Barka Ireland Team (Mirek Zaczyński and Aleksandra Kubiak) visits Barka project in Reykjavik, Iceland (28th of Sepember 2017 – 2nd of October 2017)

The purpose of the visit of Barka Ireland Team (Mirek Zaczynski and Aleksandra Kubiak) was to learn about homeless services in Iceland and to see the work of Barka with vulnerable Eastern European migrants in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik really tells me what a small city is supposed to be in the 21st century. Apart from the small amount of public transport and the sprawl, I really think this is a good-looking role model for a small city when it comes to infrastructure. The buildings are all contemporary, even somewhat futuristic.

We went to one of the homelessness shelters. In city of Reykjavík there are three temporary shelters. Although the most popular “shelter” for the homeless people in Iceland is the police station. Most can just show up there and obtain a place to sleep for the night, although on some nights committing a small crime is necessary if one wants to get a bed. There are no homeless day centers as such which, in some countries, can also provide job training and placement as well as substance abuse counselling. We had an opportunity to meet with one of the managers of the shelter. During that meeting we found out that between 30 and 50 percent of those who take advantage of the shelter are foreigners, most of them Polish, with a legal residence in Reykjavík. Most of the times these are men who came here for work. Following the economic crash, they lost their jobs and homes and battled alcoholism. They have no place to stay and it’s hard for them to seek treatment, since no treatment is offered by Polish-speaking people and these men typically do not have strong English skills.

This meeting for me personally was very interesting because we not only found out interesting information about rights of homeless people in Iceland but I could also see that the person who manages that place was able to openly talk about his own addiction and that he has been sober for 20 years, I could see that working with the homeless people was very close to his heart.

Afternoon we spent in Kaffistofan cafeteria which serves free hot meals and snacks between 10:00 and 17:00. Everyone is welcome, and the cafeteria is visited by anyone looking for a free meal, a place to sit and read a paper or a place to meet with friends. We met a Polish group of homeless people who have lived in Iceland between 4 to 13 years. We spent there a few hours and chatted with our new Polish friends. Their story is quite similar to the stories of homeless people we’re working with in Dublin. Of course homelessness and rough sleeping are far more complex than simply finding yourself on the streets one day; any number of issues – mental health, drugs and alcohol, crime – play their part.

One person said that in Iceland it’s easier to be homeless that in other country. He travel to different parts of Europe. He know that “here is good place to be homeless”. In Iceland after 6 months of work person in able to receive social welfare and other benefits (rent support, illness benefit including social welfare payment). Our friends were very friendly and openly talk about their life in Iceland. Most of them said that one day soon they will stop drinking and will look for job, and say that if people want to work, it is no problem, they can find a job next day.

The day after we went to City Hall to meet a lady who works there in the homeless sector. Joanna Marcinkowska is Polish who lives in Iceland for 13 years. From that meeting I definitely learned that homeless people in Iceland have a stronger social support than in Dublin. Reykjavik city is also implementing Housing First program and is accommodating people in social housing, although the list for those kinds of places is quite long. Most individuals who are homeless are between 21 and 30 years old but the youngest is 18 years old and the oldest is 75. More men than women are homeless.

Joanna Marcinkowska said that the city has enough resources for this group. “We just have to make better use of what we have.” Yet, when she says it’s not so bad to be homeless in Iceland, she means the available resources are providing basic comforts, but they may not be as geared towards helping the homeless people to get back on their feet long-term and to rebuild their life.

“Nobody in Iceland has to starve. Nobody in Iceland has to sleep outside,” Joanna says.

When everyone is struggling, those who work look at the ones who don’t, and see people who spend their day being drunk, don’t have to pay rent, don’t have to pay for food, or anything except for their alcohol or drugs. In my opinion we have to do something to assist these individuals to become more responsible and take responsibility for their lives.

A new project that was briefly discussed during that meeting – a community home for the homeless migrants lead by themselves-it’s definitely green light in the tunnel of homelessness.

Our Saturday and Sunday we spent traveling around Iceland. This was only thanks to kindness of amazing team of Barka Iceland: Dorota Harembska, coordinator, Jurek Stuglik the leader and Magda Kowalska the assistant. Their warm welcome and a great companionship during our visit and our road trip made our stay very pleasant and full of interesting time. Thank you so much Dorota, Jurek and Magda.

Aleksandra Kubiak

Barka Ireland

Barka Ireland Team (Mirek Zaczyński and Aleksandra Kubiak) workshop- Reel Multiplier event, Kilkenny, Ireland 29th of August, 2017

Roots Reel has designed and education workshops and training program involving learners from under resourced communities including people with disabilities, minority communities, refugees, people seeking asylum, women, youth, Travellers, long term unemployed men, people from diverse cultural backgrounds, adults who have been early school leavers, statutory and non-statutory  organizations and local government.

Presentation of documentary productions and workshops undertaken to date address the following thematic issues:
Human Rights, Citizenship and Identity, Globalisation, Education, Community Development, Gender Equality, Equality and Diversity, Democracy, Environmental Sustainability, Racism and Disability





Reconnection of vulnerable EU citizens in the month of August 2017

We are proud to share that in the month of August, 16 persons were reconnected via Barka IE to their home countries, 2 persons were reconnected to Barka Community in Poznan and  Wladyslawowo where they are in process of rehabilitation and job training. . This is 5 women, 1 child  and 10 men.

The nationality breakdown of reconnected individuals:

Polish – 6 persons

Romanian – 8 person

Croatian – 2

Reconnection of vulnerable EU citizens in the month of June 2017

We are proud to share that in the month of June, 9 persons were reconnected via Barka IE to their home countries. This is 3 women and 6 men. Among those reconnected there is 1 Polish citizen, 7 Romanian citizens and 1 Lithuanian citizen. The individuals returned to their families.

From JANUARY 2017 to JUNE 2017, 46 individuals returned via BARKA IE to their families, 4 persons were reconnected to Barka Community in Poznan where they are in process of rehabilitation and job training.

The nationality breakdown of reconnected individuals:

Polish – 21 persons

Romanian – 15 persons

Lithuanian – 4 persons

Slovakian – 2 persons

Czech -1 person

Latvian – 1 person

Hungarian – 1 person

Italian -1 person


Program- „Wielkopolska Warta Poznania”

Serdecznie zachęcamy do obejrzenia programu TVP Poznań pt.: „Wielkopolska Warta Poznania”, z dnia 27 czerwca br., w którym, w pierwszej części, Dagmara Szlandrowicz z Fundacji Barka Poznań oraz Katarzyna Dojka pracująca w Barki Holandia, opowiadały o doświadczeniach w pracy z osobami bezdomnymi na ulicach europejskich miast, w kontekście premiery filmu „Dziurawa Skarpeta na emigracji”.

Program do obejrzenia pod:

Fundacja Barka poszukuje pracownika/Barka Foundation is looking for a Polish employee

Fundacja Barka poszukuje pracownika programu pomocy bezdomnym obywatelom krajów Europy Środkowo- Wschodniej w Reykjaviku

Fundacja Barka poszukuje pracownika  pilotażowego 6-miesięcznego programu pomocy bezdomnym obywatelom krajów Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej w Reykjaviku.  Barka prowadzi od 10 lat programy pomocowe w Londynie, Dublinie, Hadze, Rotterdamie, Antwerpii. Projekt  prowadzony będzie we współpracy z Urzędem Miasta Reykjavik.  Jego celem jest pomoc obywatelom krajów Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej w wyjściu z bezdomności, uzależnień i innych trudności życiowych. Projekt będzie prowadzić holenderski oddział fundacji Barka.

Strony internetowe Fundacji Barka w Polsce oraz holenderskiego oddziału: ,

Opis stanowiska pracy: praca w dwuosobowym zespole z osobą mającą osobiste doświadczenie bezdomności i uzależnień, które przezwyciężyła; praca w miejscach pobytu osób bezdomnych w Reykjaviku ( noclegownia, centra dziennego pobytu i inne miejsca)

Wymagania: narodowość polska, wykształcenie wyższe ( preferowane nauki społeczne), dobra znajomość j.angielskiego, znajomość j.islandzkiego będzie dodatkowym atutem, gotowość do odbycia dwutygodniowego szkolenia w Holandii i Polsce jako etap rekrutacji.

Miejsce pracy : Reykjavik

Wymiar czasu pracy: pełen etat

Przewidywany czas  rozpoczęcia pracy: grudzień 2016


Pierwszym etapem rekrutacji będzie rozmowa kwalifikacyjna w listopadzie 2016 ( 24-25 listopad) w Reykjaviku. Drugim etapem rekrutacji będzie dwutygodniowe szkolenie w Holandii i w Polsce, w projektach Fundacji Barka w listopadzie/grudniu 2016.


Osoby zainteresowane prosimy o przesłanie cv oraz listu motywacyjnego na adres: do 22 listopada 2016.


Barka Foundation is looking for a Polish employee to a support programme for homeless  Middle and Eastern European nationals

Barka Foundation is looking for a Polish employee for a 6 month pilot support project for homeless Middle and Eastern European nationals in Reykjavik. Barka has been running support programmes for vulnerable and homeless persons in London, Dublin, The Hague, Rotterdam, Antwerp for 10 years, The project in Reykjavik will be run in cooperation with Reykjavik municipality. The aim of the project is support and guidance in overcoming homelessness, addictions and other life difficulties to homeless Middle and Eastern European nationals in Reykjavik. The programme will be run by the Dutch branch of Barka Foundation.

Websites: ,

Job description: work in two-person team together with an experienced employee, who had himself a personal experience of homelessness and addiction in the past; working at places where homeless persons come to in Reykjavik ( night shelter, day shelters etc); full time work.

Requirements: Polish nationality, higher education ( preferred in the field of social sciences); good command of English language; good command of Icelandic language will be an extra asset; willingness to participate in a 2-weeks training in the Netherlands and Poland as a part of recruitment process.

The project will start in December 2016.

The first stage of he recruitment process will be an interview. Interviews will take place on 24th and 25th of  November 2016 in Reykjavik. The second stage of the recruitment process will be a 1-2 week training in Barka projects in the Netherlands/Poland in November/December 2016.

Please apply with a detailed cv and a motivation letter to by 22nd of November 2016.



Gender and Migration. Workshop@University of Calabria



Aleksandra Kubiak from Barka IE took part in a 5-day training on gender equality issues in the context of migration. Workshop  which included lectures at the University of Calabria and study visits in a camp for refugees.

October 16,Sunday

Teatro dell’Acuqario- project assessment. Introduction to the project and discussion about desirable outcomes.

October 17,Monday

University of Calabria. Intercultural dialogue. Meeting Association La Kasbah (professor Enza Papa). Methodological issue. Lecture followed by discussion on the topic.

Intercultural dialogue is essentially the exchange of views and opinions between different cultures. Unlike multiculturalism, where the focus is on the preservation of separate cultures, intercultural dialogue seeks to establish linkages and common ground between different cultures, communities and people, promoting understanding and interaction.

University of Calabria. Migrants and refugees in Italy and in Calabria (professor Maia Francesca D’Agostino). Lecture on the topic of migrants and refugees issue in  Italy.

October 18,Tuesday

University of Calabria. Gender and migration. Theoretical aspect and methodological issue (professor Sabrian Garofalo and Stefania Salvino). Lecture followed by discussion on the topic.

In approximately three decades, gender and migration scholarship has moved from a few studiest hat included women immigrants or included gender as a dichotomous variable to a burgeoning literature that has made significant contributions to understanding numerous aspects of the migration experience. The larger field of migration studies, however, has not yet fully embraced feminist migration analysis and theory

Meeting with migrant/refugees organization Cosenza (Calabria)

October 19,Wednesday

University of Calabria. Gender and migration. Interviewing migrants women (Elena Musolino and Valentina Fedele). Listening to the numbers of the interviews of migrants/refugees women and discussing the problems that migrants/refugees women are experience in the receiving country.

Women who immigrate to Europe in the 21st century come in search of economic opportunity, to join family members, or as asylum seekers and refugees. They arrive through legal channels or can be unauthorized; they migrate voluntarily or can be forced to migrate; and some are victims of human trafficking or other forms of exploitation.

October 20,Thursday

Day in Riace, a small village in Calabria. Riace is widely described in the media as the village where migrants are welcome. It all started in 1998, when a boatload of 300 Kurdish refugees arrived on the local shore. One man sat up Citta Futura ( town of the future) with the ambition to both help refugees and revive what was then a dying rural village. That mam later become mayor:Domenico Lucano, whom everyone affectionately calls Mimmo Lucano. Taking refugees allowed the village to preserve basic services such as school, but also shops and business that had virtually disappeared, Lucano said: „The arrival of these people fueled dynamics that create hope. For the people who arrived, but also for the people here”