Ze względu na rozpoczęcie prac modernizacyjnych serwisu mogą występować okresowe przerwy w dostępności strony. Postaramy się by takie sytuacje trwały możliwie krótko i zdarzały się jak najrzadziej. Prosimy o cierpliwość i wyrozumiałość.

czwartek 25 kwietnia 2019
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Human Enterprise Triumph – Barka Foundation

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Human Enterprise Triumph – Barka Foundation

“In 1985, Tomaz Sadowski  a psychologist with experience of working in group homes of troubled youth, prisons and psychiatric clinic, alongside with 14 other persons, established an experimental Centre for Psychological Rehabilitation in Poznan” (New beginning Pg 19).

 “The structure of Rehabilitation Centre bothered part of the medical environment, which said that the proposed model “does not fit into the psychiatric help”. The steps to remove the psychologist from managing the centre were undertaken” (New beginning Pg 20).

 “At first it was planned that the house would be run on rotational basis by families every three months. Eventually it turned out that the house needed a permanent presence and interest of people prepared to perform this kind of job. Tomasz Sadowski along with his family moved into the community permanently” (New beginning  Pg 22).

 “When in 1989 Tomasz moved in to Barka with his wife and kids, the couple was employed by the health service. In 1991 they become unemployed. This way they were in the same situation as the other members of the Community”. Then Tomasz’s statement follows: “We do not take care of our problems, we simply live here. My friends, who are psychologists as well, can earn money on the problems of the disadvantaged but without me. If I was an employee here and would leave the house at 3pm or 4 pm, nothing would be here. There must be some confrontation of attitudes and some example. I cannot provide services here. I need to give evidence with my life”. (New beginning Pg 24).

 The Barka Foundation which embraces a multiplicity of activities is a success story without parallel. Here we come face to face, with people or collection of people who under “normal” conditions would be destitute living a life of despair, misery, hopelessness, scavenging and looking forward to the ultimate exist from life as the only chance of liberation. Through circumstances of poor choices or factors out of their control they find themselves being “excluded” from mainstream joy and benefits open to society.

Novelty, belief, resilience, perseverance, conviction and turning hope into action by this collection of individuals changed the view point and concepts of society into recognising that the excluded, the marginalised, those that society reject to the peripheral due to a variety of reasons resides within them innovation, ingenuity, resourcefulness that is vast reservoir of potential.

In all cases, this reservoir of potential as was the case of Barka at time of formation “does not fit into” the accepted norms. While normality or accepted forms in whatever sphere of human existence develop over time and gain acceptance it is not a true reflection of human potential.


Foundation of Barka.

The Barka foundation is a success because of its novelty. Its unique feature is recycling the basic human desire, urge, that hope which is in every human being to have a fulfilled life. The broken in society deep inside them resides hope, longing and expectation that a time and moment will arise through which they can also became useful, contribute to or be part of success or influence others.

Unfortunately society is blind to this fact and it consigns this segment of humanity to the periphery or margin becoming a source of servitude. They became the fuel or raw material for the privileged. This being the case, assistance extended to the marginalised or excluded in society is designed to neutralise acts of desperation which would destabilise society.

In Barka we find this norm challenged through re-energising these broken people. This fact is acknowledged in the following quote “recognising and developing of the potential of such individuals who were formally perceived as “ballast” or burden for the local community and now have become “the capital of the local communities” and are included in the support for others in need, and in rendering services to the benefit of the local community.” Page 8.

It is important to clarify here that in most cases help is given such as the various programmes and provisions extended to the BRM communities here in the UK. However, these result in relief and not solutions even though they are not intended to be so.  This is rightly captured in page 10, quote “Barka is inspired by Christian ethos, although it calls itself a secular organisation. This ethos is translated into contemporary language and bases on the relief in mutual help. It is free from the Christian “Charity model” from Victorian era -  still popular in Great Britain, whose groundwork is a palliative attitude, being only a half measure, smoothing the symptoms without curing the disease” 

Change requires a catalyst, an incentive, a force mild or strong, need, desire or want to move, become or transformed into another state. In Barka we find all these ingredients, in the opening quotes to this discussion paper we meet Tomaz Sadowski energised with a strong conviction not only to relieve the suffering of people whose lives are broken but to rehabilitate and transform them beyond who they were originally. This to him called for involvement through participation in the change process becoming part and parcel of the transformation.

On the other hand we experience the willingness, participation and desire for change and rehabilitation. This is elevated by resultant positive change or outcome experience by the individuals. This is well captured on  page 10 quote “Activity at Barka in new circumstances – not limited by the old tradition, affected its success, which transmits into thousands of persons using the Barka system in the past ten years.This system makes it possible to develop programs, in which people do not wait for free lunch, but contribute to build and develop mutual interactions”.  This notion of harnessing collective talents and abilities is captured on page 13, quote “To be a social activist, to act for the common good, not – to sacrifice oneself, but to find one’s place in the bigger group, the community. To be able to be together, be oneself – but not only for oneself, also for others. Is it all possible?. Isn’t it an idealistic dream?. I encountered such a model of self–realisation ten years ago when, by the occasion of a journalist’s visit, I went to the precincts of Austrian biggest glacier, Pitztal”


Replicating Barka.

The Poland success model revolves around persons that whose lives are broken, marginalised or excluded by influence of drugs, alcohol or material want such as peasant farmers. This can easily turn out to cloud the vision or goodness that the Barka experience offers society. Indeed glimpses of this are evident in New beginning. It is noted of Barka on page 338 quote “ They are also an inspiration for a change of the way of thinking of social integration in Great Britain and Ireland, where high professionalism of services prevents processes of transformation and development”. On page 183, we note the Polish experience of exchange visit to Italy, in which the participants of social enterprise are of a different social exclusion conclude, quote “After this visit, I discovered, that we have a long way to go to reach such standards”.

In this regard, it would be beneficial to note page 260, quote “ Comparing of Italy and Polish cooperatives indicates big differences concerning proportions in numbers of employees with social problems and persons fully belonging to the market, managing social cooperatives. In Poland they cannot exceed 20% under condition, that their qualifications are indispensable for efficient operation of a social cooperative. In Italy proportions are almost inverse: approximately 30% are disabled persons, addicts or resourceless people, the remaining group are able-bodied persons or possible volunteers who are trained for the job and prospective employment”.

The extracts above are just glimpses to the fact that change of circumstance through collective harnessing of abilities and resourcefulness whatever the state of the group can and will uplift them to higher levels of achievements.


Relevance of Barka

We note above a number of truths among them

  1. In whatever state we are in, there exists within us an element of exclusion.
  2. The capabilities or know how within the group influences or contributes to the baseline or start point of achievement. A highly talented group has broad latitude as exemplified by the Italian experience.
  3. The UK programmes are palliative and contribute to relative comfort and not designed for groups or persons to excel. It confines the “excluded” to perpetual pass the bowl around.
  4. Within the existing mind set, the BRM peoples will continue in the periphery of society.
  5. Success is achieved through participatory involvement. All have to be committed and work towards a defined goal or outcome.
  6. “As discussed, the role of the social economy is not so much as bringing an (excluded) man back to the market, but rather bringing the market back to the man.” Page 253.
  7. “The nucleus of a cooperative must consist of responsible, motivated, involved and active people.” Page 228.


Barka and African Communities

 In the discussion above it has become explicit that the Barka experience or model is applicable and can enrich a whole spectrum of people or groups in a variety of state of human existence. It does not discriminate the drug addict, alcoholic, the farmer or the professional. As illustrated by the example of Italy, the professional is at an advantage.

Within the African communities, we do have resource disparities, some are within the Polish model with low skills and others with high skills.

The Kenya Community Association (KCL) Strategic Plan, it highlights the community’s advantaged earning power. It is reasonable to state that, the family unit has potential of £42,000 annual income which is twice of families employed within industry. However, it is sad to note, that giving £120 annually to the Association is a burden.



I have conviction and strong belief, that there exist the will, there exist persons and group of individuals to constitute the nucleus that not only see with clarity the goodness, potential and opportunity of the Barka success mutated to fit our circumstances but the enabling environment is within us.



Baiba Dhidha Mjidho (Kenia)                          London. 05.06.2011.