ONE CROATIA: Croats Worldwide Uniting to Help Those in Need

Donation of Minibus to Children’s Home in Sisak Brings to Successful Close Banovina Earthquake Relief Campaign Raising Over US$250,000

Within hours of the devastating earthquake that struck Croatia’s Banovina region in December 2020, a few Croatian associations from around the world came together to contribute to relief efforts. In the days that followed, others joined, leading to the creation of  the “ONE CROATIA” initiative, which today includes more than 30 Croatian associations from Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Slovakia, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela, as well as from Croatia.

On November 4, 2022, ONE CROATIA brought to a successful close its earthquake relief efforts by donating a minibus to Children’s Home “Vrbina” in Sisak. The home, which cares for children without adequate parental care, was completely destroyed in the earthquake. At that time, the children were relocated to other towns in Banovina, thus losing not only their home, but also their community, playgrounds, and access to their city. While they have now returned to a temporary facility in Sisak while their home is built anew, this donation is intended to address the needs of the children and  will help transport them to sporting events, field trips, and summer camps. The donation was made possible through sizeable contributions  from AutoZubak, Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce, ACAP New York City Chapter, and Infinum Foundation, among many other individual contributions. The Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce donated over $7,000 towards the cost of the minibus donation. By doing so, it fulfilled its undertaking to donate a portion of the proceeds raised in connection with its organization of the Canadian tour of the film “General” in 2019 to a charitable cause.

“With this donation, we exceeded our initial goal of delivering US$250,000 in earthquake relief to the Banovina region,” said Ivan Grbešić, an executive director of the Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce. “It is certainly gratifying to see Croats worldwide join forces to once again work towards a common cause, in this case, helping those most vulnerable, and to do so in a transparent and accountable manner. We have reason to be proud.”

Dr. Steven Pavletić, President of the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP), added that “this donation exemplifies our commitment to not forget our own who are in need. Over the last two years, it has been our privilege to work with first responders and others who provide vital services in Banovina, to learn about their important work, and to be able to make a meaningful impact in their ability to help others.”

“In addition to previously delivering much-needed medical equipment to hospitals and protective equipment to volunteer firemen and structural engineers, we come out of the ONE CROATIA initiative with a strong worldwide network of Croatian associations that will be in a position to work together on other projects and continue to expand ties between Croats living abroad and those living at home,” concluded Antun Kresimir Buterin, president of MeetingG2.

ONE CROATIA donations, managed by ACAP Foundation, have directly benefitted Petrova Hospital, KBC Zagreb, KB Dubrava, KBC Split, OB “Ivo Pedisic” Sisak, Institute for Emergency Medicine in Banovina, Croatian Center for Earthquake Engineering, and now Children’s Home “Vrbina.”

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Photo:  Antun Kresimir Buterin (MeetingG2), Synthia Dodig (on behalf of Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce), Mára Vítols – Hrgetic (MeetingG2), Mario Doric (Children’s Home “Vrbina”), Dario Medved (AutoZubak), Djurdjica Pavesic-Herkov (Children’s Home “Vrbina”), and Steven Pavletic (Association of Croatian American Professionals)

ONE CROATIA: Croats worldwide unite to help those in need