5 ways to volunteer or give back in Zagreb

Giving back to the community is a healthy way of living that is mutually useful. Through volunteering, you can fulfill your interests and hobbies, develop new skills, and meet new people, all while helping others – children, seniors, or a whole community.

For those of us that moved to Croatia from abroad and have found our home here, it is important that we give back to the country that we love.

Since it is the capitol, Zagreb has many different organizations, associations, and groups which you can join and start with volunteering.

It can be difficult to choose which organization is the right choice. To help with your decision, we bring you five outstanding non-profit organizations which you can join anytime. They cover different scopes and activities, so find the one that suits you best.

In this post, we cover:

Let’s volunteer…

Volunteer organizations of different scopes in Zagreb

#1 Zelena akcija

Zelena Akcija's logo
Image by Tris.com.hr

If you’re interested in green and sustainable living, protecting the environment, and saving Mother Earth, join Zelena akcija and participate in their activist programs. Zelena akcija (ZA)/Friends of the Earth Croatia is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-partisan, and voluntary association of citizens for environmental protection.

Since 1990, Zelena akcija has worked on campaigns, non-violent direct actions, and projects, and created public participation in decision-making with the goal of protecting the environment and nature.

Zelena akcija’s volunteers and activists are led by a team of professionals who work together towards an environmentally and socially sustainable society on a local and global level.

The association covers many green programs in the following fields:

  • Climate change
  • Activist groups
  • Zeleni telefon (Green telephone)
  • Environmental center
  • Energy
  • Waste
  • Transport
  • Natural resources protection.

Everyone can find a desired field of interest within Zelena akcija and join the community to protect the environment and nature, and promote sustainable development.

Please note that they only accept Croatian residents as volunteers.

Email: za@zelena-akcija.hr
Phone: +385 (0)1 4813 096

Web siteFacebook | Instagram

#2 Centar za mirovne studije

Centar za Mirovne Studije - Center for Peace Studies' logo
Image by Vox Feminae

Everyone interested in combating racism, xenophobia and ethnic exclusivity, peace education and nonviolence affirmation, human security, and socio-economic justice can join and volunteer for Centar za mirovne studije – CMS (Center for Peace Studies – CPS).

CMS is a non-governmental and non-profit organization promoting non-violence and social change through education, research, and activism.

CMS often looks for different volunteer profiles interested in different sorts of programs. They often need volunteers to work as support for immigrant integration and others who would join programs that fight against racism and xenophobia.

CMS often organizes different educational workshops which are free and open to the general public. It is well-known for Mirovni studiji (Peace Studies) – a one-year interdisciplinary informal education program. The program draws its expertise from a number of social sciences and humanities, as well as the activist and advocacy experience of lecturers and participants.

CMS accepts foreign volunteers on short terms without concluding contracts with them.

Email: cms@cms.hr
Phone: +385 (0)1 4820 094; +385 (0)91 3300 181

Web siteFacebook

#3 Dumovec animal shelter

Black and white dog at Dumovec Animal Shelter in Zagreb
Image by AZIL Zagreb

Big animal lovers can find their peace in helping our little animal friends at Dumovec animal shelter. Dumovec mostly houses unwanted and abandoned dogs, but other abandoned animal species are also welcome there.

Dumovec’s volunteers mostly help walk the dogs and take them outdoors to play. In addition, volunteers can also help with the socialization of puppies and cats, and assist with promotional activities for adoption outside of the shelter or the process of adoption for shelter cats and dogs.

Adults and minors older than 15 years of age can come and help a little friend not to feel lonely and make their own day.

Dumovec accepts foreign volunteers for both short and long terms. For long-term volunteering, they will provide you with a contract so you can apply for residence in Croatia.

To learn more about how to get residence in Croatia based on volunteering, check out this post.

Email: info@dumovec.hr
Phone: +385 (0)1 2008 354

Web siteFacebook | Instagram

#4 Klinika za dječje bolesti Zagreb

Children's Hospital Zagreb where you can volunteer
Image by Narod.hr

Klinika za dječje bolesti Zagreb (Children’s Hospital Zagreb) is a central and unique institution for the health care of children and adolescents in Croatia. Everyone who likes to work and play with children can come volunteer to cheer up our little ones. Give them a smile and a bit of positive energy!

As a volunteer, there are many different activities to choose from, and everyone can find something that suits them best. You can read a story to a child, help out with birthday celebrations, volunteer in the hospital’s kindergarten, assist a social worker or other specialists, translate professional documentation, or play games.

By helping children, you are also helping their parents and giving them much-needed support during the medical treatment of their child.

Klinika za dječje bolesti Zagreb accepts foreign volunteers for both short and long terms. For long-term volunteers, the hospital will provide a contract so you can apply for residence in Croatia.

To learn more about how to get residence in Croatia based on volunteering, check out this post.

If you want to join them, fill out a short survey on this page under the section “Ako smo vas zainteresirali, molimo ispunite kratki informativni upitnik”.

Email: Podrska.Pacijentima@kdb.hr
Phone: +385 (0)1 4600 111; +385 (0)91 4600 366

Web site | Facebook

#5 Udruga Vestigium

Volunteer children gardening in Zagreb
Image by Udruga Vestigium

If you would like to give back to the community by joining a multi-functional space whose purpose is to support different initiatives to develop a local community, become one of Vestigium’s volunteers.

Vestigium is an NGO with a goal to improve the quality of residents’ lives through healthy and creative initiatives. Volunteers are welcome on nearly every level.

The association started its own group where you can exchange your things, experiences, and skills. You can also join yoga classes, a choir, a birthday organization, an eco-library project, and cooking workshops.

Vestigium also has a cool project called EKO PLAC (Eco market), whose purpose is to introduce small private eco farms to citizens.

They accept foreign volunteers for both short and long terms. For long-term volunteering, they will provide you with a contract so you can apply for residence in Croatia, given that you have special skills to help the program.

To learn more about how to get residence in Croatia based on volunteering, check out this post.

Email: udruga.vestigium@gmail.com
Phone: +385 (0)95 856 1270

Web site | FacebookInstagram

View our other volunteering posts

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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