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Religious Youth Service

RYS Offers Services to Help Rebuild in Croatia

Participants: 50 Nations Represented: 23

Varasdin, Croatia—

Background: Large numbers of refugees were filling in Croatia as a result of the on going war. The IRFF was already doing work in the camps and the RYS decided that they should add their elements to the service already being offered.

Duration: March 7 - 17, 1995

Work: Participants helped restore a classroom, numerous refugee's apartments, painted a large dinning room and several hallways, fixed public toilets, and worked on local grounds upkeep.

Summary: The project was primarily organized in Europe as a result of RYS Turkey alumni's desire to work with refugees from the former Yugoslavia. Twenty nations were represented among the staff and participants.

At Varasdin refugee center the IRFF had been active over years distributing fish powder and supplies. Forum Ost (Eckhart Riehl) and IRFF Italy (Massimo Trombin) helped receive a large portion of the materials the projects would use.

The project involved leaders in the government and the UN relief effort into it. Dr. Beers, the Director of Displaced Person's and Refugees was the most prominent of those attending. In addition two IRFWP seminars were held, in Zagreb and in Varasdin.

In all, the IRF provided the most substantial model of interfaith cooperation in this war torn area, and area where most parties in conflict prefer to accuse and retaliate then repent and cooperate.

Project Supervisor: John Gehring
Work Director: Massimo Trombin
Project Coordinator, Mr. Marshall de Souza & Eckhart Riehl
Education Leaders: Dr. Sherry Burr and Dr. Vera Mehta

Advisors: Dr. Darroll Bryant

Media: National TV for the orientation and the IRFWP event.

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