A brand-new dormitory, funded in part by Sabbath School world mission offerings, will provide help to students from broken homes and socially deprived areas, as well as serving the needs of Adventist and community students from across Croatia.
The state-of-art, fully-equipped building opened its doors in a special ceremony on September 2, completing much-needed student residence halls at the 259-student strong Secondary School in Maruševec, an 80-minute drive north from the capital city of Zagreb.
The one-year building project cost—a total of 5,500,000 Kuna (close to 900,000 US dollars)—was raised by significant voluntary contributions from church members, former students and generous individuals, and a grant from the Trans-European Division in addition to the Sabbath School World Mission offering.
Among the dignitaries who attended the Sept. 2 worship services and the official opening was a group of significant donors—Croatian church members from Australia. They rejoiced in witnessing the project finished, together with Adriatic Union church leaders; Construction Department director Branimir Hudek Tomek, who organized the construction; and Communication director Darko Kovačević, who, together with the singing group Agape, created an atmosphere of gratitude.
Leaders were joined by residence hall staff, school leaders, municipal and county officials, and a large number of donors and friends whose contributions helped to build the dormitory.The new facility includes twenty comfortable double rooms.
Varaždin county prefect Radimir Čačić and other local government and educational leaders said they support the project wholeheartedly.
“It is a pleasure to support a school that, by its quality, contributes significantly to the county school system,” they said.
It is a remarkable change of heart for a school that attracted a significant amount of prejudice from the local community when it was established 47 years ago.
In opening the new dormitory, school principal Đurđica Garvanović-Porobija said the building will serve as an exciting school mission.
“The mission of the school will include teaching members of minority and majority groups to live together as friends, as brothers and sisters,” she said.
Garvanović-Porobija also highlighted the social and religious importance of the education offered at the school.
“[Also], an important mission for the dormitory is to provide a family environment for students coming from broken or socially-deprived homes,” she said. “It is a special mission of our student residence halls to direct young people to each other, to forget about themselves and by the example of Jesus, learn how to show compassion to those who suffer.”