked to announce the border crossing they are going to use as well as the date of the of their planned arrival and departure from the country.

Also, information on the route to their destination is necessary for the better organisation and smooth traffic as well as for the exemption of aid delivery organisers from toll payment.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Red Cross Gives Quake Victims 129 t of Food, 50,000 l of Water, 21,000 Hot Meals

ZAGREB, 2 January, 2021 - The Croatian Red Cross (HCK) said on Saturday that over the past three days they had distributed more than 129 tonnes of food in earthquake-hit areas as well as 50,000 litres of water and 21,000 hot meals.

They have also provided 172 heaters, 650 blankets, 39 generators, 700 packets of food and necessities for children as well as ensuring psychosocial support for 1,600 people.

The HCK has also opened two more locations in Petrinja for the accommodation of the people affected, including a service for tracing the missing and psychosocial support.

By 1 January, HRK 36.4 million was donated by physical and legal entities to help those affected by Tuesday's earthquake. Donations are still being collected. A donor line has received 69,169 calls bringing HRK 432,300.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Monday, 23 November 2020

Magic of Giving: Story Behind Big Croatian Donor Community

November 23, 2020 – Backed by four diligent women, a Croatian donor community on Facebook called Čarolija darivanja (The Magic of Giving) has been giving birthday presents to neglected children and the elderly in nursing homes for five years now with the help of generous donors.

As the most beautiful and noble time of the year, Christmas, approaches, many are already starting to think about what to give to their loved ones. Even the slightest sign of attention given with love can cheer someone up, but what about those people who, unfortunately, can't get that under their tree? In this pre-holiday time, some remember neglected children and people in nursing homes, but what about the rest of the year?

To bring a smile back to their faces for the rest of the year, and not just for Christmas, five years ago a Facebook page called Čarolija darivanja (The Magic of Giving) was launched to enable generous people to give birthday presents to the neediest. These are primarily children in homes for neglected children, as well as in homes without adequate parental care, and grandparents in homes for the elderly and infirm.

Croatians are already known for their generosity, and this commendable action is proof that there are still good people ready to help. This big giving initiative was even recognized for its humanitarian character and won the Ponos Hrvatske (Pride of Croatia) award.

Four diligent women who stand behind this project explain how giving works and therefore how the "magic" is made.

Can you tell us more about this project?

The Magic of Giving is a Facebook page that can be joined by anyone who is able and wants, from the bottom of their heart, to donate presents to a completely unknown person from a children's or nursing home. There are several types of magic happening here – giving, sharing happiness, caring for other people, doing good deeds.

The Magic team consists of four women who – in addition to their jobs, families, children, pets, and everyday life – handle wish lists of children and the elderly and are in contact with their homes, and people who send gifts: Mirta who lives in Barcelona, Silvia who lives in Sarajevo, Marina who lives in Ilok, and Sanja who lives in Zagreb.

Our community, which counts as many as 40,000 followers, recently celebrated its 5th birthday!

How does giving work? Who can participate and how?

At the top of our Facebook page, we have a post titled "How to Participate?" where everything is explained in detail for all the new fairies and elves, as we call people who donate.

Every month, we publish lists of birthday wishes and needs of children from homes or associations, who are without adequate parental care (without parents or growing up with parents, but in an unenviable situation). Sometimes we also publish lists with the common needs of children (for example hygiene supplies, school supplies, etc). We also publish the birthday wishes of the elderly people placed in nursing homes.

At the top of each list is the title (which month and home), and below is a list with ordinal numbers, names/initials of the children and elderly, date of birth, and birthday wishes. People then write in the comments to whom they want to send a present and that’s it. We always recommend that they send sweets and greeting cards with gifts.

All gifts are sent directly to the addresses of the homes, from people to children or elderly, so we only do the communication. For any doubts, the necessary information for sending is written at the bottom of each list, as well as the contact person from the home with a phone number.

From the beginning, we decided that we do not want to have anything to do with money or payment to our accounts (to avoid negative connotations), and this proved to be a great solution.

127209794_1106963356401801_7155971482898167577_n.jpg

The "Magic" team: Marina, Sanja, Silvia, and Mirta / Private archive

Where did the idea for this project come from?

The story started before Christmas in 2015 when the Facebook page was called Christmas Gift Giving to Children Without Proper Parental Care. Mirta came up with the idea when her son told her he wanted an excavator and then a truck as a Christmas present. She was thinking, who would fulfill all these wishes for children who do not have parents? She had heard of a boy who had gathered friends the year before, and they made wishes of children from one home come true. She thought we could do a lot more with Facebook.

She presented the idea to our former colleague Katarina, she liked it, and the two of them set off. They contacted the children's home Klasje from Osijek, they were scared when the principal told them that they had over 100 children, so they asked her not to get angry if they failed because they did not count on such a large number.

They ended the Christmas magic with about 2,000 presents, tired, but happy. In agreement with the homes, they gave up further Christmas magic and continued with the Birthday magic. In homes, almost everyone said that all people remember them over Christmas, but then during the year it somehow subsides. The Birthday magic seemed like the real thing! And given the response from the people, it was the right thing to do.

Do you call the homes or do they call you?

At the very beginning, we contacted and worked only with orphanages. We called them all, explained the story, and slowly joined in one by one. Two years later, in late 2017, Teresa (who was in the team at the time) came up with the idea to extend the story to homes for the elderly and infirm. Again, we contacted all the nursing homes ourselves. This time it was easier because we already had a two-year story behind us and a lot of orphanages that could confirm that everything was working well. A year and a half ago, we received calls from homes that did not immediately join the story but now want to be a part of the magic.

How many children and grandparents have you donated to so far? How many homes? Are they always the same or are they changing?

Throughout the year, we track how many gifts are sent monthly, which is a little over 500 packages. So, during the year, over 6000 gifts are sent. We monitor about 50 homes for children, half-day stays, and other accommodation for children, and about 30 homes for the elderly and infirm.

 

All of you live in different cities and countries – how do you work together?

Since everything is online, there are no problems, moreover, it is much easier and faster. Of course, smartphones, with which you can be online at any time, and handle lists and emails, also help a lot. We don’t feel at all that we’re far away because we're in contact with each other every day and comment on everything. We have a WhatsApp group chat where we exchange messages. All four of us follow the lists of children's wishes as well as the wishes of the elderly, publish them on the page, follow who has chosen which child, grandparents, and update the lists.

Do you get feedback from homes, children, and the elderly?

Cooperation with homes is very successful and we are grateful that they meet our needs to the maximum, despite the many obligations they have. Homes designate a contact person whose mobile phone number we can publish on the list and then that person answers donors to numerous inquiries related to gifts, goes to the post office to pick up the package, takes care of whether the gift has arrived or not, delivers lists to us by e-mail and the like. The users themselves sometimes directly contact the people who sent them present to thank them, which is a wonderful experience.

You were also named Ponos Hrvatske (Pride of Croatia). How much does that recognition mean to you?

We would like to emphasize that, although we received the award, it certainly would not have been possible without all the people who helped the Magic to exist for such a long time. We try to give a personal note to the Facebook page and the community – we confirm every gift application with "Thank you", we are available almost 24/7, and we try to solve every problem that arises as quickly and as well as possible.

It is very important to us that everything is transparent and people appreciate that. Maybe that's the reason for the success. We are also glad to see how the Magic spreads so each person involved is a kind of example to their friends and acquaintances.

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participates! It is very nice to see that there are still many good people and that volunteering and good deeds are recognized in our society.

Ponos Hrvatske is the award for people who have shown exceptional humanity through their actions, inspired others, or done something that sets an example for others, whether it is saving lives, great kindness or incredible courage.

What is your wish for the future – maybe expansion, something else?

We have no concrete wishes except that everything goes as it has so far. Five years ago, we never dreamed that we would have so many people who follow us, and not only follow but send gifts and cheer up children and the elderly in homes. Our lists close in 10 minutes so we would be ungrateful if we wanted anything more than what we have now thanks to all the good people!

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Thursday, 22 October 2020

A Young Man from Vodnjan is Collecting Donations for Croatian Debtors

October 22, 2020 – Two weeks ago, a 27-year-old man from Vodnjan and one girl started collecting donations for Croatian debtors in a Facebook group.

As 24sata reports, since then, he has received hundreds of phone calls and text messages in a Facebook group that he launched called "Blocked and debted people let’s help each other" ("Blokirani i ovršeni pomozimo jedni drugima"). He has already gathered more than 1000 people in that group, and the number continues to grow.

As we reported earlier from Hina, the moratorium on debt enforcements ended on Monday, October 19, and the total number of enforcement debtors now in Croatia is 244,865. Data from the Financial Agency's (FINA) system for execution of enforcement over monetary assets have shown that the largest number of enforcement debtors, 109,000 or 46 percent of citizens with blocked bank accounts, owed up to 10,000 kunas, while the total amount of their debt was 396 million kunas.

The goal of this Facebook group is to help the people who faced foreclosures to get rid of their debts by collecting donations for the most urgent cases.

"I want every kuna to get into the right hands. Every day for the past two weeks, I have been replying for hours to messages coming to my group and trying to help as best I can," said Dražen Gluvak from Vodnjan.

"We are here to help each other to be free, to sleep peacefully, and finally get rid of our problems and debts, and ultimately get rid of moneylenders like FINA and other paying agencies. Let's help each other," reads the description of the Facebook page.

Dražen says he is very emotional when it comes to unfortunate human destinies.

"The donation is paid directly to the account of one person within a month. Some people have a problem, but also those who are immediately ready to pay a donation to help as soon as possible. In the past two weeks, we have helped a lady for whom we collected about 1,000 kuna so far, and she needs 5,000 kuna to be unblocked. She begged us for help because of a debt she just can't pay. The money was paid directly to her account. Everything works so that the person who needs help sends us all the documentation from FINA on enforcement and then we start the action of help," Dražen explained.

He says that people pay as much as they can and that the goal is to help as many people as possible. If everyone paid only a small amount, at least the amount needed for one coffee, a lot of people would be saved, he points out.

He added that he is glad that more and more people are joining the group.

"People want change, they want to help. Those who are in debt want to fall asleep at least once without the fear of tomorrow. If I were rich, I would help everyone. People in the group are not immune to other people's misfortune and want to help, even with a few kunas, because no one knows if they will find themselves in the same situation tomorrow and cry out for help," the young man from Vodnjan said.

 

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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

71 Parties Failed to Report Donations

ZAGREB, July 29, 2020 - Of 167 registered political parties in Croatia, as many as 71 failed to report on donations received in the first half of the year, thus facing fines of between HRK 10,000 and 100,000.

All registered political parties, independent members of parliament and independent local councillors were required to report donations to the Electoral Commission (DIP) by midnight on July 15. The parties that failed to do so face fines of between HRK 10,000 (€1,333) and 100,000 (€13,333), while independent MPs and councillors face fines of up to HRK 20,000 (€2,666).

Whether they will be actually fined or not depends on whether the State Attorney's Office (DORH) decides that it is worthwhile to take legal action considering the fact that many of the parties did not receive any donations. If it decides to take action, a final decision on the amount of fine will be made by a court.

According to DIP, 96 parties submitted their reports, including nine that did so after the deadline. Among the parties that failed to do so are two parliamentary parties - the Croatian Social Liberal Party and the Workers' Front.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Jandrokovic: HDZ Receives No Donations from Govt Support Scheme Beneficiaries

ZAGREB, July 13, 2020 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic on Monday denied media allegations that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) had received donations from companies that were granted government subsidies during the coronavirus epidemic.

"That information is not true. The donations concerned were paid no later than March 12 before any lockdown measures were introduced or any government subsidies were issued to bail out the economy. We did not receive any donations after March 12, or we received some but that money of about HRK 70,000 was paid back to the state budget," Jandrokovic said ahead of a meeting of the HDZ presidency.

He added that "those donations were paid before the COVID situation even emerged," adding that at that time no one could have to know what was to happen later.

HDZ's presidency and national council on Monday appointed Krunoslav Katicic as the party's new secretary-general, replacing Jandrokovic who will be reappointed parliament speaker based on an earlier agreement in the party.

Jandrokovic said: "Now, I will dedicate myself 100 percent to the position of parliament speaker," expressing satisfaction with the opportunity to be in that position for a second term.

"It was demanding and challenging to conduct both the duties of parliament speaker and secretary-general of HDZ. I look proudly at the past four years and wish my successor good luck," said Jandrokovic.

New parliament to be inaugurated on 22 July

He announced that the new parliament should be convened on July 22 if there are no complaints related to the July 5 parliamentary election in the town of Rasa which was repeated on Sunday. Parliament is expected to sit in Parliament House taking account of epidemiological measures.

Monday, 13 July 2020

HDZ Receives HRK 560,000 in Donations

ZAGREB, July 13, 2020 - In the first half of this year, the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party received HRK 560,000 in donations for its regular political activities, a report published on Monday shows.

The HDZ received more than about 30 other political parties combined. The bulk of donations, slightly over HRK 500,000, were made in money and HRK 57,000 in products or services. Not one donation exceeded HRK 30,000.

About 30 political parties have so far submitted their reports on donations and they are available on the Electoral Commission's website.

The report by the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), published on Monday, shows that the party received a modest HRK 13,750 from donors.

Reports published earlier show that the Croatian Conservative Party (HKS) of MEP Ruza Tomasic overtook the Croatian People's Party (HNS), to which donors had been very inclined in the past years. The HKS received HRK 164,000 in donations and the HNS 143,000.

Many political parties, including those in parliament, reported no donations, including the Independent Democratic Serb Party, the Croatian Pensioners Party, the Istrian Democratic Party and Let's Change Croatia. Independent MPs Vladimir Bilek, who represents the Czech and Slovak minorities, and Veljko Kajtazi (Roma minority) also reported receiving no donations.

The Social Democratic Party, Bridge, and the Homeland Movement are yet to submit their reports. The deadline is July 15.

Any party that fails to do so by the given deadline faces a fine of between HRK 10,000 and 100,000, while MPs and councillors face a fine of between HRK 2,000 and 20,000.

(€1 = HRK 7.53)

Monday, 29 June 2020

Coric: HDZ Declined Donations From Businesses That Received State Aid

ZAGREB, June 29, 2020 - Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Coric said on Monday that the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party had declined donations from companies that had received state aid for job retention, calling on the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) to do the same given that it had already received such donations.

"The HDZ has so far received about HRK 1.75 million (€233,000) in donations, which is considerably more than our political opponents. This itself speaks of the HDZ's popularity and the inclination to donate funds," Coric, a member of the HDZ's main committee, said in response to questions from the press.

He said that the HDZ would insist on a transparent presentation of campaign costs, adding that even before the election campaign the party had decided to "negatively respond" to certain donations.

"All donations coming from legal entities which in recent months received aid as part of the economic recovery measures for job retention are considered unacceptable by the HDZ. We call on all other parties to follow suit because we are aware of the fact that some political groups in Croatia have received donations from legal entities that benefited from the economic recovery measures. We don't think that's fair," Coric said.

He said that the HDZ had been offered donations from several such businesses but that the party had paid the money into the state budget. He did not reveal details, saying only that those were several smaller legal entities with small donations.

"As far as we know, the SDP has received such donations. We call on them to be responsible in this election time and to refer such donations to the budget," Coric said.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

International Medical Corps' Donation Delivered To Croatia

ZAGREB, June 3, 2020 - A HRK 1 million donation of the International Medical Corps from the USA was presented to Croatia's Health Ministry on Wednesday by the head of the Croatian office of that global humanitarian organization, Ivana Petkovic.

The donation, delivered to the Croatian civil protection directorate's logistic centre in Jastrebarsko, consists of 70,400 KN95 ventilator masks, 12,000 face shields, and 18 pulse oximeters. The donation is aimed at contributing to the protection of Croatian medical staff against the coronavirus.

Seeing that Zagreb and its environs were struck by the March 22 devastating earthquake which put some of the health institutions and medical equipment out of use, the International Medical Corps made this donation in an effort to relieve the consequences of the earthquake, the civil protection directorate informed.

In attendance at the donation-delivery ceremony was US Ambassador to Croatia William Robert Kohorst, Croatian Assistant Interior Minister Damir Trut, and the director of the Croatian Emergency Medical Service, Maja Grba Bujevic.

The International Medical Corps is a global, nonprofit, humanitarian aid organisation dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering by providing emergency medical services, as well as healthcare training and development programs, to those affected by disaster, disease or conflict.

Croatia has intensified its cooperation with the USA in the area of civil protection over the past five years particularly with the Minnesota National Guard in the segment of disaster response preparedness through exchanging the know-how in the prevention and participating in exercises in the field.

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