Croatian association Obitelji 3plus has started several innovative activities for large families

‘Equal digital Opportunities’, ‘Small People, Big Feelings’ and ‘Family No Limit Games’ are three projects of the Croatian Large Families Associations.

Completed education about digital literacy “Equal (digital) opportunities for everybody”

Croatian Large Families Association „Families 3plus” started the project “Equal (digital) opportunities for everybody” in November 2020 and through three iterations ended it in April 2023. As of now 150 kids members of the „Families 3plus” had the opportunity to attend the education of digital literacy for free.

Thanks to the Professional Men and Women Network of Croatia (PWMN Zagreb) which recognized the importance of equal (digital) opportunities and chose the children of members of the Families 3plus association as users, we had the opportunity to carry out this project to the satisfaction of everybody involved. The initiative “Equal (digital) opportunities for everybody” was amongst workshop performers Algebra, Robokacija and Super STEM, financially supported by Kraš, Wiener Insurance, Avola Solutions and Diverto.

The third iteration of the project started in February 2023 and lasted for eight weeks. Kids, parents and leaders are still assessing their impressions and we are presenting you some of them: “The workshops are interesting and fun, we are learning new things and I look forward to every single class”, said Benedikt, confirmed by his mum Nikolina who says that her son enjoyed the workshops pointing out that “workshops are fun and totally suited for kids, who also gained useful knowledge.”

“Good organization, assured progress in work which was very useful to our kid”, praised the project and the implementation of the project 3plus member dad Ivica.

In the third iteration of the project, workshop performers were Robokacija and Super STEM. The workshop leaders were happy with the implementation: “Kids were active as if we were learning in person which made the long distance of classes easier.

“Through games and fun, we overcame block and script programming and met Office programs. We learnt to program our own games (which were very fun) and programs for checking math’s homework. Besides programing kids liked Office programs. They had a lot of questions about them and learnt something new. “We are glad we could be a part of this project and that we had the opportunity to cooperate with so many intelligent and talented children”, as pointed out by the Robokacija workshop leaders.

“As the part of the project kids were enabled to use applications and insight into using online tools that can make happen quality education in every moment with what is most important for them at their age – fun. This way we can connect what many parents think is impossible to connect, spending time with a mobile phone or computer that brings quality spent time for learning and fun on a high intellectual level adjusted to their age.

From users the kids become creators of the content and after that they can play games that they created themselves. Something that every parent wants, happened, creating games became more fun than playing; something like that is hard to reach but we are trying and with good approach it is possible. Kids were very interested and asked for additional tasks and were happy when they got homework. They promised that their parents would make a video of created games and send their work by email”, Dean M. from Super STEM.

“Family Games” in Suhopolje and Zagreb

On Saturday, March 25th, 2023, Croatian Large Families Association „Obitelji 3plus” held a sports and recreational tournament “Family Games without Borders” in Suhopolje in order to provide families with family recreation and fun activities and empower them for everyday life. The partner association KrEdA from Suhopolje gathered participants from the Virovitica-Podravina County, while enthusiastic volunteers happily led family games.

Due to rain, “Family Games without Borders” were held indoors, where volunteers led stretching and warming-up, badminton and various games followed by stretching and a family sports greeting. Participants, volunteers, and organizers agreed that this was a great event and that we should repeat it outdoors as soon as possible.

 “Family games without borders” are organized as part of the project “Support to parents in building emotionally strong and resilient families”.

On Saturday 22nd of April Croatian Large Families Association „Families 3plus” organized a sports and recreational tournament “Family No Limit Games” and picnic in Zagreb. More than 40 families gathered for recreation, fun and socializing. The number of families that came exceeded our expectations and joy and laughter weren’t missing.

The games were organized on a spacious field in the heart of Maksimir park; families brought their blankets and baskets for the picnic, and we had equipment for games and recreation. Family games were lead by skilled kinesiologists which were designed and adjusted for every age group. The games were opened with a warm-up game of tag and finished with tug of war.

Parents loved that there were games for every age group and that we spent time like we used to before mobile phones and modern technology. Parents praised the atmosphere, patience and happiness of the leaders, and the community spirit of the parents in the tug of war.

We are really satisfied because families left this meeting with new joy, strength, and satisfaction. There is more about the atmosphere and the whole event on our YouTube channel.

“Family No Limit Games” were organized in the framework of the project “Supporting parents to build emotionally strong and resistant families.” All additional information about the project and the tournament can be found on our Instagram and Facebook profile.

This document has been made with financial support of the Central state office for demography and youth. The content of this document is under full responsibility of users and under no circumstances can it be considered to be a reflection of the opinion of the provider.

On-line workshops “Small people, big feelings”

On-line workshops “Small people, big feelings” were held by the Croatian Large Families Association „Obitelji 3plus”, led by psychologist from the Center „Pričaj mi“.

The workshops were attended by parents interested in knowledge and experience in the field of emotional literacy. At the workshops, they carried out various activities for the development of children’s and parents emotional literacy.

After the workshops, the parents shared their impressions and the benefits they received from the workshop, and here are some of them:

  • “At this training, we received encouragement and guidance for ourselves, as well as concrete steps on what to do and how to act in crisis situations”,
  • “A lot of answers to your own questions”,
  • “Awareness that I’m not the only one and alone in all this”,
  • “Some incentives to talk more about my emotions to children without much explanation”,
  • “Guidelines for dealing with challenging situations, even preventively”,
  •  “We learned that feelings have a great influence and determine behavior.”
  • “Better understanding of emotions, both personally and professionally as a teacher”,
  • “The importance of being joyful, empathic with the child, full of practical knowledge, I met professionals, expert people who I can ask for advice”,
  • “It was very instructive, useful… I recommend these kinds of workshops and there should be more and more of them”,
  •  “The workshop was extremely useful for us because everyday life is full of emotions and it is important to be aware of them and understand them in order to have good interpersonal relations”,
  • “It’s an honor, thank you for making it possible for us to participate via Zoom.

The workshops were conducted as part of the “Support to parents in building emotionally strong and resilient families” project.

Meeting with the Ombudsman for Children

On the 14th of March 2023, Croatian Large Families Association „Obitelji 3plus” held a meeting with the Ombudsman for Children Helenca Pirnat Dragičević and the adviser to the Ombudsman Davorka Osmak Franjić. The Association presented the work of the Croatian Large Families Association and the children’s needs living in large families. The Association also learned about the authority and work of the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children.

We talked about the challenges that large families face, from social discrimination, difficulties in obtaining family discounts and benefits that are often offered for families with a smaller number of children, as well as the impossibility of obtaining benefits in the case of government measures for more favorable energy prices, etc. It was significant for the Ombudsman that, according to the latest available data, there are 112,830 families with three or more children living in Croatia, that makes almost 600,000 people, most of whom are children.

The meeting was attended by the vice president Đurđica Mostarčić and marketing and project manager Lana Zrakić Fišter from the Croatian Association. Croatian Large Families Association follows the work efforts of the Ombudsperson’s Office through e-Counseling and other communication channels, and they believe that together they will contribute to raising the quality of life of children from large families.

Croatian Catholic Radio talkes about challenges and hardships of large families

On March 28, 2023, Member of the Board of directors of the Croatian Large Families Association, Kristian Jambrošić, Ph.D.  participated in CCR’s radio talk show “Argumenti” on the topic “Challenges and hardships of large families”.

“Child allowance in Croatia is inherently not solves well because it is not an incentive, but it depends on the social status of the family and not on the number of children. The Association advocates that every child should have the right to an allowance. This would then show that this country has understanding for every child” he pointed out.

Kristian Jambrošić, Ph.D. said that often in the society there is stigmatization and a lack of understanding for the special needs of parents of large families, from management of time to the resources they have at their disposal, and that often employers have little understanding for them, he states. One of the proposals of the Croatian Association is that parents of multiple children have the option of working part-time with full salary, in which case the state would replace the other half.

There are more than 112,000 families with three or more children in Croatia, but today they often cause astonishment in society. Large families currently do not receive the support they should from the state, there is no interaction and there seems to be no awareness that large families are a part of the solution to the demographic renewal of our homeland. With universal child allowance, part-time work with full salary, fully subsidized kindergarten prices (based on the model of primary and secondary schools), Jambrošić also mentioned some other useful measures to which the state could contribute, some of which are tax relief when buying a larger property, subsidizing the price of electricity, and tax relief or subsidizing a certain amount when buying a larger (adequate) vehicle in which you can safely transport three or more children.

Jambrošić also mentioned that the topic of family is currently in the ministry with four portfolios and that as such it is perhaps the least represented, he also emphasized the importance of establishing a Ministry of the Family with a minister who would be the Deputy Prime Minister.

The talk show was hosted and edited by Branimir Gubić.

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