Humanitarna udruga Oaza

Help Center for Children and Humanitarian Association "Oaza"

Children are our most precious treasure...

Oaza

Help Center for Children and Humanitarian Association OAZA is a church activity and non-profit organization that helps to care for children in need. Our primary goal is to help the children to grow up in a good family environment rather than in institutions or their own very troubled families. Our main activities are to support foster families and foster children, and to promote and encourage the foster care of children in Istria and Croatia.

So far we have provided care for 117 children - 16 of them were put up for adoption, 52 returned to their families when family conditions were improved, 14 were transferred to another family or institution, 9 continued their life as independent adults, and 31 are still in foster care. We currently provide additional support for 3 former foster children who have started their independent life. Therefore, we are currently providing help to 12 foster families in Pula, Vodnjan, Štinjan, Rijeka, Pozega, Pakrac, Zagreb, Velika Gorica and Daruvar, and one Family Home in Petehi in Istria.

Our foster parents receive regular monthly financial compensation for their work with children, so that both foster parents do not have to be employed, and we pay for the extended pension insurance for one of the foster parents who foster 2 or 3 children. In this way we ensure that they devote all of their time to children. So far we have been helping only the foster parents in Istria, but there is a great need for such support, so as of September 2014 we have begun to expand our assistance to other parts of the Croatia as well.

Activities

In order to develop better quality foster care in Croatia, OAZA is engaged in the following activities:

  • Organizing support and helping foster parents with their needs and the needs of foster children
  • Organizing free time of children and youth in foster care
  • Organizing meetings of foster parents at regional and national level
  • Organizing regional meetings of all stakeholders in foster care of children, and the national conference on foster care
  • Collecting and processing data on the state of foster care in Istria and beyond
  • Proposing changes of legal provisions, with the goal to improve the foster care

The beginnings

The work on helping children without parental care and other children in need started in Rovinj in 1993. During the war, at first this work was done by the "Oaza Center for Receiving Children", which was an activity of the Evangelical Church in Croatia. In order to provide new types of services, this Center in 2000 became newly founded "Humanitarian Association Oaza".

In 1996, in order to avoid the move of children placed in the reception center to another children's home, "Oaza" found first four foster families who took these children into their homes, and therefore provided a substitute for their own families. Since that year, all four foster families have been regularly receiving monthly financial and material assistance for children, they renovated and equipped their residential properties and vans were purchased for each family. Families have also been receiving the assistance in the organization of their work with children. Each family initially cared for up to 8 children, but that number later had to be reduced due to the legislative changes, so now each family can foster only up to 3 children. As it is very difficult to find new foster families in Istria and the number of foster parents is decreasing by each year, we are still actively working on the promotion of foster care of children in Istria, and have expanded our work to other parts of Croatia.

In October 2010, in order to avoid the necessity to remove the children form the families in which they had been living for 8 years, which was imposed by the legislative changes, Oaza has helped to establish the first Family Home for children in Istria, where up to 10 children can be placed and fostered. In order to communicate many years of its experience in working with foster parents and children and therefore help to develop quality foster care in Croatia, Oaza has in collaboration with other foster care associations from Croatia established the "Forum for Quality Foster Care", which is a network of foster care associations that uses its joint activities to promote, encourage and develop high-quality forms of family placement of children without adequate parental care in Istria and in Croatia.

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Appeal for help

This project is supported with financial assistance: Istria County, the Town of Rovinj, the City of Pula and many other companies, tradesmen, churches and private individuals.

Support for Association