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School of Social and Civic Animation | Civic Europe
(Social) Entrepreneurship, Social inclusion

School of Social and Civic Animation

Empowerment of destitute groups of individuals living in homelessness shelters and rural communitites


Who is behind this?

Ewa Sadowska

Fundacja Pomocy Wzajemnej Barka (Barka Foundation for Mutual Help)


Who is joining forces?

Stowarzyszenie Integracyjne Wspolnoty Barka


Fundacja Rewaloryzacji Miasta Śrem


Fundacja Edukacji Ekologicznej Zbigniewa Sciany



Idea pitch

This initative aims to awaken the potential for personal growth, civic engagement and leadership within a group of 50 homeless men and women who live in shelters and community homes in very rural areas of Western Poland. We will organise 10 education and formation sessions which will be mixed with integration activities and sharing personal experiences by the participants about the progress they made on the path of overcoming social exclusion. The project will involve the local community.

Where will your project idea take place?

Greater Poland Region of West-Central Poland and Opole Region of Southern Poland

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The project aims to tackle lack of social and civic participation within the selected group of 50 homeless persons .
By gaining awareness and learning the skills ( communication, working with others in a team, importance of participation in eg the village council meetings, reaching out to the members of the community one co-exists in, learning how to resolve conflicts, set realistic goals eg with regards to challenges one faces(addictions, homelessness, broken family ties, lack of funds to make a living) the participants will be able to make necessary steps to trigger changes in their situation. The projects aims to tackle lack of positive leadership among destitute groups of persons by working to empower 10 leaders of the group of 50 homeless participants who will complete the program.

Who are you doing it for?

The project will embrace 60 homeless men and women and out of this group 50 individuals will complete the programme. 74% are men, 26% are women. All are affected by the homelessness crisis. Over 80% has primary and vocational education, 16.8% secondary education (mainly technical) and 2.3% completed a higher education. Only 6.2% are in employment, 15% have a pension, 36% receive social assistance benefits.
74% are individuals over 41 years of age, including 42% who are over 60 years of age. Over 70% of persons are addicted to alcohol or others psychoactive substances. Many years of drinking alcohol in extreme cases led to some neurological changes, resulting in, for example, a secondary illiteracy. Homeless persons are a particularly vulnerable group.

How do you plan to get there?

Recruitment & promotion meetings:
- Promotion meetings with community leaders and staff of the homeless shelters' staff (information about the project, its model, planned activities and expected results.

- Recruitment of experts-tutors for the project : sending out/publishing information about the project, collecting expressions of interest. (Barka Foundation has some experience in running educational projects addressing low-qualified individuals and has a pool of experts to recruit from).

*During sessions participants will be provided with accommodation, meals, didactic materials, integration activities, additional support for the disabled individuals.

Educational sessions will take in the following order:

1. Educational session in Community home for Homeless Persons in Poznan
2. Strzelce Community of the homeless
3. Chudobczyce village & farm -Community of the homeless, organisation of a picnic with the villagers, integration activities
4. Marszewo farm -Community of homeless persons
5. Srem shelter for the homeless
6. Wladyslawowo -Homeless Community
7. Rogozno -Social&Professional Integration Centre
8. Komorniki -Social&Professional Integration Centre (meeting will take place in the Museum of Ancient Jobs)
9. Posadowek Community of the homeless
10. Poznan, the last sessions & project summary meeting for 100 guests .

What are the expected results?

Raising the level of social and civic competence of participants : 50 persons (the source of verification: reports, lists of attendance, individual diagnosis).

Upgrading elementary skills by the participants of the project: 50 persons (the source of verification : the opinion and reports of the tutors .

The project will try bringing closer the involved representatives of the Social Support Centres and the homeless participants. Thanks to the project, the Social Support Centres will see their clients of social welfare from a different perspective and will attempt to commission some services to them.

Out of 50 participants who will finish the programme, the project aims at shaping 10 community leaders who will continue to implement the project past its finishing stage.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

One of the 10 sessions will be focused on active citizenship, voluntary involvement in the local community NGOs, instituions, policies, belonging to the European Community and what it means in practise etc (all the other sessions will contain elements of the above).

The session number 2, organised in the Community for the Homeless Persons in Chudobczyce Village (which will take two days) will include integration activities and organisation of a picnic with the local villages. Various kinds of games and sport activities will be organised in the picnic to encourage team work of the homeless participants and the villagers. They will have a task to write a small project proposal together for organisation of a community integration and leisure day in the village.

Why is this idea important to you?

My parents, psychologists, founded the Barka Foundation, over 30 years ago. I was 6 years old then and my younger sister was two. With parents, we moved in to the first community farm which Barka created in a village in Western Poland, with 25 destitute individuals suffering from mental problems, people from gangs, correctional houses, prisons.. from all walks of life. This was a very memorable childchood.
We kept animals and cultivated blackcurrants, tomatoes and mushrooms to make a living. Many people who had been emotionally and physically broken, went through a full transformation in the community and became leaders of next such communities.
Barka Foundation inspires a lot of young people to follow the path of active citizenship, NGO involvement and social entrepreneurship.

€ 36000,-

Total budget

€ 34150,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Coordination - 2500 euros (250 euros/month)
Accounting - 2500 Eur (250 Euro/month)
Promotion including articles in the Street Magazine - EUR 2,000
Experts costs, 10 meetings (including two 2-day sessions) = EUR 5,000

10 educational sessions for a group of 50 people each:
Transportation : EUR 7600
Food -EUR 9500
Accommodation (2 two-day sessions) - EUR 1500
Prizes for the community integration proposal - 4 x 500 = 2000
Educational Materials: EUR 1400
Rental of room : EUR150

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would be grateful for your thoughts and coments on this idea. Do you think it is realistic? Do you think the results are possible to be achieved in 10 months time?
Do you think that persons who have experinced social exclusion could become a valuable members of society ?


Ewa Sadowska

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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