How did it start?
During thirty years Barka has been working in Poland with excluded and vulnerable people, among its many projects, Barka has developed: vocational schools for unemployed (Centres of Social Integration), numerous social and economic enterprises, a program of accessible housing and self-sufficient communities in the countryside.
Similar needs are everywhere in Europe. Since 2007 when Barka started in London, they have been approached several times by different actors in large European cities. Today Barka is in the process of starting centres in Stockholm, the Hague and Utrecht, Berlin and Bremen.
Where did it start?
Barka first adopted a franchise model in 1989 – 2008 within Poland with establishing 20 associations and 20 social cooperatives which have been assembled in a network. Nowadays Barka has been working in 40 sub-regions of Poland on a franchising basis creating partnerships with councils, entrepreneurs as well as organisations in the government projects. In each and every sub-region Barka creates social integration centres and cooperatives.
How does it work?
Barka started to develop the franchising model outside of Poland in 1995 when starting a new Barka Associations in France, the Netherlands, England and Ireland, but within a very specific ”business area”: helping excluded and vulnerable people back to a decent life and in many cases a social accepted life.