Barka NL (Stichting Barka) is affiliated to Barka Foundation , that was created 24 years ago in Poland. Barka Poland developed throughout years and gained experience in helping people who are excluded ( homeless, unemployed, ex-prisoners) to reintegrate socially and vocationally. There have been several programs created to help people grow and develop their potential, like educational programs ( e.g. Social Integration Centres) community programs, creating work places ( through social enterprises) and accessible housing programme. Some of these activities became models and served as justifications for new social legislation in Poland ( e.g. law on Social Employment, law on Social Cooperatives, Law on Public Profit work and Volunteering) Barka in Poland grew and now it is a network of associations, foundations and social business. Barka develops partnerships with local authorities and local business towards social inclusion and solidarity. More about Barka Foundation and Barka Network can be found at www.barka.org.pl .
First homeless migrants support projects of Barka started in 2007 when we were invited by local government to come to London to help Polish rough sleepers there. Similar projects were started in Copenhagen, Dublin and Hamburg. In 2011 Barka was invited by the local municipality of Utrecht to come to the Netherlands and start working with the homeless migrants here. The mission of Barka NL is to provide severely excluded Eastern European migrants with the opportunity for reconnection and social reintegration. We can support individuals within Barka Network projects in Poland, help them return to their families or support them in addressing their addiction and going into rehab. In our migrants support projects we work in the teams of two persons: leader and an assistant. The leader is a person who has a personal experience of homelessness and addiction, that he combated and rehabilitated within Barka Network educational and community programs. The assistant is a person who knows foreign language, has a formal education (e.g a degree in social work, psychology) and provides support to the leader. This method of work proved to be very effective in London, Dublin, Hamburg and Utrecht.
History of Barka NL
Inspired by the activities of Barka Poland, a new foundation was established in The Netherlands on the 9th of May, 1994 and was named Barka NL (Stichting Barka).
The aim of this foundation was to support educational and community projects of Barka Poland in a number of ways. The details of the activities are mentioned below.
- 1994 – Official registration in the Chamber of Commerce under No. 41121526
- 1995 – Agricultural equipment and materials (wool and vegetable seeds) given to Barka PL community projetcs
- 2000 – Dental surgery equipment donated to Barka-Zawady educational project; Wil Braakman, an agricultural expert, visits Barka’s communities in Marszewo and Chudopczyce;
The donation of vegetable seeds
- 2001 – The establishment of the new board of Barka NL
- 2001-2005 – The donation of used camping caravans
- 2002 – Three thousand guilders were raised during an event organised by Therapeutic Centre „Scorlewald”
- 2003 – Participation in the opening of the projects for homeless, De Groene Sticht and Leidsche Rijn
- 2006 – The donation of shoes, sanitary materials, clothes and blankets
- 2007 – The donation of used chairs and tables from St. Mathew Parish in Alkmaar together with shoes and clothes
- 2008 – A study visit of Barka NL board to the Barka UK homeless migrants support project in London
- 2009 – Participation in Christmas Eve organised for the poor and homeless in Poznań;
A study visit of Barka PL members to The Netherlands to familiarise themselves with the organic agriculture and horticulture in Holland;
A visit to an eco-village in Almere;
The donation of 10 wheelchairs
- 2011 – A study visit from Barka PL and Barka UK to The Netherlands; Meetings with the local governments of Utrecht, Den Haag and Amsterdam about cooperation on the projects directed at helping homeless Poles in The Netherlands.
- 2012 – The start of the homeless Eastern European migrants support projects in The Netherlands
Statuten Stichting Barka
Stichting Barka office
Coordinator of Barka projects in the Netherlands