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FICE Croatia has started a campaign to collect donations for Residential Home Vrbina

Information about Residential Home Vrbina

The building of the Residential Home Vrbina Sisak was built in 1928, while the Residential Home Vrbina Sisakw was founded in 1954, on March 26. Unfortunately, due to the terrible and devastating earthquake that struck Banovina (Central Croatia) on December 29, 2020., the building of the Children's Home Vrbina Sisak was severely damaged and unusable, as evidenced by the red mark on the building "unusable". This red mark means that the building is life-threatening, and that in the event of another earthquake, it would end up in ruins. This knowledge hit and shocked children and employees. It was their home, home of their care workers, a home where memories were created, and now it is gone...

Also, for the last 25 years, there has been a court dispute between the Church and the state over the ownership of the building of the Residential Home Vrbina Sisak. Namely, in 1997, the Church submitted a request for the return of their property, which was nationalized in the Second World War, and that belonged to the nuns from the order of St. Vinko Paulski. At that time, the building was intended for an orphanage-for children who lost their families during the Second World War. But in the 1950s, the Children's Home building became state property.

Information about the moment of the earthquake in the Residential Home Vrbina

At the time of the earthquake, there were eleven children and ten employees in the institution. Of the eleven children, there were 6 boys and 5 girls. The boys are 5 years old, 8 years old, two boys are 10 years old, one is 11 years old, and one is 17 years old, while two girls are 9 years old, one is 10 years old, and two are of 14 years old.

On that day, the children were urgently relocated and taken care of at the Lipik Community Service Center. Two employees traveled about 100 km, and took turns every 24 hours to make it easier for children to adjust to the new institution. On January 5, 2021, the children were placed in a new location in the Children's Home SOS - Children's Village Lekenik. Thus, the children from the Vrbina Children's Home were not only affected by the earthquake in which they lost everything they had, but they changed another home, which requires additional work with them to adapt to the new environment and the people around them. All of us - our children and workers, have only one wish, and that is to return to our city, but this will not be possible for a long time because it is necessary to build a new building for the Children's Home.

Information about the new residential house

Given that the construction of our new Home will take several years, it is very important that all children move to Sisak as soon as possible so that they can continue to attend their home schools, be in their familiar environment, where their friends are. Many of them have more frequent needs for various medical services, and in Sisak they have all the necessary resources. These are all reasons why it would be necessary to find a house in Sisak, which would be bought from funds raised from donations, exclusively for that purpose, for which the approval of the competent Ministry was obtained. As the provisions of the regulations (Ordinance on minimum conditions for the provision of social services) must be respected for the accommodation of children, a house of at least 150 m2 gross area is required, a square meter costs approximately 1000 euros.

To purchase a house, it is necessary to buy land in advance, which includes taxes, and according to available ads, it amounts to approximately 25,000 euros. Also, it is necessary to plan the cost of designing the said building and all the necessary contributions and connections, the amounts of which are not yet known. The house must have five rooms - 4 bedrooms for two users, a room for living and learning and leisure activities, kitchen with dining area and two bathrooms: bathroom, toilet and sink (especially for women and especially for men) with space and for washing clothes (washing machine and dryer). The house must be in a part of the city that has all the facilities nearby (school, clinic, park, children's playground), with all necessary installations (heating, cooling, Internet, telephone, water, electricity). After construction and the possibility of moving into a new building, it will take at least three years until it is possible, the house that would be bought would continue to be used to accommodate 8 children aged 14 to 18, in a family environment, which is the purpose of new trends in childcare, to be housed in smaller, family-type facilities in line with deinstitutionalisation goals. Such accommodation has multiple advantages for accommodated usersbecause they live in a family atmosphere and are much more involved in everyday life and the performance of daily household duties, thus enabling them to live independently.

Anonymous statements by employees about the earthquake

1.„29.12.2020. left a strong impression on me, I had the feeling that the earthquake lasted for hours, not just a few minutes. At the time, I was staying in the social worker’s office located upstairs, along with another colleague. The first thing I thought of were the kids who were downstairs for lunch. We barely left the room and together with the other employees who found themselves on that floor we ran downstairs. As soon as we came downstairs, I saw the dining room door open and the children’s heads peering out in fear watching what was happening. "Everybody out!" We shouted in the same voice and tried to save the "living heads".

Luckily we all went outside to safety, but the ground was still shaking. In front of our eyes, the building was collapsing, their only home was collapsing. Shock and fear ensued, the children shaking, crying and vomiting. It all seemed like a bad dream, but unfortunately it was a reality."

2. “29. 12. 2020. ordinary working day. I just got in the car and went to visit the dormitory. As I turned, I began to lose control of the vehicle. I stood in the right lane and from the left I saw a rain of bricks and tiles falling on people’s heads. I picked up my cell phone and called my family at home, and then another family, the users of the Residential Home Vrbina Sisak. Passers-by diligently removed the bricks from the road and I managed to reach the Home. The children were in the yard, terrified, vomiting, crying watching their home collapse. We gathered in a pile (all educators and other staff) and calmed down and explained to the children what an earthquake is, why it occurs and how we will react if it happens again. Our principal found accommodation, and our brave handyman picked up the user’s shoes and jackets so we could get out of that chaos. Where there is a heart, there is a home. The children are safe, but they still mourn for their home.”

3.“The quake occurred during lunch. It scared us all very much, especially the children. Luckily, we stayed calm and cautiously went out on the field. Neat and clean rooms have become messy, and seeing the home from the outside, we knew that our home was no longer safe."

4.“On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, during the earthquake, I was at work at the Residential Home Vrbina Sisak. I was working on a computer with a list of children and I just finished it and started printing. With me in the office was a colleague, who came a few minutes before the quake and we commented that we were hungry and that we could go to lunch soon. Then it started shaking. At first it was not clear to me what was going on, the floor was moving and the walls were swaying and paint was falling from the walls. I managed to get to the stock, along with a colleague, where we clung to each other and to the walls. All that was on my mind was that I had to stay under the stock. My heart was beating very fast and I couldn't say anything. When it stopped a colleague happily remembered to pick up our cell phones and we headed outside. Then it went through my head "and where are the children ?!"; because they were all heading downstairs, and I forgot in shock that they weredownstairs for lunch. They were scared waiting at the dining room door and we directed them to go out on the playground and then we went out after them. We were all scared and there was shock and disbelief on our faces, and I was persuasing myself to stay calm for the sake of the children even though I was on the verge of tears. It helped me calm down because I focused on helping them. After that it was stressful that there was no mobile phone signal and we couldn’t know if everything was okay with our families and friends. Nor do I remember whether while we were on the playground there were another, two, three or how many few slightly weaker earthquakes and how much time we spent there in fear and ignorance of whether our loved ones were well. But luckily everyone was okay and we were able to place the kids safely.

In the end we are happy that we are all alive and unharmed and I hope that soon our lives will be able to return as much as possible to normal, and until then we will be supportive of each other, and also the support we receive from others means a lot to us. „

5. „That day, when it started to shake, I was with the kids for lunch. The day was supposed to be normal. They were pleased because just before returning to the Home they were out for a walk in the fresh air, and those two earthquakes from yesterday seemed so far away. Innocent chatter about how they plan to spend the rest of the day. It's the winter holidays, after lunch someone will go to their room for an afternoon nap, someone will go to the playground, someone will go for a walk around the city again. Fortunately, the day before there was a slightly milder earthquake when we prepared them for the fact that it was expected that there would be more, and we instructed them how to act in case another one really happens again. In the mist I remember all the moments, I know I broke through: ''Here he is! All under the stock! '', And the children immediately got up from the tables and ran under the door, one part of the children by the kitchen, the other part by the dining room hallway. The sound was unbearable. Thunder from the bowels of the earth, the cracking of the walls of our house that was wounded by the first earthquake yesterday, the falling of bricks and plaster over our heads, the terrible dancing of the walls and the frightened screams of my children. Despite everything, they remained standing under the stocks, all those annoying seconds, waiting to the last for what the educator would tell them, thus showing how much they trust us and how much they believe in what we do. When it all stopped, the first part of the children ran through the haustor after the workers cleared the path of bricks and parts of our dear building that were mercilessly falling on the passage to the playground. Only 10 minutes before that, our children went that way, and now, 10 days after everything, the most annoying and scary thing for me is that fact, which would be if the children went that way a little later ... I ran through the kitchen with the others, counting the children running towards the fence in a scream. And that counting, did everyone go out ... 8,9,10..there is not a one. In that noise of sounds, shock and fear, I remember our five-year-old in kindergarten. We're all out, the kids are here, the kids are with us, it's good. For now, it's good ... We look at the city around us, we listen to the sirens, we watch the bewildered people running around the city ... our children want to know what will happen next, they want a hug, they want comfort. We hug, we comfort. What to tell them? That they were brave, that they acted exactly as they should, that we were all numbered, that we were together and that we would stay together. Where? That time will only show ...“



Now is the opportunity to build the institution in accordance with the European standards and the basic principles of family like units and community work opportunities, which is why FICE Croatia decided to launch a campaign to raise financial donations to help build the building that is family and community based for children from the Residential Home Vrbina in Sisak so that they can return to their city as soon as possible and have their new home.


Residential Home Vrbina Sisak


Account number: HR7723900011100016509


To find out more information, please contact:

Campaign documents:

Campaign letter - Residential Home Vrbin
Download • 275KB

Download PDF • 27.45MB

Download • 19.25MB



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