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Tomislav Ramljak, President of the Center for Missing and Abused Children: At the very beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Center for Missing and Abused Children offered its available capacities to the Osijek-Baranja County Civil Protection Headquarters. We know what war looks like and what trauma it leaves on everybody, especially on children, so we decided to be prepared to accept displaced persons. Data from other countries confirmed that mostly coming women and children. In the first week of March I had the honor to meet a wonderful family from Ukraine with five children, and to my surprise Igor and Ljilja spoke Croatian! Knowing we were going to need an interpreter, I offered to hire at the Center and it started with just that. In the next ten days, as part of the action plan “Slavonian Heart for the Families of Ukraine”, we did the following:

We launched a Children’s Corner where children from Ukraine come every day to play, study and prepare for the regular school program. Ljilja is employed as a translator. Together with Monika Klasić and teacher Dora, they spend time in a beautiful space, where there are sometimes up to 19 children.

It’s hard to go to our institutions and their counters, and imagine you don’t know Croatian… That’s why we opened Info Center, an office where lawyer Anja and translator Igor are helping displaced people to get all the information and fill out international protection documents. So far, more than 230 people (and counting) have sought help or advice.

A free haircut will be held every Friday in Pothodnik for people displaced from Ukraine. The haircut will take place from 9:00 to 12:00. We would like to thank Hrvatska obrtnička komora – HOK for making this possible!

Learning the Croatian language is an integral part of integration. We immediately started with this activity and so far more than 50 participants have been involved.

In cooperation with Kinematografi Osijek d.d.  we managed to ensure the screening of two animated films in the Ukrainian language and it was wonderful to hear the laughter of 200 children!

It turned out that Igor was also an excellent driver, so one Saturday late at night we drove eight displaced persons from Pécs (Hungary) to Osijek.

How to donate?

You can donate by scanning the barcode or via internet banking on IBAN: HR7523400091110771681, SWIFT address (BIC): PBZG HR 2X, reference number: HR01-2020.

In the description of the payment, please state: Heart for Ukraine.