The project: to support two NGOs efforts to provide access to education in highly sensitive regions

Colas decided to support not one but two NGOs in Croatia. These two NGOs do however have one thing in common – they both work in towns that were severely affected by the war.

Colas is helping deprived children to build a future, in an environment far removed from the quarrels of the past and that aims to establish peace between the two communities, by providing support for VIMIO in Vukovar, an organisation that provides free access to kindergarten education for the poorest Serbian and Croatian families and Suncokret in Gvodz that provides educational support in community centre for children.

You can read all about the progress made by Gordana and Maja, two women committed to helping future generations respect children’s rights and provide access to education for all, on and


Todd Strynadka & Rachel



When Children of Employees Become Involved

In 2012, Todd, an employee of Terus Construction Ltd. (Canadian subsidiary of Colas) and his daughter Rachel traveled in the field to meet Predrag and Maja at the Suncokret Center for Community Development of Gvodz. Later, Todd and Rachel gave us a moving account of their trip to Croatia and pointed to the difficulty of the different Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian communities to come to terms with each other and learn to live together again after the conflict that afflicted this region.
In (...)

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Presentation of the NGO Suncokret in Gvozd

Maja, Sanja and Predrag explain to Tood and Rachel the specific context of the city of Gvodz and why they decided to create Suncokret to help children.

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On the road to Summercamp 2013

In search of ideas for next summer vacation?
Each year, the association organizes Suncokret Summercamps for teenagers from all countries.
Volunteers participate in the life of the association with the many eco-citizen activities offered in collaboration with children Gvodz and help improve the quality of life of Suncokret center.
Maja and teams Suncokret organize workshops for volunteers like eco gardening, art sessions and special language courses.
This is also an opportunity to meet (...)

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VUKOVAR - The project

The pilot project « Let’s Do It Together » is financed by Colas Life.
This programme targets underprivileged children from all the different communities and brings them together for the first time at school.
Todd and Rachel go to the school to meet Anna, the teacher responsible for the programme, and the children.

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Three women, three mothers, three destinies : Discover Antonia
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Vukovar – Presentation of the NGO, VIMIO

Todd and Rachel meet Gordana Busijic, the Managing Director of VIMIO
Gordana gives Todd and Rachel a presentation of VIMIO’s activities in Vukovar. She explains how these activities target both children and adults and help to reconcile the different communities.

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Three women, three mothers, three destinies : Discover Nada
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Three women, three mothers, three destinies : Discover Dani

Dani is our translator, she accompanied us during our field visit;
Antonia and Nada are two mothers whose children attend Suncokret, all three have in common to live Gvozd.
For Todd, they agreed to talk about the past, their exodus, the separation from their families and their reunion, their return to Gvozd and the future.
Three harrowing testimony that sheds light on Croatia poignant (...)

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What is the demographic reality in Croatia today?

All conflicts result in an exodus of the local population on a small or large scale. These are essentially civilians who are fleeing the destruction of war.
These populations are often granted international protection under schemes outlined by the 1951 United Nations Convention.
Nevertheless, international legislation differentiates exiled civil populations from displaced populations: A Refugee is someone who finds themselves outside their country of nationality and who is unable or (...)

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“Let’s do it together”: a pilot program’s success story!

Reconciling parents from communities that were once so opposed by creating a common nursery school: this project, supported by Colas Life, is certainly an ambitious one!
Thanks to the fierce determination of Gordana, VIMIO’s director (see interview), the program opened up two new nursery school classes in Vukovar. Some 50 children from the Serb and Croat communities enrolled, proof if needed that a project like this is of the greatest interest.
However, the 2012 school year started out on (...)

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Summercamp in Gvozd

Every year, Suncokret recruits local and international volunteers to launch and coordinate a variety of community actions aiming at creating activities that are beneficial to the children, youth and the community of Gvodz as a whole.
This summer, we had 80 volunteers from Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Italy and USA.
The volunteer camps provided opportunities for both the local community and volunteers to learn from one another, to exchange skills, knowledge and (...)

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