06
October

Published: Friday, 06.10.2017

Happy 25th birthday to us!

Fittingly for such a big occasion, Association SOS Children's Village Croatia marked its 25th anniversary with a joyous celebration. The festivities began in Lekenik early in the morning and continued in the late afternoon with a formal program at the Museum of Contemporary Art that delighted everyone in attendance.

Earlier in the day, SOS Children's Village Lekenik welcomed the esteemed guests from the international umbrella organization SOS Children's Villages International, who had a lovely time with their hosts and children as they took the tour of various workshops and enjoyed a delicious birthday cake.

After the morning get-together, the festivities moved to the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, where the Association SOS CV officials welcomed guests of honor, longstanding partners, donors and friends of the SOS Children's Village Croatia who have been supporting the Association for many years to a celebration held under the auspices of the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy.

Among many esteemed guests were the representative of the Croatian Prime Minister and State Secretary at the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy Ms. Marija Pletikosa, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Pension System Ms. Majda Burić, Ms. Višnja Fortuna as the representative of the Zagreb Mayor Mr. Milan Bandić and President of SOS Children's Villages International, Mr. Siddhartha Kaul.

Welcomed by the hosts, National Director of the Association Ms. Višnja Tuškan-Krupić and Association President Ms. Mariza Katavić, the guests who filled the Museum’s Gorgona Hall to capacity enjoyed the program very much. The program featured welcoming speeches, dance numbers, an excerpt from a play and two short films about foundation and evolution of the Association that has been providing home for the children without adequate parental care for the past 25 years.

In her speech, National Director of the Association Višnja Tuškan-Krupić looked back on the first days of SOS Children's Village idea taking root in Croatia: “… flowing from the SOS Children's Villages International drop by drop, day by day, and finding fertile ground in Croatia. In those very uncertain times, a small group of enthusiasts recognized a possibility of building a better future for the children. I believe that both the people who were there from the beginning and everyone who joined us over the years should feel happiness and pride over our achievements. SOS Children's Village Croatia continues its many activities to raise the awareness of the general public and institutions about the necessity of child care as a collaborative effort. At the heart of the SOS Children's Village idea is the belief that every child is entitled to a peaceful childhood and a safe, warm home in which he or she is protected from all forms of neglect and abuse. Moreover, the SOS Children's Village idea seeks and sets up opportunities for every child to reach their full potential while living in a family, with brothers, sisters and friends, from their first days in kindergarten or school, in art workshops or in their chosen sports.”

“Today, after 25 years of working in the Republic of Croatia, we can say that we provided care for 478 children and youth who found much needed peace, safety, attention and love in SOS Children's Village Lekenik and Ladimirevci, and in Youth Facilities in Zagreb, Osijek and Velika Gorica. We gave them everything they needed to earn qualifications and skills to lead successful, independent lives in a way that reflects their wishes, ambitions, abilities and efforts. For that reason, I want to use this venue to express how very thankful I am to every former SOS child who recognized and took full advantage of opportunities and possibilities afforded to them through our care model. Today, they are self-reliant, successful young people with their own families and children.However, our SOS Children's Village concept would be impossible to implement without SOS mothers and aunties who have selflessly looked after children entrusted in their care. This is not a mere job for them – they live for their children 24 hours a day and they have done so year after year, instilling in the children a much needed sense of security, attention and love”, said Association President Mariza Katavić.

Hosted by the famous TV presenter Duško Ćurlić, the official part of the program concluded with a rousing performance by the choir of cheerful children from SOS Children's Villages Lekenik and Ladimirevci. Afterwards, guests enjoyed the refreshments and live music in the Museum vestibule while also taking the opportunity to view the exhibition of paintings by the children from SOS Children's Villages Lekenik and Ladimirevci displayed there.

 

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