From the 28th of April to the 16th of May 2012, the Barka Foundation’s delegation was engaged in a study visit to Kenya. The main purpose of the study visit was to work out the strategy for the cooperation between Europe and Africa under the banner of the programme ‘Equal with Africa’. After returning from the visit Barka had a meeting in Chudobczyce in order to reflect on the experiences of the trip, and to analyse those experiences. The meeting was attended by the Barka’s cadre, the representatives of the Union of the Barka Network’s Organizations, and the leaders of the associations.

In the first part of the meeting, Tomasz Sadowski discussed the programme of the African visit, the social situation in Kenya, and the expectations of the African community with regards to Barka. There is great hope that, through Barka’s experience, Kenya’s social economy will have a chance to develop.

The main part of the meeting consisted of the presentation of the movies and photos which were taken in Africa. They allowed everybody to gain a better understanding of the African communities’ situation, and the programmes which would be required to be implemented.

Henryk Józefowski, the teacher from the Secondary School no. VIII in Poznań told of the long-term cooperation between the school and the Girls’ Secondary School in Nyiamarimba in Kenya.

Ewa Sadowska was talking about her week-long stay in Ethiopia, which was organised by the Mekelle University, during which she learnt of the local initiatives such as the shoe factory, and the solar panels factory, which provides electricity to the local villages.

It is worth noting, that ‘Europe’s Equal with Africa’ is supposed to be a comprehensive development programme, which aims to connect education, entrepreneurship and the development of infrastructure. The general reception of this initiative has been very positive among Kenyans, as it involves a substantial participation by local members of the society in the programming and managing of resources. The local community members mention that until now, the majority of the initiatives have been imposed on them as opposed to being organised with their cooperation.

At the present moment, there are plans for a meeting in the European Commission to work on the formal base of the programme. We are hoping the decisions will be available by September this year.

Please have a look at the photos and movies from Africa below: