Since 2018, when the Croatian Scout Association started implementing it, the Boranka afforestation campaign has gathered more than 7,000 volunteers who have planted more than 85,000 new trees in the burned areas of Dalmatia. That is why Boranka has become the largest volunteer afforestation action in the whole of Europe, but also the most awarded non-profit campaign ever.
As the European Parliament office in Croatia reports, Dan Špicer, the Croatian Scout Association’s business director and the Boranka campaign’s main coordinator, pointed out that the European Citizens’ Prize is a great honor and a great recognition.
“Our Boranka campaign showed how love for nature and the homeland could unite the whole of Croatia, but also be a great example to other European countries of how to treat the environment and the community responsibly. The Croatian Scout Association continues efforts to preserve nature in the future, and such awards are just an additional motivation for us to involve even more citizens and return the greenery to the black fires,” said Špicer.
The Croatian Scout Association is the heir to the centuries-old tradition of the scout movement in Croatia. Besides, it is the largest organization for children and youth in the country.
The European Citizens’ Prize has been awarded since 2008 to individuals and organizations for initiatives that strengthen the European spirit of solidarity, creativity, and motivation. It is also awarded for initiatives that specifically express the values contained in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Citizens and associations can apply for this award independently, and European Parliament members can also nominate candidates. In each Member State, the national jury selects the finalists. An Award Committee, chaired by the President of the European Parliament, chooses the final winners.
Previous winners in Croatia are: Martina Čuljak with the Help Balkans project, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS), the humanitarian association Fr. Mladen Hrkać, which helps people with health problems and their families who come to Zagreb for treatment, the Transplant association that promotes organ donation and transplantation, and Tvrtko Baron, the director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Southeast Europe.
For more news from Croatia, check out the TCN lifestyle section.