Glina residents learn about community fund-raising

Apr 30, 2013

Glina bridge / Photo by Davor Bončina

The first of three public workshops designed to promote community activism at the lowest level of self-government took place in Glina on 30 April 2013 as part of a €65,000 project organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Town of Glina, with support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The aim of the project, called "Rebuilding bridges and communities in Glina," is to reconstruct two damaged and nearly impassable bridges, in the villages of Milakare and Dangube, while also helping local residents join forces to raise their own funds for similar projects.
Work on the Dangube bridge was completed in April 2013, while preparatory surveys and the collection of construction permits have been completed for the Milakare bridge.

The bridge reconstruction efforts were needed to restore reliable access to the main road for rural communities situated on the far side of the bridges. Many of these villages are populated mainly by ethnic Serb returnees. The new bridges should help residents re-establish regular agricultural activities and make use of the services provided in the community center, thereby improving living standards in remote rural villages.

The physical reconstruction work will be complemented by a series of three workshops designed to promote awareness among residents of the importance of the village boards, the lowest level of local government, in identifying and addressing community needs. These self-government bodies were long dormant in the Glina area but now may be revived. The workshops will cover the following topics: the legal framework for local government, the impact of local boards on local development, and raising money for local development.

Attendance at the first workshop was modest, but participants were intrigued to learn about a variety of the sources of funding available for small-scale community activities and youth exchanges organized by volunteer groups. One example is the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes. Residents also heard about successful examples of small-scale fund-raising from other Croatian towns facing challenges similar to those in Glina, such as aging populations and war damage. The remaining two workshops will be held on 4 and 6 May, at the same time and on the same place.