Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Volunteering in Quake-Hit Banovina

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Marc Rowlands

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visited the Radosevic family’s estate in Novi Seliste near Petrinja last week. The devastating earthquake destroyed all material memories and anything of value for this deeply unfortunate family, and with professional and financial help, a new concrete house will now be built for them.

The owner of the house, 36-year-old Ivica, saw a light at the end of the tunnel with the help of the former president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

”When an acquaintance called me and said ‘Ivica, you know what? Kolinda is coming to you tomorrow,’ I thought he was kidding around with me. I didn’t believe it at all straight away. And then when I saw her standing in the yard, I beamed. Not just me, but the whole family did. My heart was pounding for an hour! However, despite the fact that she’s the former president, her move was not politically motivated,” Ivica told Jutarnji list. He stated that Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic inquired about the recent Petrinja earthquake, the family, the whole area, and asked them what they still needed.

“She promised to return in a week or two because she came in the company of experts who measured the terrain and did some sketches, and they’ll build me a new house on the site where the old one once stood,” says Radosevic, not hiding his satisfaction with the promises he has been given.

The Radosevic family house was otherwise set on fire back during the war, and after years of decay it was rebuilt by the state.

“The work was sloppy and we were happy to have a roof over our heads, but I didn’t expect the house to disappear like this in just a second,” said the father of six. On the day of the Petrinja earthquake, he was at work at the Petrinja cemetery as an employee of Komunalac. A resident of Novi Seliste says that the former president stayed with Ivica for quite a long time.

”As she walked through the muddy yard and talked to the neighbour’s children and played with their dog, which obviously reminds her of her own adopted dog, Kika, none of us even thought it would be her. She had a mask on and was dressed just like any other normal worker out in the field,” said another local.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic came to Banovina to volunteer with other people, she wore a mask and a green cap with the Croatian coat of arms on it and spent her days volunteering in the kitchen before Pleter took over the food supply. Some locals also learned that she gave them words of comfort and took large boxes of groceries out of the vans and took them to the locations where they were most needed.

”Kolinda was just a masked volunteer. She was like all of us, nameless, without any self-promotion. She carried liquids with food and hauled goods. She didn’t stop even once,” said one volunteer.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow our dedicated section.


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