Croatian associations throughout the world, for the first time since the Croatian War for Independence, unite to provide critical aid for first responders and medical professionals in Banovina.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California, April 26, 2021 – At a ceremony held in Sisak, ONE CROATIA, an initiative that gathers Croatian associations through the world, presented today donations of an emergency ambulance vehicle for Petrinja, an anesthesia machine for the hospital in Sisak, as well as protective equipment for volunteer structural engineers, valued at $225,000 (or approximately 1,500,000 Croatian Kuna).
Financial support for this effort came from 33 different countries throughout the world. Present at the donation ceremony were the Embassies of the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, since their citizens – the Croatian diaspora – along with Croats in the homeland and other countries comprise ONE CROATIA.
A portion of today’s donation focuses on helping establish the Croatian Center for Earthquake Engineering. The center is staffed entirely by volunteer structural engineers. In the aftermath of the earthquake, they left their families and jobs behind to provide their expertise to help Banovina. Several of them were injured as walls and ceilings collapsed on them. “This donation came at the right time and is of great help since the jackets were designed to facilitate the work of structural engineers. Additionally, the jackets help visually identify our engineers, much like other first responders can be identified,” said dr. Josip Atalic, the founder and president of the Center.
Other donations focused on providing medical equipment. “This donation of the emergency ambulance vehicle is very valuable to us because without a vehicle our medical teams cannot reach those facing medical emergencies,” said dr. Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services in Sisak.
This is only the second vehicle in the county that has a four wheel drive capable of reaching villages and hamlets in mountainous areas. Similar sentiment was expressed by dr. Tomislav Dujmenovic, director of the hospital in Sisak. “The situation in our hospital is difficult. Today’s donation of the anesthesia machine will help the hospital not only return to normal operations but also to advance,” said Dujmenovic.
To date, ONE CROATIA raised more than $225,000 and the funds are managed by the Association of Croatian American (ACAP) Foundation. The giving philosophy includes working directly with first responders and making donations of needed supplies. This enables the donors to transparently see how their funds are being utilized to help those in need. Ms. Zvonko Milas, State Secretary for Croats Abroad, noted that it was great to see the unity of Croats as the genesis behind this initiative. Don Markusic, president of ACAP Zagreb. “Togetherness, working as one, is a constant theme everywhere I look around today. Croatians unite whenever it is needed to help their nation and to celebrate their nation. [This unity] was always there,” said Markusic.
To learn more and to contribute, please visit: www.croampro.com/donate