On the 28th and 29th of February, the representatives of Barka Foundation for Mutual Help, Poland, together with its British partner organizations fostering the development of the social economy, participated in a two-day series of meetings in Brussels.

The main subject of the meetings was the Barka Foundation’s new project – ‘The Wielkopolska Region’s social economy supports the development of the African regions’, which in recent days, has inspired the establishment of the first Social Integration Centre in Kenya by Kenya Community Association. Tomasz Sadowski and the chief executive of Barka UK Ewa Sadowska took part in the meetings, which prelude the creation of the international Barka Network for Social Economy, with the office in Brussels.

The visit began with a meeting at the European Commission’s General Directorship for Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid) on funding possibilities for African projects by the European Development Fund and from the European Union’s budget.

The representatives of Barka and its British partners also introduced their latest project to the former President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek. The delegation also attended the meeting on the development of the social economy in Africa, hosted by Filip Kaczmarek, a Member of the European Parliament, the Coordinator of EPP Group in the Committee on Development. The representatives of the Wielkopolska Region, Tomasz and Ewa Sadowscy and their British partners, attended a meeting with the representatives of the Belgium organization providing administrative and financial assistance to the international networks responsible for the implementation of the European Union’s project. In the future, Barka Network in Brussels will unite local governments which have been cooperating with Barka for many years, and the organizations from Great Britain, Germany, Holland and Kenia.

Moreover, Barka’s delegation took part in the meeting with the European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy REVES, and was officially accepted as a member of the REVES network.

In the last part of Barka’s visit in Brussels, its representatives took part in a meeting with Vice-President of Group III at the European Economic and social Committee Luca Jahier, the author of Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on “What role and perspectives for Africa’s social economy in development cooperation?” which is particularly interesting in the context of Barka’s new project.

The Barka delegation also met with the representatives of the European commission’s General Directorship for Employment and Social Affairs who were responsible for the implementation of the Equal program in Poland. The meetings concerned were crucial for the implementation of the planned Barka Foundation pilot project ‘European Equal for Africa’.