The project tied to the establishment of the Drenova Social Centre was presented at the Regional Museum Drenova, in favour of which an EU grant of nearly two million HRK was allocated.

Most of the funds will be earmarked for energy renovation of the building that hosts the Regional Museum Drenova and the works are expected to be completed by summer. In addition, as part of the project, associations from Drenova will be strengthened, that until now have offered citizens cultural and social events in Drenova. Other interested associations will be able to join the activity of the Centre in order to enrich the life of the local community with new contents. During two-years project implementation, 62 activities dedicated to citizens are envisaged, the first of which starts in spring.

The total project value amounts to HRK 1,989,150.74, of which HRK 1,690,778.13 or 85% is co-financed under the European Social Fund through the Operational Program Effective Human Resources 2014-2020, while the rest of funds in the amount of 298.372, 61 HRK has been provided by the Government Office for co-operation with NGOs.

Community of active citizens from Drenova to get more quality premises for their activities

The project promoter is the Drenova Social Centre and the lead partner is the Association Bez granica (Without Borders), and the project partners are SMART, association for civil society development, the Association for the development and promotion of dogwood Dren and the City of Rijeka.

“Thanks to the implementation of this project, Drenova should obtain a social centre. With the funds obtained, we will renovate the building and increase the number of programmes, “said project manager Davorka Medved on behalf of the association Bez granica. Through the project, the association Bez granica will organise neighbourhood stories, individual and expert group discussions on the real needs of the local community and lessons within the Socially Useful Learning Programme and socially useful works in the community aimed at developing the local community. Film and music evenings, rehearsals and a choral concert will be organised, as well as a series of educational workshops “Virtual Drenova”, which will focus on a better understanding of advanced communication and information technologies and their use.

The building, known as the “Border”, is today the symbol of the community’s connection

Since the beginning of their activities, the associations from Drenova have been supported by the City of Rijeka, which has assigned the building that hosts at present the Regional Museum to the associations. The City of Rijeka participates in this project by renting the building free of charge and supporting the renovation activities.

“Our co-operation with the associations Bez granica and Dren is exceptional. Their work so far is a good example of what can be done when there is good will and initiative. They managed to receive a grant of almost two million HRK, which will certainly improve the work of this whole space and is a good sign for other associations, how to ensure long-term functioning with well-conceived projects, without relying alone on the city budget ”, said the mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel, accompanied by his deputy Marko Filipović.

The building of the Regional Museum Drenova is connected to the city’s broadband network, which allows associations to use all available information and communication services of the City of Rijeka, such as broadband Internet access or the use of common applications.

The building that hosts the Museum is known to the inhabitants of Drenova as the “Border” because in a period between the first and second world war, Italian customs officers stayed there to control the border between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

“There is a lot of symbolism in this whole story: the building was created as a result of a division, and now it is experiencing its new rise thanks to life in united Europe,” mayor Obersnel said.

The City of Rijeka will actively participate in the creation of a collaborative and participatory management model of the Drenova Social Centre, while Smart, association for civil society development will provide support in model development. As part of the project, the Smart Association is responsible for the preparation and implementation of educational and mentoring programmes for the associations Bez granica and Dren and other interested local civil society organisations in order to strengthen their capacities in the field of non-profit organisation management.

Continuation of the promotion of the super fruit – dogwood

In 2021, the Dren Association celebrates the 10th anniversary of the dogwood promotion activity, with scientific research confirmed as “a super fruit”, so the establishment of the Drenova Social Centre will mean a lot to them, because the restructuring of the ‘building will allow them to work all year round and deepen the programme, said association president Dren Vesna Lukanovic.

As part of the Drenova Social Centre, the Dren association will implement a programme to promote health and prevent disease through professional lessons, seminars on the cultivation and processing of dogwood and seminars for updating the existing dogwood cadastre. In addition to the meeting dedicated to the health and nutritional properties of dogwood, the association will also organise an event the Dogwood Days.

The video presentation of the project is available on the Facebook page of the Regional Museum of Drenova.

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