Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2024!

Dear Friends,

Every year on Christmas Day, Barka’s children stage a Nativity Play, which depicts events from over 2 thousand years ago.
Below are some lines from the Play:

‘-Who’s wandering around there at night? I’ve locked every door, move on you tramps!
-Receive Mary… Give us a place to stay overnight, even in the hall, we are very tired…
-This is not an inn, nor a hotel, get out of here, it’s a waste of time! -Even Almighty God can’t help you, I won’t open the door to you tramps! Go and sleep in a dog kennel somewhere…!’

And so Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

This scenario has been repeated many times in the history of humanity. Also in the beginnings of Barka. The founders were wandering around staying at friends’ places until they finally found an abandoned building in the village of Wladyslawowo. They moved in there with a group of desperate people who had no sense of belonging and who suffered badly from the trails that life had dealt them. The neighbours said that all sins were here under one roof. In this new “Bethlehem” with holes in the roof, at the table made of doors, Barka’s group spent their first Christmas together.

In over 30 years of our history, we have witnessed the birth of a “new man” many times. Surrounded by a brotherly community, the man slowly leaves behind his old self: old habits, addictions, selfishness and distrust. Tomasz, Barka Founder said that the most difficult thing was to learn to control our “old nature”.

Tomasz inspired us to find courage by taking up new challenges so we could avoid the reefs and shallow waters, thus we could enter into safe harbours for the benefit of survivors.

Today we are witnessing the birth of brotherhood and a new generation of initiatives in many local communities, social enterprises, social projects in partnership with private companies, universities and other friendly civil society organizations. All those that welcome the vulnerable and enable building bridges between us. One can see how humanity grows in those places when one learns about specific life stories, looks at the faces and names, and through one’s involvement in projects for the common good.

We wish you, Dear Friends, to experience the joy of discovering new possibilities. So that those stranded on desolate roads can find their ports in our hearts and communities. Let a culture of continuity with previous generations be further developed, because we would not have been here if it had not been for those who came before us. Let us become closer through a joint dialogue that allows us to bring out the differences which are enriching and which affirms the value of each human being.

Let the Star of Bethlehem illuminate our path and help dispel the darkness.

With friendship,

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