Providing health and social services to vulnerable groups

Our member organisation Terra from Rijeka, Croatia, held the final conference of the EU project MentoRI ˝Challenges of providing health and social services to vulnerable groups of our society˝ on 31 January 2023.

The goal of the conference was to exphasise the need for constant support for vulnerable groups in society.

The conference brought together experts from Rijeka, Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Osijek, Pula, Belgrade and Skopje. All those who in their work deal with the provision of health and/or social services to vulnerable groups of society in the region of Kvarner were welcome. DPNSEE president and Executive Director participated in one of the pannels of the conference.

The MentoRI project enabled the development of innovative social services in the community, strengthening the role of the local community in the processes of planning services at the local level, encouraging cooperation in the provision of services and combating poverty and supporting the social inclusion of target groups.

Public quiz on Drugs and Politics

Association Terra held a presentation of the poster ONLY VARIETY CAN RESPOND TO VARIETY which was promoted at the Harm Reduction Conference held Porto recently this year. Activities related to the poster were organised in their Drop in Centre during the Support. Don’t Punish campaign.

On 7 July, they organised a public quiz on Drugs and Politics (questions related to drug consumption, from different domains like geography, history, film, etc.) in the Rijeka Youth Club.

Training for a safe night environment

DPNSEE member organizations Re Generation and Udruga Terra joined in two days training activity, held in Rijeka, Croatia on 11 and 12 April 2019. The training “New psychoactive substances and outreach for a safe night environment” was held by Irena Molnar i Bojan Arsenijević from Serbian NGO Re Generation.

The purpose of the training was raising the capacity of young people and work with their peers in order to have a safer night environment. Re Generacija’s Training of peer educators for volunteering in nightlife setting and on festivals includes following topics:

  • Drugs – tradition – illness or crime
  • Harm Reduction Programs. Nightlife outreach and peer education (may include good examples of practice around the globe)
  • Prevention of the final negative outcome (overdose) and basic First AID for nightlife setting
  • New psychoactive substances (may include different examples of drug checking services)

Young activists of the Association Terra team, employees and volunteers, engaged in harm reduction program, visited the clubs of youth gathering in Rijeka with Re Generation representatives, evaluated the information and reports from training in practice.

How can I trust you?

In occasion of the Global Day of Action, Udruga Terra from Rijeka held a theatrical play “How can I trust you?” The play was created with the idea to indicate the problem of accepting differences and the need to reduce prejudices, stigmatisation and violence against people who had or still have problem with drug addiction. The play was staged in the café bar “Dnevni boravak” with the aim to raise awareness about stigmatisation of those who managed to fight the addiction and the problems they face when returning to daily life.

Forum theatre, as the form of stage expression, allow the spectators to intervene and contribute to the happening at the scene and join actors in finding original solution to the problems they face and contribute to raise awareness on the problem that the play tackles.

After the play, a dialogue with the public continued.

Learning about the good experiences and challenges in Croatia

Representatives of the Drug Policy Network in South East Europe (DPNSEE) visited Croatia from 22 to 24 March 2017. This activity is part of a series of country visits within the framework of the project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public Health and human rights oriented Drug Policy in South East Europe” as described within the work plan for 2017 and it was undertaken by NGO “Diogenis Drug Policy Dialogue” – the lead organization of the project – in close cooperation with DPNSEE. The delegation – consisting of Nebojša Đurasović, Deputy Treasurer and DPNSEE Board member, Milutin Milošević, DPNSEE Executive director and Sofia Galinaki, Diogenis Advocacy Officer – visited local authorities, institutions and NGOs working in the field of drugs based in the capital Zagreb and the cities of Split and Rijeka.

With Nena from the NGO Help

The visit was part of the efforts for the enlargement of the Network as an essential prerequisite for making it a strong and reliable partner. The main aims of the visit were to: (a) present DPNSEE to the Croatian society, (b) build strong relationships, enhance contacts and improve drug policy dialogue with the relevant authorities, state institutions, policy makers and NGOs, (c) explore opportunities for partnerships and collaboration and (d) discuss possible applications of local civil society organizations for membership in DPNSEE. More specifically, the delegation came in contact, discussed and exchange important information and experiences with: representatives from the Office for Combating Drugs Abuse of the Republic of Croatia,  Mr. Ranko Ostojić  – recent vice Prime minister and Minister of Interior, currently Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Domestic Policy and National Security,  representatives from the NGOs ‘LET’ – based in Zagreb, ‘HELP’ – based in Split, ‘TERRA’, ‘VIDA’, and ‘OASA’ – based in Rijeka and representatives from the Educational Institute for Public Health of the Split – Dalmatia county.

Ilinka and Dejan hosted us in Terra

The most important observation the delegation gained was that the governmental institutions operate in a very effective way, using an interdisciplinary approach. There is a well-organized and structured system in place, which covers the entire range of needs related to drug use. The system is decentralised, so that each of the 21 counties (županije) has its own tasks and responsibilities. Further on, local authorities and institutions take their own part and that is usually very well coordinated at county level. Moreover, the strong and ongoing cooperation between the competent state agencies and local Civil Society organizations significantly contributes in the overall implementation of the Croatian drug policy in a consistent way.

More detailed information regarding the: programme and preparation of the visit, structure of the Croatian drug policy system, important projects implemented within the 10-year Croatian Drug Strategy (2007-2017), harm reduction field, drug law reform, role of civil society in the implementation of drug policy, areas of improvement and the potential of future cooperation can be found in the full report available on request from the DPNSEE Office.

A warm welcome in NGO Vida