Rana Muhammad Munawwar Khan, President Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Croatia
Humanity First Croatia has a lasting tradition to help needy families stuck in hardship in various cities of Croatia. The need for families living in poverty becomes even more visible during the days of Christmas and the new year. The gap between the rich and poor is growing faster than ever.
At a time when parents buy expensive toys and presents for their children after spending a lot of money on decorating the Christmas tree, a large number of families are worried about if they will manage to have enough food on their table. Humanity First tries to reduce this visible gap by creating awareness about the needy in our society. They also encourage food donations to assist the poor.
The first step of this initiative this year was to cooperate with three schools to collect prescribed food items for the food packets being prepared to give to the needy. In this regard, the primary school in Brezovica collected 402 litres of milk and 249 litres of oil; the primary school in Kašina collected 197 kg of sugar and 168 chocolates; the primary school in Soblinec collected 130 packets of Vegeta and 132 canned chickpeas.
We highly appreciate this generous donation from the students and the involvement of the school staff as well as their parents.
Mr Namik Alibegović donated us empty cartons for our food packets.
On 18 December 2021, with the help of Marina Pucević the former Mayor of the capital district in Brezovica and her volunteers, Humanity First managed to distribute in the region of Brezovica 58 food packets for families and 10 packets for singles (pensioners).
Marina Pucević said:
“Thanks to our humanitarians from the Humanity First association, many families and singles received gift packages for our biggest Christian holiday, Christmas. Donations brought tears to my eyes, but also pride. They did not forget the children in the House of St. Josip and Caritas House Bl. Alojzije Stepinac, and many others outside the City of Zagreb. I thank everyone who participated in this action, and especially our donors.”
On the same day, Humanity First donated milk, sugar, cereals and bonbons to the orphanage in Hrvatski Leskovac.
Sister Katarina Pišković said:
“In this pre-holiday time as we prepare for the celebration of the Christmas holidays, we are sincerely grateful for your presence in our lives […]. We are pleased with your openness and selflessness with which you have enriched us in these pre-holiday days through joint socialising and giving. Your presence, care and understanding for the children and young people who are with us in care make their lives more beautiful and joyful. We would like to say a big thank you from the bottom of our hearts for thinking of them and for choosing to give us food products and sweets. Thank you for your support and cooperation with our house and for testifying that there are good people who make the world a more beautiful and safer place for all who need it. We remain grateful and in constant prayer before the good God for all of you! In the new year ahead, we wish you every blessing in family and business life.”
Humanity First since the last year has started the initiative to provide help to needy families on the coast side. This year, 30 packets of groceries were prepared by Humanity First which was then handed over to local charities and the Red Cross with the help of Father Vedran Obućina, on 19 December 2021, in Rijeka and Lovran.
Father Vedran Obućina, also pastor of the Rijeka parish of St Cyril and Methodius of the Orthodox Old Catholic Church said:
“Before the Christmas holidays, about 30 families received flour, sugar, milk, beans, chickpeas, pasta, cooking chocolate, rice, oil, jam and food seasoning. We also got aware of the difficult situation, especially of those people who are alone and mostly elderly and sick […]. If our neighbour is hungry, let‘s feed him. This is a humanitarian action by Humanity First. They do not ask what religion or nationality their neighbour is. We are all human and as such sons and daughters of the One God.”
For the first time, Humanity First managed to distribute 33 food packets to needy families in Soblinec with the help of the staff of the primary school in Soblinec on 20 December 2021.
On 21 December 2021, Humanity First distributed 20 food packets in Kašina with the help of the primary school in Kašina. Caritas in Kašina provided a list of needy people living in that region. During the distribution, the attendees highly appreciated the donation. A very delighting thing happening that day was the coverage of this humanitarian event by the young journalists from the primary school Kašina.
After the distribution of the food packets and several pictures, the young journalists took an interview.
The school wrote on their Facebook page:
“Today in Vugrovac, Christmas packages were distributed to the users of Parish Caritas. We are proud that our students and their parents participated in the humanitarian action organised by Humanity First […].”
Humanity First has a very good relationship with Kuća Brezovica, a centre for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. The joy in the eyes of these children is the most valuable reward a person can get.
Ivana Kokić Ajazaj said:
“This year has brought great challenges for all of us, especially when it comes to caring for children with multiple disabilities. Thank you for being able to count on your friendly, neighbourly, and above all, human help at every important moment. We are especially pleased that you have provided our users with a richer lunch on Christmas Day so that they too can feel the blessing and magic of this great feast […]. When we have friends like you and Humanity First, every challenge is easier to overcome and we truly thank you for that. We wish you and everyone at Humanity First many beautiful moments, health and happiness in the New Year.”
Our humanitarian action ended on 26 December, distributing about 14 food packages to refugee families and pensioners living in and around Zagreb.