Volunteers Information from Pakrac Situation Pakrac is a small town which is situated in one of the UNPA-zones (United Nations Protected Areas). Today Pakrac is a town divided in two: the border between the Serbian and Croatian controlled areas leads through the town. Pakrac is almost completely destroyed. There is hardly a single house which survived the war without any damage. Many houses are left in ruins. Today normal daily life is returning to Pakrac: some one thousand people have come back to the town to try to rebuild their old lives. They are being helped by international volunteers and the Croatian Anti-War Campaign. The first volunteers came to Pakrac on July 6th 1993. Fourteen volunteers from all over Europe and Canada started - after preparation in Zagreb they began three weeks of reconstruction work. This was organised by Service Civil International SCI, Suncokret (sunflower) and the AntiRatnaKampanja (Anti War Campaign). The international volunteers work together with Croats and Serbs who have stayed and who have already themselves organised work groups. Work has taken place on public buildings and on the houses of old people who have lost their relatives in the war and who are prepared themselves to join in the work. Consequently close contact is developing between volunteers and local people. At five o'clock in the morning the volunteers get up and go without breakfast to work. Piles of stones, wood and other material, which were once houses, are waiting in Pakrac and in the neighbouring Lipik to be taken away. At nine o'clock breakfast comes, then lunch is at 12 'clock on the construction site. At 2 pm the volunteers finish their work because it's just too hot to work. In the afternoons volunteers have been involved in other forms of reconstruction - social sharing and exchange such as visiting families, organising activities for children, language classes, art restoration in churches and a weekly local radio- programe. The evening belongs to discussions in the local pubs, the first businesses which returned to the destroyed town. Challenges The reconstruction work in Pakrac and the rebuilding of social structures can only be a slow process and depends on support from foreign countries. The whole project is very fragile and is only possible through the goodwill of the Serbian and Croatian local and national authorities. The smallest incident could make the stay of the international volunteers and the reconstruction work impossible. To create the base for solid and permanent peace will take decades. Practical help of reconstructing houses and social help to break through the isolation of the people in Pakrac is a first step in this direction. Hopefully the Serbian local authorities will free the way so that reconstruction with volunteers can start as well in the Serbian part of the town. Every step of understanding is a great success and demands big efforts. Project To find the volunteers working in Pakrac and to get the needed funds for the reconstruction, information about the Pakrac- Reconstruction has to be provided. Up to september 17, when the 5th group started, 45 volunteers from 12 countries spent more than 6000 working hours in reconstruction and more than 300 hours in social projects. The importance of the Pakrac-Reconstruction- Project for other future projects is obvious. The international volunteers, with help and support of UN-Vienna Office, will provide once to twice a week a Newsletter on email, called "Volunteers Information from Pakrac - VIP". Volunteers will draft the actual political and security situation in Pakrac, the results and problems of their reconstruction and social work, their personal experiences and needs. VIP is published on international email-conferences listed below and accessable to everybody. A printed and copied version will be available for local relief organisations, autorities, visitors and medias. Specially it is provided to former volunteers for their efforts in fund raising and material support to the Pakrac Reconstruction Project. On the other side, the connection with email provides the volunteers in Pakrac also information from the rest of the world and the country as well as a fast and easy way of direct communication about problems and needs to Zagreb and abroad. Thereby it can be good support for the local young people, starting the project of a youth magazin. The volunteers prepare VIP together. Everybody can bring in his and her ideas. Martin Schaefer and Burkhard Pranke will take care for the tecnical side. UNOV will provide access to the computer and telefonline, till the volunteers get their own office space or till another solution is found. In agreement with Annet O'Gorman and other UNOV-staff, Martin and Burkie are allowed to use the UNOV facilities. Roland Brunner, Martin Schaefer, Burkhard Pranke, Goran Bozicevic, after discussion with the 5th group of volunteers.