Rödl Employee Fund for Children‘s Aid: Glimmer of hope for a new nursery after earthquake disasters in Petrinja


published on 13 December 2021 | approx. reading time 2 minutes


On 29 December 2020 at 12.43 p.m., the small town of Petrinja in Croatia was severely hit by an earthquake of a magnitude of 6.4. To this day, the town is full of stones, dust and heaps of ruins. Without support, many years will pass until the damage is repaired, and some of the families will have to move to different towns to start a new life.


A family house in the centre of the town was one of the houses mostly affected by the earthquake. It was a home to a family of four. At the time of the earthquake, the mother Kristina was at home with 2 small children, Filip (12) and Ena (9). Suddenly, she heard a louder and louder sound of roaring and then felt the ground shaking under her feet. Shortly afterwards, she felt dust on her body, and ceiling plaster fell on her head.


“Get out of here”, Kristina shouted when she felt the earth shaking and saw the first little stones crumbling from the ceiling. Full of fear and panic, Kristina grabbed her children by the hand and ran out of the house. Seconds later, the family stopped and slowly turned around. The three of them stood motionless in the street and looked towards their house. What they saw was only a heap of stone from their completely smashed house. 
Within the following three months, Petrinja was struck by another three earthquakes. Kristina fled with her two children and husband to her brother‘s house, four hours away from Petrinja. To this day, the two families have now lived in the brother‘s flat, all seven of them.
Kristina was fired from her job a few months before the earthquake due to the coronavirus pandemic. Her husband has to drive 1.5 hours to his work every day. The children, Ena and Filip, were attending school in the centre of Petrinja at that time. 
Most of the affected families cannot really count on the support from the state/the city.  Often, to this day, the state is primarily concerned with the reconstruction of non-profit institutions and “profitable” projects. 
Thanks to the donation that could be granted by the Rödl & Partner Children‘s Fund, we were able to give the family, especially the children Ena and Filip, a tiny glimmer of hope of getting their normal life back. 
When we met together on the spot, I was immediately struck by the mother‘s strength. After all the hardship, she was still so full of optimism, hope and courage. After we talked about the Rödl & Partner Fund for Children‘s Aid, I saw a spark in the eyes of Filip and Ena. A spark of hope of getting their “old” life back soon and of having people around who want to help. It was immediately clear to me that support was needed here! The reconstruction of the house will take some time, but we were able to give the family a glimmer of hope for the future. To this day, the children regularly contact us and send us pictures: full of gratitude, hope and warmth.



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