Desa & Jerko Baković Fund

 „Desa and Jerko Baković“ Fund  for support of poor children and young people

In February 2018., thanks to generous donation  of Mrs. Desa Baković in the amout of 600.000,00 kn, SOLIDARNA – Foundation for human rights and solidarity has initiated Desa & Jerko Baković Fund. Donated money was provided for financial, material and professional support for education of poor children and young people, but primarly for pupil in elemantary and high schools who are exposed to material deprivation, risk of social exclusion and discrimination while in its ambience maybe don´t have adequate support for development od self-confidence and  skills required for a successful schooling.

This year, the scholarship program and accompanying professional support will cover the needs related to the current school year 2017/18. and the next school year 2018/19. The purpose of the SOLIDARNA Foundation is to raise additional donor funds to make the Fund a permanent source of support for children and young people whose socio-economic deprivation gets in a way of successful education.

The Fund is directly managed by the Council of the Fund "Desa and Jerko Baković" which is presided by the university professor in retirement and prominent human rights activist Zoran Pusić and members are psychologist Iskra Pejić, who is also deputy president, social pedagogue Martina Horvat and human rights activists Biljana Pusić and Vesna Teršelić. For the administrative and organizational affairs and Council support  the Foundation's Executive Team - director Marina Škrabalo, secretary Ivan Blažević and associate Petra Mađerčić is responsible. The final decision on the granting of financial support can be made by the Fondation Board of SOLIDARNA at the proposal of the Foundation Council of the Fund "Desa and Jerko Baković".

The decisions on granting financial and material support will be based on an analysis of each individual application which will be collected through direct consultations with social and educational workers in public institutions and with the leaders of civil society organizations aimed at combating poverty and social inclusion as well on education of children and young people.

Considering current philanthropic activities of Mrs. Baković and her late husband Jerko, in cooperation with the Civic committee for human rights in the areas affected by the war, primarily, but not exclusive, geographical focus will be directed on the small communities on Kordun, Banja and the border areas towards Lika and Gorski kotar.

Criteria for applications and support through the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund:

  •          Age: 10 to 18 years of age – students in high grades of elementary school or high school students
  •          Level of education: elementary school or any high school in accordance with child's choice and both parental and professional assessment of the best interest of the child
  •          Motivation for school: a child is motivated to continue his/her education and invest time and energy in developing his / her own competences, expressing interests for specific knowledge and skills, and school achievements so far indicate that he/she has a chance to successfully complete high school education with adequate conditions (initial average mark: 3.0 or more).
  •           Residence-
  •      Priority: Kordun, Banija, Lika and Gorski Kotar;
  •      Other small and undeveloped places
  •           Exceptionally (and considering other criteria): big cities
  •           Socio-economic status:
  •          Poverty of parents or guardians
  •          Lack of resources for quality education in the immediate ambience (family, local community, public scholarship system and social welfare system)
  •          Life circumstances:
  •          Exposure to the risk of discrimination and social exclusion due to belonging to some marginalized group (national minorities, disability, foreigner status, other skin color, chronic illness, minority sexual orientation ...)
  •           Growing up in a dysfunctional family or out of family (children from socially vulnerable families, prison children, children without parents - growing up in foster families or homes)
  •          Lack of adequate family support (parents or other family members are not able to provide the child with the necessary educational support for various reasons - overwhelmed by existence, disability, age, illness, educational deficit)
  •          Exposure to violence (children of victims of domestic violence, children  victims of violence)
  •          Chronic illness or disability
  •          Geographic dislocation

Forms of support through the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund

Due to the findings of the research on child poverty and  intention of complementing other public and private programs for supporting children and young people, the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund will focus on multi-annual, individualized and comprehensive support in the following forms:

  •          financial and material support for high school education of children outside the place of residence (co-financing of a pupil's home, school books and accessories, ICT equipment, nutrition, pocket money, extra tuition and tuition fees, extracurricular activities, school trips, etc.)
  •          financial and material support for successful completion of elementary school education for higher classes of elementary school children (school books and equipment costs, ICT equipment, additional tuition and learning aid, extra-curricular activities, school trips)
  •           individually advising follow-up of each child included in program by an expert from the child's educational environment with which the child has established a good trust-based relationship.
  •          additional opportunities for developing self-confidence, creativity and social skills (workshops, excursions, children's camps for users of the Fund).

 Application form for "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund:

Since donor funds are limited, Fund applications will be collected through direct consultations with social and educational workers and with leaders of civil society organizations targeted at combating poverty and social inclusion and education of children and young people, and funding decisions include five steps:

  •          A statement of the need for support - the form (attached) is filled by social, educational workers and associates of relevant associations
  •          Consideration of the statement by the Fund Council through direct consultations with the applicants, the child and his / her family
  •          Selection of counselors from a child's educational environment that will monitor the dynamics of education and realization of financial support for a particular child
  •          Creating an individual plan of support for education  as the basis for a scholarship agreement in co-operation with a parent / guardian, child and counselor
  • Contracting  financial support / scholarship and realization

Operation of the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund in 2018:

The Foundation Council of the "Desa and Jerko Baković" appointed by the SOLIDARNA Foundation compose: Zoran Pusić (President), Biljana Pusić, Vesna Teršelić, Martina Horvat and Iskra Pejić, who are in charge of development of the Fund and providing financial support for the education of poor children and young people. The Decision on the scholarship grants in 2018 was adopted at a session held in Zagreb on April 6, 2018. The proposal of the decision was sent on the same day to the Foundation management of SOLIDARNA which has adopted the decision on 9 April 2018.

In the period between 12 March to 4 April, the Fund Council has received 35 statements on the need for financial support for specific children and youth education, including needs for 31 individual children and young persons, and 2 statements of group needs for support to Roma children in Zagreb (Vrtni put) and Brod na Kupi (Vučja jama). The decision on allocation of financial and material support was based on an analysis of each individual statement of needs for support, collected through direct consultations with social and educational workers in public institutions and with the heads of civil society organizations leaders focused on support of social inclusion and education of children and youth as well as support for parents and families exposed to poverty and social exclusion.

After considering all the needs, the Fund Council decided for an individual approach to finance the needs of individual children in accordance with the initial criteria of the Fund. The Council has decided to financially support all received statements of needs related to individual support for primary and secondary school education for children and young people, as each individual situation is in accordance with the Fund's conditions. From the needs described, it is obvious that multi-year financial support from a private, flexible donor resource can adequately respond to specific needs of a particular child and can improve living conditions which are necessary for successful education. At the same time, the Fund Council recommended to the SOLIDARNA Foundation support the Roma educational fund which is in search of other sources of funding for sustainable work with children in Vučja Jama (Brod na Kupi) and the Vrtni put (Zagreb), and to assist with counseling  two young applicants who are looking for scholarships for studying.

The "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund granted financial support or scholarships for 31 children or young people between the ages of 10 and 18 for the purpose of supporting successful elementary and high school education during the current (2018/19) and the following two school years ( 2018/19 and 2019/20), in the total amount of 500.000,00 kn. In order to protect the privacy of children and their families, all the names of scholars will not be published, while only those experiences of children for which they and their parents have given public consent will be publicly communicated. Those are children and young people who desire knowledge, creativity and possibilities of continuous education in larger communities, and who are exposed to poverty and isolation, the challenges of living with chronic illnesses and disabilities, the position of the Serb and Roma national minorities, the experiences of domestic violence as well as the children of prisoners and children who do not have adequate parental care.

Scholarship recipients come from 20 different communities: mostly villages and municipalities of Kordun, Banovina and the border areas toward Lika and Gorski Kotar (26) as well as from Međimurje (two girls), Slavonia, Rijeka and Zagreb. Fund support is provided for children and young people from the following villages, municipalities and cities: Banjsko Selo, Banova Jaruga, Donje Bukovlje, Dvor, Puškarovci - Držimurec - Strelec, Mala Subotica, Generalski stol, Gunja, Roma settlement Kursanec, Čakovec, Krnjak, Novska, Petrinja , Plaški, village Trstenica near Vrginmost, Vojnić, Udbina, Vrginmost, Hrvatska Kostajnica, Sunja, Slavonski Brod, Ogulin (Gavrani), Glina, Rijeka, Zagreb / Belgrade.

Along with financial support, the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund aims to provide donated equipment, books, clothing and additional forms of instruction and psychosocial support in accordance with the needs of a particular child, and intends to organize thematic workshops on knowledge exchange and social skills development for all the scholars . We intend to work closely with the counselors and families of each child.

The intention of the Fund and the SOLIDARNA Foundation is that this story about the noble act of Mrs. Desa and her late husband inspires our citizens and citizens in philanthropy for children's rights. Due to this, the Solidarna Foundation invites all citizens to join us as supporters of the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund and to provide financial contribution, professional and material support to enrich the Fund with their contributions but also to support the growth of every child in security, creativity and acceptance. Through this and next year, we are aiming to increase the total value of the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund since we have not ensured the continuity of child support in the multi-year schooling cycle and expanding the number of our scholarships in the coming years.

Your support and donation to the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund is the most beautiful gift for Mrs. Desa for her 101st birthday!

Become a supporter of the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund

Bank account for donations for the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund:

HR6324020061500078383, at the Erste&Steiermarkische bank, owner of a dedicated account is Solidarna - Foundation for Human Rights and Solidarity.

Contact for all interested supporters and donors of the "Desa and Jerko Baković" Fund:

Zoran Pusić, President of the Foundation Fund, email:

 Marina Škrabalo, Manager of SOLIDARNA, email: