Banská Bystrica – Eastern Europe’s first community foundation

Beata Hirt

The Healthy City Foundation at Banská Bystrica in Slovakia is Eastern Europe’s first community foundation. Although it was first set up both to raise money and to implement its own programmes, it was soon realized that it could contribute to the local community more effectively by supporting initiatives taken by citizens themselves.

In 1991 the city of Banská Bystrica made a commitment to the World Health Organization’s ‘Healthy Cities’ project, whose mission is to make the city the best possible place to live in.

In 1992 the Rotary Club of Banská Bystrica initiated the establishment of the Healthy City Foundation (HCC BB). Its goal was to raise money for, and implement, programmes and projects which help to improve the environment and quality of life in the city, for example health training for teachers, construction of playgrounds, and training for the members of ‘Healthy Cities’ projects.

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