Ivica Pirić : This year, 150 Ukrainian children and 50 wounded soldiers will go on vacation to Croatia


Former football player organizes charity actions to support children from the frontline areas and the wounded soldiers, hoping this cooperation goes on.

Kyiv, June 7, 2016. In September, 150 children from the frontline area, children of killed ATO fighters and 50 wounded Ukrainian soldiers will go on vacation to Croatia. These trips were made possible by charity initiative of Ivica Pirić, former player of football club Kyiv “Arsenal” and a FIFA agent. “All organizational issues have been resolved. In September, the next group of children will go to Omish and soldiers will go to Makarsk. The soldiers will spend stay there 9 days, children for 12 days,” informed Ivica Pirić at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

This will be the fourth charity trip for Ukrainian children. All in all, 700 children from the frontline area and children of the killed ATO fighters visited Croatia over a year and a half. Ivica Pirić initiated this last summer. “Ukraine helped my family during that horrible war in Croatia. That is why I decided to organize a humanitarian action,” he explained. The trip was organized in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy in Croatia. 300 children were in the first group that went to Croatia. For 291 of them it was the first trip abroad. During holidays children went on various tours, met with Croatian officials and played a football with their Croatian peers. “Everything went well; the children were happy. The main thing is that with this action the children from the ATO area managed to see Europe and they would like to live like people live there. Such trips are the best weapons against propaganda,” stressed Ivica Pirić.

Now, in line a similar program, 150 children as part of the first group for 2016, are spending their holidays in Croatia. The children left on May 22 and will return on June 24. Besides, 100 Ukrainian military went to Croatia for rehabilitation after injuries. “Ukrainian soldiers have already played football with Croatian soldiers,” noted Ivica Pirić. He added that this trip was organized in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy and supported by Maryna Poroshenko, President’s wife. This cooperation will continue in the future.

Ivica Pirić also informed that the situation in Ukraine is closely monitored in Croatia. “It is comprehensively covered. Almost the whole Croatia supports Ukraine as the scenario there was  rather similar,” he explained. He added that Croatia could share the valuable experience in the rehabilitation of veterans and in the field of European integration with Ukraine.