Fortuna Povlja Awakening The Sleeping Beauty Of Brač Island

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photos: Fortuna Povlja Facebook

Povlja is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on Brač island. It had its tourism industry since the late nineteenth century, but since the war time in Croatia, it has been all downhill for Povlja. Just as their neighbors from Selca we wrote about a couple days ago, the young people from this lovely little town have had enough of it.

As the economy of Povlja has been tourism oriented, with its demise, the public infrastructure was poor, and neglected by the authorities for decades. Young people from Povlja united in the Sporting Society Fortuna Povlja have organized more than a few actions which got the attention of the authorities, and the town is looking much better by the day.

They started with the cleaning of the beaches in Povlja, renewing the football playground, and after the municipality council gave them the ruined sport hall to run, and they started the renewal of the hall located in the ancient building in the town center.

When there is will, there are also the solutions, and they managed to build the children’s playground, and it was a mutual effort by the Fortuna members, who provided the work and raised the donations, Municipality of Selca added enough funds for the slides, swings, carousel and other fun objects kids love, and the local church authorities who gave away the park situated in the church’s backyard.

Fortuna Povlja has some 40 members, predominantly local young people, and as we talked with Tonči Zlatar, one of the leading individuals in the society, he stunned us with the plans and with facts we did not know about their efforts:

We have the plan to change the surface at the football playground and set up the artificial grass pitch because we have the football school for the youngest ones organized. This year we have more than twenty kids from all over Brač learning the basics of football for free, under the leadership of Frane Kurte, who volunteered to lead our school. The school started on July 15, and it ends on August 15th.

It sounds like a joke, Brač people giving something for free?

(laughing) Yes, but it is the truth. Seriously, the plan is to give the local kids the love for the game, and something more to do in the future, so they would have more motive to stay on the island when they grow up.

The sport hall is a work in progress?

Yes, it is a big project, and we are doing it step by step. It is a vital project, as there is a significant difference of life here in the summer and in the winter time. When we manage to renew it, it will be a big boost, as we plan to open the gym there, and it should be a meeting point for many different events in Povlja, as there is only bars and restaurants here in the time being.

Who helped?

Well, Selca Mayor, Ivan Marijančević has shown a great understanding of our problems, and while in the past Povlja has been overlooked, it changed in the last couple of years, but as there is a proverb in Dalmatia: help yourself, and you will receive help, we have taken the action and got the proper response from the authorities. Of course, many successful people with Povlja origins also helped.

As the writer with an utmost love for Brač island, I can only say that Povlja had done a proper face-lift in the last years, and are slowly getting back on the tourist map of Dalmatia which it deserves, not only with its beauty but the emotion and hard work of the local people.

This article is not enough to count all the activities of the Fortuna Povlja Society so that one can follow the action on their official Facebook page.


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