Considering the fact that the SOLIDARNA Foundation has not yet existed for a full year, we will publish our first annual report under this heading once it is adopted in the SOLIDARNA Assembly in January 2017. In the meantime, we bring an overview of SOLIDARNA's key activities in 2016.
Promoting human rights in the business sector
The SOLIDARNA Foundation has established an intensive cooperation with the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) as part of the Philanthropy for human rights project, promoting the role of the business sector in protecting human rights, via educational activities and a special recognition, awarded for good human rights practices in conducting business. The recognition was awarded to foodstuffs company Podravka, which had competed with 13 other companies, at the 8th annual conference on socially accountable business, organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and CBCSD, alongside a panel discussion on the role of the business sector in protecting human right. In addition, SOLIDARNA was a partner to the Human Rights Film festival, within the Business and Human Rights sub-programme, participating in the screening of several films, including Bitter Money by leading Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing, The True Cost by Andrew Morgan on the fashion industry, and the roundtable From the Bottom to the Top: business sector and human rights in the 21st century. The roundtable brought together a unique line-up of participants – the office of the Ombudsperson, the IKEA corporation, CBCSD, the Cooperative for Ethical Finance, BRID, The New Syndicate and friends of the Earth Croatia – as well as active participants from the Kamensko industrial workers association, Workers’ Front and the Centre for Peace Studies.
relationships with donors and fundraising actions
The SOLIDARNA Foundation has initiated the development of relations with potential donors by mapping oput possible allies and supporters, helped by the Foundations? Founders and by maintaining correspondence, holding meetings, donor meet-ups and participation in two major events – the Donors’ Forum for the Balkans in Belgrade in September and the Battlefield: Culture conference in Sarajevo. In June and July, the first crowdfunding campaign, entitled Radim mlijeko (lit. I make the milk) was started in cooperation with the Cooperative for Ethical Finance and with the advisory support by the BRODOTO company. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness about the problems that small-scale cooperative producers of homemade healthy food are faced with, and in order to promote the value of solidarity both with producers and with impoverished citizens, whose nutitional quality depends on the support provided by social services in the community (“soup kitchens”) and citizens and businesses willing to provide them with food. Within the campaign, citizens were encouraged to support small, cooperative dairy farms surrounding the city of Požega, centered around the family-owned BIZ dairy, whose survival puts food on the table of as many as 100 families. Citizens and businesses were invited to donate natural and healthy homemade milk to social service providers in the Zagreb urban region. A total of 15.000,00 kn was raised through the Cooperative for Ethical Finance’s partner network, while the test run of SOLIDARNA’s donor platform raised an additional 3.538,00 kn.
In late August, the SOLIDARNA Foundation was approached by the Save Our Park citizens’ initiative, calling for assistance in raising funds for their campaign to prevent the concerertization of the Savica neighbourhood’s only remaining green surface to build a church in spite of protests by numerous citizens and architects, calling for the church to be built elsewhere. SOLIDARNA endorsed the crowdfunding campaign for the initiative by lending out its donor platform with an adapted interface, promoted on the Save Our Park website and Facebook page. With much media attention and citizens’ engagement, over the course of the two weeks preceding the September 10 protest, 6.713,50 kn was raised – well beyond the organizers’ expectations, enabling them to cover all organizational expenses, on top of in-kind donations of goods and services.
In October, the SOLIDARNA Foundation endorsed a charity drive organized by the CROSOL Platform for International Civic Solidarity and Human rights House, to help volunteer Sanja Kordić in establishing a volunteers’ centre in a remote village in Guinea, by means of a cultural benefit evening entitled Africa – a place of beginnings and interlocking. The action was joined by culinary-linguistic collective Taste of Home – which brings together refugees and other persons of migrant descent – The Association of Africans in Croatia, musician Marko Borić and his West Africa drum collective, world music DJ Ilko Ćulić and historian Tvrtko Jakovina. The small but inspiring intercultural action, again employing SOLIDARNA’s donor platform, succeeded in raising 6.000,00 kn.
Later in October, SOLIDARNA launched a campaign entitled “Drugotna na sav glas!” (lit. Secondary Out Loud!), which was triggered by the growing conservative and clerical tendencies in Croatian society and increasing attacks against reproductive and sexual rights of women in Croatia. SOLIDARNA mobilized citizens to raise their voice for gender equality in Croatia through the Secondary Out Loud Facebook page, joined by more than 2.500 citizens who supported a number of public appearances in various cultural, activist and sports manifestations across Croatia. Supporters could grant funds by buying shirts printed with messages appropriating and subverting the conservative discourse about women, available both in men’s and women’s editions. Citizens’ donations raised a total of 40.579,00 kn, matched by SOLIDARNA with another 15.000,00 from the Foundation’s general fund. The funds were used to launch a public call for projects supporting women’s rights on December 10, International Human rights Day. With the present need to constantly defend women’s attained rights, in 2017 SOLIDARNA intends to continue seeking donor support for ad hoc initiatives and scanning for grassroots women’s initiatives, re-launching the Secondary Out Loud! call periodically, according to available funds. With this goal in mind, SOLIDARNA will establish cooperation with other, subject-driven foundations and fund-providers, in order to support women in Croatia and abroad.