“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
Guided by the teachings of Eleanor Roosevelt, a great teacher of 20th century humanity, the SOLIDARNA Foundation wants to return human rights home – to the hearts, minds and lives of ordinary people, to make our communities safe places of freedom and dignity for all and to survive in the 21st century. It was founded at the end of 2015 by 55 human rights defenders – 49 individuals and 6 associations from different parts of Croatia of diverse knowledge, experience and occupation – united in a commitment to strengthen the autonomy and solidarity of civic action to reduce inequality and expand rights and freedoms in all spheres of Croatian society.
SOLIDARNA Foundation for Human Rights and Solidarity creates new opportunities for all citizens to act in solidarity, in our common effort to protect human rights and meet fundamental human needs, reduce inequalities and expand freedoms in all spheres of society. SOLIDARNA acts as a reliable partner to civil society actors, socially responsible business community and donors for social development, serving as a catalyst for resource mobilization, promoter of solidarity and social support for autonomous initiatives for the protection of human rights in Croatia and throughout Europe.
SOLIDARNA is a different foundation as it…
· starts from the community and is community oriented – focuses on individuals and initiatives that actively work on the protection of human rights
· wants to alter the perception of human rights, to connect all generations of human rights and help solve problems that plague both minorities and majorities
· bases its value and measures it firstly in social, and then in financial capital
· wants to enrich various goods – money, knowledge, work, time, information – coming from different directions
· values quality more than quantity
· builds relationships on trust and cooperation and does not hide behind bureaucracy
· wants to connect domestic and foreign sources of funding, including the democratic diaspora
· is open to experiments with collaborative management and support models but without compromising on transparency, honesty and accountability.
The founders of the SOLIDARNA Foundation established it with the firm belief that promotion and protection of all levels of human rights – from fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association to the right to work, home, a healthy environment and public goods – requires a return to the very basics, which is our dignity, well-being and quality of life. It requires sustained effort, creativity and resistance to all kinds of pressures. Therefore, nurturing domestic philanthropy for human rights is absolutely necessary and represents a test of democratic culture in Croatia.
The values on which SOLIDARNA bases its activities are respect for human rights and civil liberties, solidarity, socio-economic justice, anti-fascism, non-violence, inclusion, respect for diversity, gender equality and expression, freedom of choice and expression, and preservation of natural and cultural assets.
Through its public awareness and advocacy campaigns, donation and capacity building programs, SOLIDARNA directly supports local civic activism, cultural creativity and social innovation, as well as citizens in crisis and marginalized social groups. We are proud that in the first five years of its public activity, the SOLIDARNA Foundation has gained the trust of the community it serves – over 3,000 citizens and private companies donated nearly HRK 5 million for our donor actions and thus increased the initial foundation’s contribution to the community benefit. All this would not be possible without the huge pro bono contribution of a number of other organizations and individuals from the non-profit, business and public sectors.
SOLIDARNA is open to all ideas and contributions of all who want to join it as donors, partners, volunteers and collaborators so that #Solidarity grows into #NewNormal as soon as possible.