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What Marimo Does

Marimo is a self-help association of the relatives of mentally ill people in the two easternmost counties of Croatia.  It consists of about 15 such families at the moment, and is trying to expand its work. 


The group was formed in 2001 and is the second of its kind in Croatia.  The first such group in Croatia, in Zagreb, greatly assisted in Marimo's formation.


Marimo's aims are to help its members to help one another, to create public awareness and acceptance for the problems of mentally ill people and to reform conditions within the mental health system within Croatia.


In the past, the organization has

  • held meetings in which relatives have talked to other relatives about their difficulties and have tried to find solutions together;

  • had educational meetings about chronic mental illness;

  • had publicity in the local media about the illnesses and the group;

  • has had several masked balls at the time of Carnival with the theme "laughter is not a sin but a medicine" and emphasizing the positive meaning of the word "mad";

  • has had seminars on mourning and burnout;

  • has had seminars on community psychiatry;

  • has had an art workshop;

  • has had a two-day workshop on a variety of situations and social treatment;

  • has presented its work at seminars in Croatia, Australia, Finland and the USA.


Marimo has plans to

  • continue its meetings for ventilation and support from relative to relative weekly;

  • have further seminars on psycho-education for relatives;

  • have sheltered employment for family members;

  • start a half-way house for family members;

  • start a scheme for weekend and vacation relief for relatives.

  • continue education of the public through events such as masked balls, media, exhibitions, and public forums;

  • begin a process of social partnerships with such bodies as the police, lawyers, the judiciary, the emergency services of the local hospitals and social services in an effort to gain better and more humane services for its family members.


CWWPP Involvement With Marimo

The CWWPP has been involved in discussions with Marimo since the fall of 2001.  Since the fall of 2002, the CWWPP has been facilitating the relative to relative support and ventilation group and education on burnout, coping and other issues.  The CWWPP is actively participating in the work of Marimo to educate the public and local bodies.   Further, the CWWPP and Marimo are exploring ways of implementing and funding its additional plans and the extension of the geographic breadth of the association.


The Work of Dragutin Budac

The sister of Dragutin Budac is a member of Marimo.  The artist's autobiography follows:


My name is Dragutin Budač. I was born on September 9th , 1945. in Osijek. I was just an ordinary boy and after I finished the Primary School I started attending the Gymnasium and then the Secondary School for Graphic Arts, but I didnít finish that school because I became ill. From my early childhood I used to draw something because I always had to express my ideas and visions. Later I was taken to hospital, first in Osijek, then in Jankomir several times and after many years of treatment I was taken to the island of Ugljan to continue treatment at the Psychiatry Hospital for mental patients. I stayed there for a long time and I was involved into the work therapy i.e. a kind of art therapy. There I did a lot of my best drawings and paintings and also some works made of baked clay. I came back to Osijek four years ago and now I live at the Old Peopleís Home and I feel quite well. But there I donít have the conditions to continue drawing and expressing myself. I like to read everything that is connected with the Roman, Egyptian and Greek history and culture and such details could be seen in my pictures. I had a one-man show (the exibition) in the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek on March 4th, 2003.


To see the work of Dragutin Budač, click here.  Some of this work may be had if a contribution is given to the CWWPP. The proceeds will go to Marimo directly and to the CWWPP work with Marimo.  Please contact us at if you are interested.



Contact Information for Marimo

Address:  c/o Mirjana Valasek,  Vijenac Mazuranica 1, 31000 Osijek, Croatia

Telephone (no fax)  +385-31-213225

President:  Ms. Mirjana Valasek