Visiting Osijek, Ozalj and Karlovac, Pakrac and Grubišno Polje

Employees of the Association for Promoting Inclusion along with Ms Katharine Boaden, OSMHI, have spent the previous week on the road.
On Monday we visited Home for Mentally Ill Adults Osijek. Mr. Lamza, Director of the Home, held the introductory meeting where he updated us with the transformation process their Home is going through. After the meeting we visited a couple of apartments. Two to five people live in the apartments, depending on the size of the apartment. They choose their own roomates. Some of the apartments were rented, but most were received for use from the Office for State Property Management. Mr. Lamza pointed out the fact that the situation of resettled people has improved significantly in a relatively short period of time. Ms. Boaden was pleased with this fact, especially if we take into consideration that this is the first time that the mentally ill adults in Croatia have entered the process of transformation. The smiles on the faces of persons in the program of organized housing proved that the changes that have happened to them were very much welcome.

We have reserved the next day for visiting the Osijek Center for Inclusion. With the guidance of the Director, Mrs. Vlasta Škorak, we visited Osijek Day Center where we were introduced with the work and the products that are manufactured there. After that we went to the ethno village Karanac in order to see first hand, in their words, the most beautiful house in the village and all the activities people are engaged in there. Contagious enthusiasm of Mrs. Vlasta very quickly transferred on to us. Traditional Baranja house with associated estate becomes more and more interesting to tourists, and Mrs. Škorak presented the plans for its further renovation and announced the upcoming moving in of the first tenants. We do not doubt that the project in Karanac will continue to thrill everyone who encounters it.

On Wednesday we visited Rehabilitation Centre Ozalj. After the introductory meeting in the office of the Director, we visited two communities in Ozalj where we were greeted by happy tenants who had nothing but praise for their ‘new lives’. Ms Boaden had a distinct desire to see what the recently opened Day Center in Karlovac looks like and after seeing it concluded that this is indeed a very well-designed and functional space. She was particularly delighted by the fact that the products manufactured in the Day Center will soon be for sale. Our hosts took us through a couple of apartments in the the City of Karlovac and briefly presented their plans for further work.

The next day we visited our subsidiary in Pakrac which successfully carried out the service of organized housing. The local community has accepted the people very well, so that our colleagues from Pakrac have almost no problems with employment, moreover, jobs are being offered to them from all over the community.
After visiting two housing units and the Day Center of the Association Latica, we headed towards Grubišno Polje, where we took a tour the greenhouse with Mr Malbaša. He briefly explained the process of cultivation in the greenhouse, and we even had a chance to try some of the products. Our hosts then took us to two housing units, and showed us the apartment which they refurbished and is now ready for moving in.

Ms Boaden stated how pleased she was with everything she had seen, and that she’s looking forward to further success stories of all stakeholders. The satisfaction and happiness on the faces of everyone we visited leaves no room for doubt – all the hard work has paid off.