Betty Sisson – Study Visit to Poland

First we would like to thank the Barka Foundation for inviting Mendicity to Poznan Poland and for the hospitality they extended to us. We had a very busy schedule outlined by Dagmara Our party included two people from DCC, Gerry Folan and Lisa Kelleher, myself and Charles from Mendicity one detox nurse from Simon, Mary Fleming,. one director from De Paul Ireland, Brian Higgins and my husband George who took an interest in the business setups and was invaluable at asking the right questions regarding the financing of projects etc,. Thanks to Dagmara our schedule worked very well, our bus was waiting outside with our driver Leschek after every visit.

During our trip we stayed in a place called Chudobczyce, which was just outside Poznan. This is a collective farm of approx 40 acres. The farm has a large market garden area where all the vegetables are grown. Their livestock is mainly sheep, goats and pigs. There is ongoing construction for further expansion for living and educational needs. There is a large apartment block where many families live, many of these men have been through the reconnection experience themselves and have decided with their families to stay and work for Barka.. One of the people we met was Tomasz Flinic, he had been in prison since he was a young boy until Barka helped him, he told us his story himself. He has devoted his life to helping others. He now lives in Chudobczyce with his wife and children. Our ‘hotel’ on the farm was very simple, clean and comfortable. We ate every day at the main house, the food was wholesome and plentiful. Altogether we visited 19 places in three days, in some cases the communication was difficult as everything had to be translated. We asked many questions and all were answered willingly.

A short history of Poland is helpful in under standing the situation there. Poland is bordered on both sides by Russia and Germany. Poland’s history was defined by large estates owned by the aristocracy; many ordinary Poles worked the land. At the outbreak of World War Two Poland was invaded by Germany at the outbreak of World War Two. The horrors and turmoil of war was impounded by the invasion of Russia after the war, when there was a return to collective farming. Many Poles were displaced after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Many emerged from a system where they had been taken care of by a communist government yet were very poor, the economic system was destroyed and many became homeless. In 1989 Barbara and Tomasz Sadowska opened their home and soon there were16 people living there. This was the beginning of the Barka Foundation.

We visited many centres during our study visit, where social enterprises have been set up such as, market gardening, computer training, dress making, cooking/baking, people are encouraged to set up their own businesses as co-operatives and work for themselves. The Government has become more involved as they see how successful they are.

Reconnection Programme

Our group were particularly interested in the homeless situation as we wanted to know how social integration is achieved through the reconnection programme. Most interesting for us was a visit to a homeless hostel which had previously been used as an army barracks. This unit housed 180 people and Barka has taken over the running of it. The general profile of the people living there were mostly elderly both men and women with a few middle aged and younger, it appeared to me that many had been on the streets for a long time with subsequent health problems due to substance abuse and addiction .I also noted that many people appeared to have underlying psychiatric problems, There were three to four people to a room They were also allowed to stay all day and seemed to have plenty of freedom to move around, to go outside or chat to people in their rooms. Barka has done its best to modernise the place however it still felt very institutionalised and people had very little room for privacy, in spite of this they seemed happy. There is absolutely no drinking allowed, and no person is allowed in who has drink taken. They did admit however in the Polish winter when temperatures drop to minus 20 they are allowed in to sleep on the floor of the common room or library

Another interesting meeting was with government officials in the social welfare dept., we also met with social workers. It seemed to us that they had a much tougher attitude toward long term unemployed than we have in Ireland They have embraced the Barka programme and cooperate with them by referring people to their centres Barka stress the dignity of work and see the acceptance of long term unemployment as counter productive in a healthy society. The officials were shocked at the amount of money received in Ireland, in Poland they receive approx 200 euro a month We questioned their policy of not allowing people who drink into their hostel at night, their reply that ‘these people always survive’, brought an outcry from the Irish group particularly from DePaul, Mendicity and Simon who said, no they do not survive, they die, have accidents, end up in hospital or prison.
Our most memorable meeting was with eight or nine young men who lived on the farm at Chudobczyce, these were young people who had been reconnected from several places, many from England. some of them went to England with the promise of work from a Polish man, they were exploited by this man and were not paid for months when they were paid they were given £200 for six months work, and then he abandoned them. They had poor English, little money and they were illegal. They ended up in a squat, started drinking and their lives spiralled out of control, they were eventually contacted by Barka on the street and were persuaded to return home everyone one of them said they were delighted to have their lives back, they had been in Chudobczyce for several months working on the land and on construction. Most of them said they would go back to their families but a couple said they would love to go abroad again but this time they would plan it properly and not trust anyone.

Most people who reconnect to Poland go to stay in the farm near Poznan, there are three farms altogether. There they get medical attention. Detox and therapy are provided by professional people outside. The farm is their home and they are looked after all the time by leaders who themselves have been through the whole process. Some make contact with their families and eventually go home but many stay and work on the farm and they are paid by the Co-operative. They seemed quite happy and grateful to Barka for their new life

 Summary

Poland is a beautiful country very like Ireland, the scenery is quite pastoral, the land is not divided by hedge rows and ditches but wide expanses of fields coming almost down to the road, there are few cattle and horses, all of the land is tilled for growing. Poznan is just like any other bustling city, however the reality is there is serious unemployment. Poland does not have the structures in place to deal with the demands of an economy in recession. There is a culture which expects people to look after themselves and to find work however menial.

The Barka philosophy is to provide people with the skills and training to get back into the labour market, they believe in the dignity of work; and that people can work together to achieve this. They believe that long term dependence on state welfare is demoralising. Their method is one of positive reinforcement and encouragement. We were impressed as we visited the various social integration projects at how industrious and happy the participants were.

We reckonise that reconnection is only part of the Barka programme, yet it is this area that is of most interest to Mendicity. After this study visit we were reassured that upon arrival in Poland people who are reconnected are taken care of and looked after. We believe that Mendicity’s partnership with Barka is worthwhile.

33 thoughts on “Betty Sisson – Study Visit to Poland

  1. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality
    articles or weblog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this
    website. Reading this info So i’m glad to express that I’ve
    a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
    I most surely will make sure to do not fail to remember this
    website and provides it a look on a continuing basis.

  2. If some one needs to be updated with most up-to-date technologies after that he must be visit this site and be up
    to date daily.

  3. This is very fascinating, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and sit up for seeking more of your wonderful post.

    Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  4. If some one needs expert view on the topic of running a blog
    afterward i advise him/her to visit this webpage, Keep up the nice work.

  5. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i got here
    to return the want?.I am trying to in finding issues
    to enhance my web site!I assume its good enough to use some of
    your ideas!!

  6. hello!,I love your writing so much! proportion we be in contact more approximately your article on AOL?
    I require a specialist on this area to resolve
    my problem. May be that is you! Looking ahead to see you.

  7. アイブ氏は、私は、その衝突の色や不健康な文法の場合を知らない、と言ってますが、このブログは恐ろしいです!私は、しかし、あなたはおそらくこの主題に少し少しより多くの努力を置く必要がありますが、知ったかぶりか何かのような音にしたいいけない、意味しています。その本当に興味深いのは、しかし、あなたは、任意の点で適切にそれを特徴付ける人をいけません。とにかく、私の言語で、このような多くの良い情報源がありアレント。私はあなたのサイトに戻ってリンクをご参照している場合

  8. 精准医疗又叫个性化医疗,是指以个人基因组信息为基础,结合蛋白质组,代谢组等相关内环境信息,为病人量身设计出最佳治疗方案,以期达到治疗效果最大化和副作用最小化的一门定制医疗模式。因此相较传统医疗,精准医疗具有针对性、高效性及预防性等特征。

    美国医学界在2011年首次提出了“精准医学”的概念,今年1月20日,奥巴马又在美国国情咨文中提出“精准医学计划”,希望精准医学可以引领一个医学新时代。10月8日,2015全球创新论坛纽约峰会在纽约穆迪总部大楼举办。乐土投资集团CEO刘如银在峰会上介绍了他的精准医疗生态圈的想法。

    刘如银介绍了乐土投资在美国的国际化实践,包括在美国的地产投资拓展,以及最新投资的医疗健康项目。乐土投资集团(CLIG)定位以硅谷的高科技投资为引擎,以科技医疗和互联网金融为两翼,链接最具价值的深科技健康项目,服务国际大健康和科技发展。

    美国财政预算计划在2016年拨付给美国国立卫生研究院(NIH)、美国食品药品监督管理局(FDA)、美国国家医疗信息技术协调办公室(ONC)等机构共2.15亿美元用于资助这方面的科学研究与创新发展。

    刘如银说:美国的精准医疗主要是围绕着基因组、蛋白组等方面的检测,也就是围绕分子生物学的特性,针对个体化的病理特征进行治疗。而我们所关注的不仅如此,更是系统化的,全过程、全要素、全局性的对医疗过程和临床实践进行优化。我们所指的精准医疗也是针对每一个病人的具体病情,正确选择并精确的应用适当的治疗方法。刘如银认为:精准医疗的最终目标是以最小化的医源性损害、最低化的医疗资源耗费去获得最大化的病患的效益,其前景不可限量。

    精准医疗要做到个性、高效及预防的关键在于筛查和诊断,因此基因测序等检测诊断技术的发展是关键。成本的下降让基因测序商业化市场的打开成为可能,基因测序技术的成熟和商用经过了多年的发展,1980 年自动测序仪出现,2001 年完成了人类基因组框架图标志着这一技术的成熟,2007 年二代基因测序技术大幅降低测序成本,使得这一技术应用出现可能,以走在前列的Illumina 公司为例,该公司自2007 年起把当时每个基因组的测序成本费用从1000万美元降到了当下的1000 美元, 根据Illumina 公司数据,全球NGS(二代基因测序)的应用市场规模预计为200 亿美元,药品研发和临床应用是增速最快的领域,增速超过15%,肿瘤诊断和个性化用药是最有应用前景的领域,市场规模120亿美元。乐土投资与Illumina以及新一代的基因检测公司Genalyte, Centrillion都有着合作关系。

    刘如银说:精准医疗作为医疗模式的革新对提高我国国民健康水平有重要意义,将在基因测序技术发展和国家政策的推动下迎来黄金发展期。精准治疗是下一个新兴朝阳行业,我们关注基因测序、肿瘤诊断及个性化用药等相关投资机会。

    全球创新论坛纽约峰会由全美华人金融协会(The Chinese Finance Association, TCFA) 主办。全美华人金融协会于一九九四年在美国成立。分布在世界各地的会员来自华尔街投行、基金、监管部门、和学术界,已成为联系中美金融界最重要的桥梁之一。协会定期举行学术年会。协会本部设在纽约,并在波士顿,华盛顿,旧金山,伦敦,香港,北京和上海等金融中心设有分会。

    原招商银行行长马蔚华,中信银行美国分行行长文兵,汉世纪投资管理有限公司合伙人吴皓,联合国南南合作办首席经济与投资专家杨庆宏等参加了本年度会议并发表了讲话。

  9. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I
    find this matter to be really something which I believe I would
    never understand. It kind of feels too complicated
    and very vast for me. I’m taking a look ahead to your subsequent post, I will try to get the cling of it!

  10. Nader fajne zaaranzowane mieszkanie. Która jest jego powierzchnia?
    Czy wyspa w kuchni w wysuwanym stolem widnieje robiona na zamowienie?
    Oraz czy szafi w kuchni tez sa na zamowienie?
    I nadal chetnie zdobylabym namiary na kanape, wyglada na dobrana!

  11. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before
    but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m certainly happy I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  12. I know this web site gives quality dependent
    articles or reviews and other material, is there any
    other site which gives these kinds of information in quality?

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres email nie zostanie opublikowany.