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Information about barka2_egl

Published on January 13, 2009

Author: aSGuest10332


Slide 1: Barka Foundation for Mutual Help Sw.Wincentego 6/9 61- 003 Poznan POLAND e-mail: Slide 2: Barka 1989-2004 : Changing the Polish welfare system 1. Community 2. Skills 3 . Job 4 . Home 5 . National and international impact Slide 3: Barka budget and social impact – an overview Slide 4: BACKGROUND A few years ago, during the period of transformation in Poland, we were extremely concerned about the situation of many persons who were not in any position to succeed in the new reality. We knew them from diverse centers of social support, where we were working as psychologists, i.e. from psychiatric hospitals, prisons, reformatory institutions, orphanages, etc. The movement SOLIDARITY was then initiated in Poland. It was an uncommon time of rebuilding a free homeland, a period of great sacrifice and generosity. In such difficult times, as a family with 3 daughters, we decided to live in a ruined building of a former rural school in Wladyslawowo, together with those who did not have anywhere to go. This group consisted of single, homeless, elderly, unemployed, addicted and handicapped people (women, children and men). This is how Barka’s story begun. Slide 5: Communities’ program Zbyszek was among the first residents of Barka’s community. He lost everything because of alcohol. In Barka, among other farm-related tasks, he started to breed goats, acquired additional knowledge in France and now teaches others. He married, has a son and lives in his flat. He is the founder of a Mutual Help Association bringing together persons who overcame their problems and weaknesses and want to help others in need. Barka`s objectives are to develop neglected environments by implementation of 4 basic programs, giving assistance to about 5000 persons/yearly. Slide 6: Andrzej did not have any place to go to after leaving the orphanage. During these years he was living in a former military bunker, from which he came to Barka. He has since created the sheep breeding program. Ziuta was living in a forest during some years. Now she fulfils the role of grandmother for children who do not have the care and attention of this important family member Slide 7: After personal bankruptcy and a destructive lifestyle, Wlodek and his family started the education program at Barka. Presently he is responsible for Barka’s community of Wladyslawowo and takes part in the regional Association for Development of Local Societies. Priest Joseph, concerned with the future life of people released from prisons, creates communities and a system of education for them. He lives in one of these communities. Slide 8: Main principles of communities’ functioning: The familial life is normally organized in groups of 25- 30 persons and is based on the idea of mutual help; Recovery (rebuilding and renewal) of old and ruined houses, adapting them for places to live and work; Subsistence through own work (breeding of animals, cultivation of vegetables, services); Living in solidarity with others in need; The importance of a life in sobriety. Presently 20 communities are functioning where about 650 formerly troubled persons live and work. These persons were causing serious problems in the past. Slide 9: In a renovated manor, now a Socioeducational and Co-operation Center, training and conferences are carried out. A model ecologic farming was established on 450 ha of land of a former State farm. Here, among other activities, we are breeding goats, sheep, rabbits and a rare race of native pigs “in freedom”. Economic sustainability of these activities is achieved through investments in energy-saving environmentally friendly heating system and manufacture of bio-fuel, for example. The Center transfers its knowledge to other Central and Eastern European countries. Social - educational programs in rurak area Slide 10: Socioeducational schools established on the idea of linking social help for the poorest with education inspired by Danish Kofoed School Life shared in the community made us aware of the fact that many persons have a low educational level. Therefore, after 8 years of living together, we moved with a group of persons from the countryside to Poznan where in old warehouses and barracks, the first workshops started to be created. The examples are: sewing, bookbinding, welding, general building, canteen and others. Rooms for courses and lectures were organized to teach computer skills, foreign languages, and how to live in sobriety; contacts were made with other educational institutions to empower needy people; recreation activities were organized with courses for inland skippers, for example and other skills. Medical and dental care are available. Slide 11: Beata, social worker, is concerned with the future of poor people. She decided to live among them and carry out educational programs Among people responsible for this program are: Jacek, overcame own addictions and now helps other people to live in sobriety Elzbieta , participated in Barka’s programs, overcame own problems and avoided eviction of her family. Now she continues her education as social worker and works mainly with single women to solve their problems. Krysia, works to rebuild the economic infrastructure in the countryside, transforming bankrupt former State farms, with actions in line with international trends on environmental protection and sustainability. Slide 12: New building of Barka school in Poznan, inaugurated on 1st September 2004 New Barka school gains national recognition Football game featuring the Barka team (representing Poland in the world championships of homeless people) and a team led by Poland vice-prime minister and members of the cabinet. Barka won 8-6. Slide 13: Program of social employment The increasing unemployment in Poland (about 20%) and difficult life experiences of persons taking part in socioeducational programs reduce their chances on the work market. Therefore, they decided to create social enterprises in the following areas: -          second-hand shops, -          rickshaws, -          recycling, -          sale of products and services, -          cooperation with the municipal services for maintaining green areas and with other companies with which Barka has already connections (i.e. employee leasing), etc. Slide 14: Accessible housing program In order to gain experience in creating Accessible Housing, we have been refining our practices and methods over the past few years. We have experimented with various ways to rebuild or renew ruined buildings, transforming them into communities, shelters for the homeless, as well as sites for educational and economic activities. Slide 15: Stages of implementation of the program: Local authorities (Poznan City Hall) transferred to Barka the land for the housing settlement; A modular technology was bought, which allows even less qualified workers to assemble their houses; Projects of houses with 56 m2 have been designed; The first house showing the technology was built; The methodology of tasks necessary to build the house was worked out by persons interested in this kind of dwelling; The first houses will be built in 2005 and will be financed from donations that we have already received. In the future, some of the houses will be sold in the market. Last year we started to implement the program of accessible housing, with participation of persons and families who took part in former stages of our activities of education and vocational activation. Slide 16: Jarek, businessman fascinated with the idea of building accessible houses for people with low income. Among people responsible for this program are: Roman, was living in Barka with his wife and 3 children. Presently, they live in own home and are involved in development of programs to assist other families. Slide 17: Mechanism for program development Barka’s mechanism for social development relies on: The School of Social Animation based on the idea of the so called “Popular Universities” or “Folk Universities”. This system benefits, among others, from the experience and knowledge of people who faced poverty and serious life problems, and today can transfer the knowledge regarding creation and development of programs to fight against social exclusion to other groups from diverse regions in Poland and other countries. New laws regarding social employment and social entrepreneurship, which emerged from Barka’s experiences. They have the support of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, which will enable further financial support for development of social programs in Poland. Building of national and transnational structures: Barka creates Poland-wide confederations and unions of associations and foundations interested in implementing anti-poverty programs and disseminating education on how to build mechanisms of social integration. Participation in programs of exchange of experiences with large European unions such as: EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network), FEANTSA (European Federation of National Associations Working with the Homeless), European Social Platform, ISSAN (Instituto Studi Sviluppo Aziende Non Profit-Universita degli Studi di Trento, Italy), Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, Ashoka (Social Innovation Entrepreneurs), the Animal Welfare Institute -USA, Kofoed Skole – Denmark, etc. Slide 18: Development of programs and internatinal co-operation Places where Barka`s programs are being developed Places of mutual inspiration, education and projects Slide 19: Persons responsible for creation and development of the system Tomasz, after many years of full-time engagement to build Barka’s model, is presently involved in works of the Commission together the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Polish Prime Minister, building the National Strategy of Fight Against Social Exclusion. He created the Poland-wide Confederation for Social Employment and is member of many international networks. Barbara, works to develop socioeducational centers in Poland, cooperates with national and international organizations in new projects and transfers Barka’s programs to other Central and Eastern European countries. Slide 20: Finally, I would like to emphasize that the contribution of the activities presented here have initiated a fundamental philosophical change within the Polish system of social support. Instead of being based on the passive distribution of goods and services for the needy, this improved system, to a great extent, is based on the overwhelming potential of the people in need, their empowerment, and the vast possibilities of social entrepreneurship. We invite you to Barka : © Barka design studio 2003

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