Study visit of City of Antwerp and Fedasil delegation in Barka Network in Poland

Barka Network in Poland was hosting on 4-6 October 2016 a delegation from municipality of Antwerp with Mr Fons Duchateau, deputy mayor of the city of Antwerp and director for Social Affairs at the municipality of Antwerp as well as a delegation of Fedasil : Belgian Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers.

Stichting Barka was invited in 2014 by the city of Antwerp to run a support programme for homeless and vulnerable Middle and Eastern Europeans in Antwerp. Since that time an outreach team of experienced leader and assistant is working in the streets and dayshelters of Antwerp. There have been 83 homeless individuals, mainly Polish, helped to reconnect from the streets of Antwerp to their families in the countries of origin, reintegration and rehabilitation places in the countries of origin ( mainly within Barka Network of rehabilitation communities and reintegration programmes in Poland) hospitals etc.

The delegation wanted to get to know Barka Network in Poland and see the reintegration projects. The guests visited Barka Foundation office in Poznan and the communities, social integration centres, social enterprises and local partnerships for social inclusion in the area of Poznan. The delegation spoke to the participants of the programmes and inhabitants of rehabilitation communities, including migrants from The Netherlands and Belgium, who returned within the Reconnection projects run by Stichting Barka.

During the visit also the further cooperation of Barka and the city of Antwerp as well as Barka’s cooperation with Fedasil were discussed.