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Five months have passed since devastating earthquakes hit Sisak-Moslavina County, putting the long neglected problems of the poorest region in Croatia in the public eye.
Through Fund 5.5 SOLIDARNA Foundation provides support for sustainable reconstruction and recovery of SMC, because the reconstruction of houses will not solve many problems of the region – it is necessary to build a community that will motivate young people to stay, and not only survive but live in Sisak-moslavina County. In the time ahead, it is important to encourage local production and support the launch or continuation of ongoing initiatives. That is why the Call for Proposals for professional (education, mentoring, networking) and financial support within the Fund 5.5 was announced. The total value of the tender fund is 1,000,000.00 HRK, and the amount of financial support per project could go up to 200,000.00 HRK.
As part of the competition, financial and professional support was given to ten local initiatives, family farms and other legal entities, whose work and ideas offer a vision of a better future, development and strengthening of the local community.
Glina Volleyball Club
Renata Hrgović, president of the “Glina Volleyball Club” points out that Glina has always been a city of sports, and that the whirlwind of the 90’s destroyed the economy but not the sports spirit in it. Through the registered project and the realized financial support in the amount of 28,000.00 HRK, the school sports club will be equipped and the costs of sports equipment for 70 girls and girls members of the club will be covered.
“Social circumstances have created a respectable community for sports in Glina. One of the clubs is the women’s volleyball club Glina. A healthy mind in a healthy body is a motif of the elementary school girls in Glina. Every activity requires certain resources, including volleyball in Glina. Young talents are ready to step forward, professionalize their views in volleyball and become higher-ranking factors in the competition. The profession has a vision, and our community has human resources. Finances, which are not large, ask us club leaders to find alternative methods of financing and thus enable the survival of volleyball in Glina. Everyone has a desire for success, and young women from Glina have a special love for volleyball. The donation of Fund 5.5 will greatly help our club in its further activities, and enrich our county and homeland for a volleyball club full of will, desire and potential!”, says Renata Hrgović, president of Glina Volleyball Club about the importance of the project and support.
Pun ceker – COMMUNITY OF MANUFACTURERS OF SISAK-MOSLAVA COUNTY – COOPERATIVE FOR PRODUCTION, TRADE AND SERVICES
Pun Ceker is a community of producers in Sisak-Moslavina County that brings together farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, fruit growers, winegrowers, etc. With the financial support they intend to create a new market for the sale of honey intended for catering purposes.
The beekeeping sector has suffered enormous damage due to the aftermath of the earthquake and the coronavirus pandemic. The creation and expansion of markets as well as the encouragement of own production are among the most important factors influencing the survival of family farms in rural areas. Pun Ceker was awarded financial support in the amount of 166,500.00 HRK for the cost of purchasing the necessary tools and equipment to prepare the entry of local beekeepers and honeycombs into the catering niche, which strengthens their competitiveness.
“Implementation of this project will help local family farms to find new distribution channels, expand the range, and increase the volume of business. The implementation of the project would directly affect the faster recovery of the beekeeping sector that suffered huge damage caused by the earthquake and pandemic, as well as encouraging own production are one of the two most important factors influencing the survival of family farms in rural areas and ultimately the strengthening of the local community.”, said Ivica Marković, manager of the SMZ Producers Association.
Association of winegrowers and fruit growers St. Bartol Letovanski Vrh, Lekenik
The consequences of the earthquake caused great damage to winegrowers and fruit growers who were awarded financial support in the amount of 140,000.00 HRK in order to strengthen the capacity for this year’s harvest and maintain the production of the local variety Škrlet.
“We responded to the invitation on behalf of the members of the four associations, due to the great damage caused by the earthquakes. The financial support will cover the costs of purchasing equipment for this year’s harvest and the purchase of floaters, which is a big deal, because smaller family farms rarely have it.”, said the family farm Herak representatives.
Association of Persons with Disabilities of Sisak-Moslavina County
The Association of Persons with Disabilities of Sisak-Moslavina County has been active since 2003, and since April 2020 it has been implementing the project Inclusive Farm – The Foundation of Independent Living in partnership with the Society for Social Ecology Green Gold and the City of Petrinja.
The Association of Persons with Disabilities of Sisak-Moslavina County was awarded financial support in the amount of 120,000.00 HRK for the purchase of equipment for work on the Inclusive Farm, with the purpose of integration and activation of persons with disabilities while promoting sustainable development and renovation of the necessary warehouse for equipment and machinery.
“Through the project of the Fund 5.5. the association will procure a garden tractor that is really needed on the farm and it will also adapt the existing facility on the farm to become a warehouse for machinery. This tractor will make it easier to do all the physical work on the farm, and the facility will allow all the machines to be safe. This development of the farm will definitely enable faster development of activities on the farm that enable the complete psychosocial development of our users, but also breaking the wall of prejudice between marginalized groups and the community that we will encourage to accept diversity and educate for organic production. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish a social cooperative and a housing community so that we can provide adequate accommodation for all people with disabilities who can no longer be cared for. With all of the above, we reduce the poverty of our area, increase social inclusion and develop the forgotten potentials of our local community “, explained Ivana Šalić about the importance of the Inclusive Farms project.
Nas pet d.o.o.
Nas pet d.o.o. is an Agency for Advertising (Advertising and Propaganda) and as part of the applied project they try to encourage the increase of local production of family farms and small producers or processors from the affected area in Banovina, through design and advertising services, with the main goal of keeping the local population estates.
For this project, financial support was awarded in the total amount of 135,000.00 HRK for the cost of marketing support of 10 local family farms, strengthening the competences and visibility of local marketing companies in the form of creating a visual identity of a small group of products for 10 sub-users (79,000.00 HRK). and the initial management of social networks for 10 sub-users (HRK 45,000.00) and the printing of labels for sub-users (HRK 10,500.00) with the condition of user openness to further development of customer support activities related to digital marketing for which experts within the SOLIDARNA Foundation provide mentoring support.
“With the donation of Fund 5.5, we will help small producers to keep their family businesses in these difficult times and stay in the Sisak-moslavina County. Through this project, which we would not have achieved without the financial support of Fund 5.5, we will reduce emigration of small producers, encourage their production and sales and, ultimately, give them the wind in their backs for further work. By helping them, we will be richer for new experiences, knowledge, cooperation and acquaintances, and we will substantiate our claim that only by helping each other can we survive and remain active in the County.” The importance of the support is reported by the D.Point Creative Agency for the project “In Solidarity With Small Producers”.
Association of the Blind of Sisak-Moslavina County – Sisak
The Association of the Blind of Sisak-Moslavina County – Sisak has been operating in the county for 65 years, and with the support of Fund 5.5, it will reduce poverty, reduce unemployment, raise competencies for entering the labor market, raise the quality of rehabilitation programs for the blind, increase the sustainability of CSOs -and through independent production and hortitherapy.
By purchasing greenhouses, the quality of the service offered by the association will be improved, the sustainability of further independent business, reduction of unemployment, reduction of poverty, greater availability of food to vulnerable groups. The Association of the Blind of Sisak-Moslavina County Sisak was awarded financial support in the amount of HRK 51,000.00 for the cost of purchasing three greenhouses for the purpose of developing social entrepreneurship and horticulture for social and economic activation and inclusion of blind and partially blind people.
“With the help of the Fund 5.5, the Association is closer to achieving the conditions and initiating the development of social entrepreneurship through the launch of agricultural production – vegetables and horticulture. A few years ago, through projects, we launched hortitherapy as a form of occupational therapy for the blind, and from today, through the support of Fund 5.5, we will provide our service and support to more users and other interested people, which will lead to creating an inclusive social community, acquisition of new skills and knowledge, and ensure the availability of our products to disadvantaged people.”, the Association pointed out.
SUNCOKRET – Community Development Center
SUNCOKRET – Community Development Center is a non-governmental and non-profit organization founded in 2004 in response to the psychosocial needs of the community after the war. SUNCOKRET is involved in community development within Sisak-Moslavina County, and with the financial support of the Fund 5.5, they will provide support to earthquake victims in accessing information on their rights and related issues through the SUNCOKRET Info Center / Internet Center and collecting and distributing various humanitarian aid to earthquake victims.
Through education and workshops on sustainable development, construction with natural materials, pesticide-free food production, recycling, composting and ecology, the goal is to encourage active participation and development of competences of children and young people in order to raise awareness of the importance of preserving cultural, historical and traditional heritage, importance of sustainable development and ecological food production.
SUNCOKRET was awarded financial support in the amount of 46,000.00 HRK for the cost of purchasing tools and equipment needed to implement the education of children and youth for sustainable development.
“The project funded by the SOLIDARNA Foundation will help us to continue and develop the activities we planned to launch before the earthquake and which stopped due to the earthquake. We will make it easier for children, young people and volunteers from France, Belgium and Poland to work in our eco gardens. We will be open to the community every day and provide them with all the help they ask of us. It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act and that is why we are grateful to Solidarna for recognizing our work and supporting us when we need it most. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!” Mraović (SUNCOKRET – Center for Community Development).
Agency for Local Democracy Sisak
The goal of the project of the Agency for Local Democracy Sisak is to develop a conceptual design of the building of the Social and Cultural Center Sisak as a prerequisite for the establishment of a cross-sectoral platform that contributes to the recovery and development of the community.
The total awarded financial support amounts to 83,480.00 HRK for the cost of organizing the SCC Sisak design workshop, development of the conceptual design and conceptual design of SCC Sisak and the cost of the project manager.
“Thanks to the donation of Fund 5.5 of the Solidarna Foundation, we were granted funds for the necessary initial step of joint planning and development of the conceptual design of the future Social and Cultural Center Sisak. Socioal and Cultural Center Sisak is not just a building but a multipurpose space intended for revitalization of social and cultural life and direct support to vulnerable groups in the community that will fight the consequences of the devastating earthquake for a long time to come. The Sisak Center is a place of meeting, hope, creativity, innovation and cooperation in building solidarity and modern community.”, Paula Raužan, president of the Social and Cultural Center Sisak.
Sisak Civil Rights Project
The project will strengthen the capacity of Platform 044 – Together for a Better Future of Sisak-Moslavina County, whose mission is to clearly define the biggest problems of SMC citizens, within unemployment, poverty and discrimination/diversity, in order to provide administrative and legal assistance to earthquake victims. Cooperation with local and national civil protection headquarters, reconstruction offices will be developed and strengthened, as well as a multidisciplinary cooperation network of stakeholders/helpers through mobilization of volunteers (Volunteer Center Sisak and Petrinja), law students/clinicians of the Zagreb Law Clinic, and possibly Rijeka and Osijek, family farms, social welfare centers and other public services.
Financial support in the amount of 96,000.00 HRK was awarded to strengthen the capacity of Platform 044 – Together for a better future of Sisak-Moslavina County in order to ensure continuity and increase networking of field support to earthquake victims throughout the Sisak-Moslavina County.
“Platform 044 will be reactivated and refreshed with new members and activities. The coordinator of the Platform will be PGP, who will hire a new, young person to coordinate the Platform. In this way it will contribute to the staying of young people in Sisak and SMC, and also reactivation of the Platform 044, which will actively start dealing with procedures related to reconstruction in SMC and related activities, as well as encouraging stay, entrepreneurship, employment, etc. Financial support of the Fund 5.5 will enable employment of one young person in SMC, which would directly contribute to solving the problem the earthquake-stricken areas, in direct work with users, members and associates of the Platform, will also enable a concrete solution to user problems, such as property regulation, which requires the payment of fees, without which it is impossible to create preconditions for reconstruction”, explained Milana Kreća from Platforms 044.
LAG ZRINSKA GORA – TUROPOLJE
Through the LAG project, the goal is to finance a minimum of 25 applications of farmers’ projects for Measure 5.2.1. with the long-term purpose of the reconstruction of agricultural holdings and a better standard of living for farmers in the area affected by the earthquake, for which a grant of 150,000.00 HRK was awarded.
The SOLIDARNA Foundation is available for joint advocacy actions aimed at local self-government and the competent ministries regarding the burning need for additional public funding of technical assistance to applicants for measure 5.2.1. through a network of LAGs, development agencies and specialized associations and cooperatives.
“Implementation of the project in which we organized mobile teams of consultants and volunteers to apply for the Tender Measure 5.2.1.” Restoration of agricultural land and production potential” will allow free application to beneficiaries, farmers affected by the earthquake to apply for the tender economic recovery with EU funds that are non-refundable. In this way, farmers will rebuild their farms and will be able to continue agricultural production and regain the conditions for generating income and ensuring livelihood in the area affected by the earthquake.”, Sven Dorotić, LAG Zrinska gora-Turopolje.
In the upcopming period, all winners of financial and professional support of the Fund 5.5 of the SOLIDARNA Foundation will work on the recovery and strengthening of the local community through supported projects and build a community that motivates young people to stay.