SOLIDARNA – foundation for human rights and solidarity strives to become a reliable partner to private and public donors as well as to civil society initiatives, acting as their mediator and catalyst of resource mobilization for autonomous human rights initiatives in Croatia and its broader region.
SOLIDARNA was set up in 2015 as a strategic initiative of 55 Croatian human rights activists and civil society organisations, as it became clear that sustainability of human rights protection, the rule of law and democratic standards in Croatia are not safeguarded by the country’s membership in the EU on its own merit. The founders were especially concerned about the political trends and social tendencies of rising anti-liberalism, nationalism, xenophobia and authoritarianism in Croatia and its two neighbouring regions of Central Europe and the Balkans, but also more broadly. The assumption of gradual implosion of public funding for human rights advocacy proved correct, as did the expectation of rising needs for ad hoc citizen actions against illiberal trends, which are not eligible for project and program funding from the EU and state donors.
SOLIDARNA’s founders believe that promoting and protecting all generations of human rights – from fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association, to right to work, home, healthy environment and basic public goods – requires lasting effort, creativity and strong resilience to all kinds of pressures. Nurturing domestic philanthropy for human rights is viewed as much needed and much belated test of democratic culture in Croatia. Hence, SOLIDARNA strives to earn trust from citizens and a broad range of donors both from Croatia and internationally, who understand the value autonomy of human rights activism and are ready to support it, by their donations, in-kind support, and public endorsement.
Over 2016, SOLIDARNA’s start-up phase is supported by the EEA Grant for a project „Philanthropy for Human Rights“, implemented by its founding organisations - GONG, Centre for Peace Studies i Documenta, under mentorship of the Romanian Civil Society Development Foundation. The project enables swift institutional development (with special attention paid to transparency, management of conflict of interest, donor relations, data protection), outreach to citizens (through a specialised online donor platform and pilot donor drives), building support in the business sector (through thematic education on the role of business in human rights protection, sectoral benchmarking and promotion of best practices), capacity building within civil society (with focus on training for community based philanthropy, effective public reporting and collaborative ICT tools) and creating new avenues of engagement of international community in human rights protection in Croatia.