Volunteering is an effective way to support and help your community. Not only does volunteering give someone an opportunity to assist those most in need, it is also a way to learn new skills, practice old ones, and meet new and different people. If you aren’t from Croatia, volunteering is the perfect way to give back to this country.
We’ve already written about ways to volunteer in Zagreb. In this edition, we cover 7 extraordinary organizations doing great work in Split including feeding the homeless, helping victims of domestic abuse, engaging youth, cleaning up the environment and supporting those suffering from drug addiction.
All of these organizations take short-term volunteers, but some also take on long-term volunteers. Long-term volunteering for an udruga is a valid basis for getting a temporary residence permit in Croatia. You can read more about that here.
What is an udruga?
An udruga is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement, usually as volunteers, to form an organization to accomplish a non-profit purpose.
Time to explore these remarkable organizations helping the people of Split.
#1 Udruga Domine
If you want to support women’s rights, join Udruga Domine. Domine is a feminist non-governmental and non-profit organization whose aim is to promote women’s rights and encourage the development of a civil society. Since 2002, Domine has organized various education and public campaigns, created video productions, issued publications, and given advice and support to the local community.
Domine is focused on the economic and political empowerment of women, prevention of violence against women, direct legal, psychological, and medical assistance to women in need, protection of sexual and reproductive rights, and cooperation with other feminist organizations on local, national, and global level, etc.
Since the start of coronavirus in Croatia, the number of women whom have suffered domestic violence has increased due to quarantine and economic pressures. Domine offers free legal, psychological and social support to women due to the coronavirus crisis. During the last 2 months, their volunteers have helped over 70 people find temporary accommodation, food, transport, financial and other material assistance, and psychological support and legal assistance. If you are in an abusive situation in Split, call Domine. They are great advocates and will do everything to help.
To support women in need, Uber has donated 100 codes for free rides to Domine. Female volunteers and women protected by Domine can use these free rides in Split and its surroundings. Others are also free to donate to Domine since any additional financial help is useful to help women in need.
Domine currently offers the possibility for short-term volunteering but they are developing an option of long-term volunteering for foreign citizens.
Read our detailed profile of Udruga Domine here.
How to contact Udruga Domine
#2 Klub Mladih Split
Klub mladih Split – KMS (Youth Club Split) is a non-governmental organization whose volunteers organize different events and workshops for youth. They engage in activating young people at all social levels, informing them about their rights and social needs, and promoting and protecting their interests.
KMS’s aim is to enable social and professional development to young people through gatherings, experience exchanges, informal education, and quality free time. Their diverse program offers a variety of opportunities such as Chinese language courses, lectures on forensics, Chinese calligraphy courses, and many more. Pick up an activity that interests you the most or join them as a volunteer in the field of public relations, design and visual communication, administration, or event organization.
Volunteering in KMS is available for both short-term and long-term periods.
How to contact Klub Mladih
Email: [email protected]
#3 Juraj Bonači
Centar za odgoj i obrazovanje Juraj Bonač (Education Center “Juraj Bonači”) is an institution that provides social services to children with disabilities and adults with intellectual disabilities. They perform activities of primary and secondary education, and training children with disabilities.
Juraj Bonači currently cares for 540 people at several locations in Split, Sinj, and Makarska. Join them in one of their voluntary programs and workshops. At some of their past workshops, they made Christmas decorations, painted walls at the Center, decorated the school yard, and performed environmental clean-up.
Juraj Bonači offers both short-term and long-term volunteering for foreigners. For detailed information, contact Juraj Bonači to discuss opportunities.
How to contact Juraj Bonači
Phone: +385 (0)21 532 969
#4 Oh la la 366 večera
Oh la la 366 večera (Oh la la 366 dinner) is a humanitarian project operating in Split since 2011. As a part of this project, volunteers prepare dinners for the more than 100 homeless people living in Split. The project’s initiators are Lada Štefek and Lana Miko Iljadica, women who have received several voluntary awards for this initiative.
People can apply to cook for the homeless on their free days. If they do not wish to cook but still want to help, they can order a meal from a restaurant, or find an alternative way to help out. Organizers said that they would be thrilled if more restaurants, bistros, fast foods, pizzerias, and other facilities were included in the action, so if you are an owner of a restaurant, join them!
How to contact Oh la la 366 večera
Phone: +385 (0)91 918 91 37
#5 Green Sail
Green Sail is a non-profit organization whose aim is to promote sustainable tourism, especially inside the nautical sector. They organize activities based on eco-friendly policies to promote responsible and sustainable tourism. Green Sail is currently partnered with 110 companies and works with 50 volunteers on their activities.
Green Sail’s volunteers, employees, ambassadors, interns, and partners raise environmental awareness while at the same time learn about practical tips on eco-friendly sailing plus sea and coastal protection.
Individual volunteers can participate in actions like cleaning up trash on beaches, in the environment and in local communities. You can also help to raise awareness about eco-friendly sailing and staying in the marina.
Companies who wish to partner with Green Sail can join one of the following programs:
- Yacht Charter Program – Charter companies help in the prevention of sea and coastal area pollution through promotion of recycling and other eco-friendly practices. Green Sail provides companies with education, promotion, and support with their own individual eco-friendly projects.
- Marina Program – Marinas participate in recycling management practices. Green Sail provides companies with education, methods of raising awareness through volunteering, promotion, and free advice on sustainable practices.
- Tourism Program – Companies contribute to environmental protection. Green Sail provides companies with education, support in the promotion of green policies, and cooperation in ecological projects.
How to contact Green Sail
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +385 (0)21 610 953
#6 Udruga HELP
HELP is a non-profit organization who offers help to people who suffer from drug addiction. Their headquarters is in Split, but they also operate on the island of Korčula as well as in Dubrovnik, Osijek, and Varaždin. Some of HELP’s activities include sending drug addicts to treatment, voluntary counseling, testing for HIV and hepatitis, provisioning free condoms, distribution of educational materials, raising public awareness about HIV and AIDS, and education and training programs.
If you want to join HELP, you can join them in some of their actions. More than 100 volunteers participate in their annual activities on local and international levels.
How to contact Udruga HELP Split
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +385 (0)21 346 664
#7 Udruga udomitelja i posvojitelja djece “Tobolac”
Udruga udomitelja i posvojitelja djece “Tobolac” (Association of foster and adoptive parents “Tobolac”) is a young non-profit organization focused on promoting foster care and rights of children whom are without adequate parental care.
It was established in 2017 as an answer to the long-term need of foster parents in the area of Split-Dalmatia county. Tobolac’s volunteers connect and empower through various activities and campaigns, creative workshops, public forums, and speech therapy exercises.
In August 2018, Tobolac initiated a campaign “Obadaji dite, otuđeni svite!” in cooperation with volunteer organizations Klub Mladih Split and Hrabri telefon. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of stopping child neglect and molestation as early and as quickly as possible.
Tobolac is constantly searching for volunteers with different kinds of knowledge, especially experts from the field of humanities and social sciences, pedagogy, social work, and medicine.
Tobolac offers both short-term and long-term volunteering. If you come from abroad, contact them directly for opportunities. For those that are a good match for the organization, it is a possibility sign a long-term volunteering contract, which will allow you to live in Croatia for up to 1 year. You can read more about that here.
How to contact Udruga udomitelja i posvojitelja djece “Tobolac”
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +385 (0)98 134 5075
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.