Members of Baraka members and several other students and teachers are helping with providing food for  Nota Bene (local charity fighting homelessness by giving people work as salesmen of magazine similar to The Big Issue) . Below you can find out more about this charity and if you have the time and energy, we will be glad if you’ll join us!

How did it start?

At the beginning of March, we decided to have a quarantine within Baraka. It occurred to us that it would be great if we could somehow (securely) help our surroundings. We were lucky, because at that time Daniel Pastirčák and people from the CB Kaplnka (Chapel) reached out to us with an opportunity to help the salespeople in Nota Bene, which were extremely endangered by the COVID-19 situation for they lost their income. We agreed and the collaboration begun. We sent out a call for volunteers and others responded!

How does it work for us and for the other volunteers?

For the Chapel, the project is run by Palo Beliš and for Baraka/Bilgym, by Samo Kecer. They are the ones who reached out to organizations and later facilitated a call for individual donors who provided the food.

At the end of March, we sent out a fill out form in which the students, teachers and alumni of Bilgym could sign up for transport of products from various donors into the school building. The members of Baraka then sort out the products into different categories according to their types. This is done in restricted spaces in the building. Subsequently, packages are made containing various products. These packages are then distributed by volunteers = for the moment, these volunteers can’t be students so they wouldn’t be exposed to the risk of being exposed.

The Nota Bene collection/whip-round (of food) was launched on the 20th of April. It works like this: There is a large white van parked in front of the school. Individual donors can come and place packages containing food/ drugstore supplies, or other products. There is always a volunteer overseeing the receiving of the packages. At the end of the day, the packages are unloaded and sorted out into categories just like the food from organizations and individual donors so that the packages are proportional.

At the same time there are cooked meals received from canteens each workday. They are usually brought by students. The bakery in Petržalka also regularly donates a generous amount of pastry.

What has already been achieved and how can you join us?

Thanks to our partners and individual donors we have already distributed 78 packages since the beginning of the project (data from 3.5.2020). Each package contains a week worth of food. You can help as well, for example through distribution of the food or through a single or a regular support in the form of packages of food. We are also launching a new project through which you can bake a cake for homeless people. You can bring them into the building of the school each Wednesday from 14:00 to 15:00. If you

Any help is welcome.

Why help the homeless people? (reflection from Salma)

„The society is just as successful, as it can take care of its weakest.”

My story with homeless people has begun long before the corona pandemic in the Community of St’Egidio where I started to regularly meet with them for supper. 🙂 

Yes, I was afraid at the beginning, but after the first encounters I found out that they are just normal people like we are. Most of them are educated and have been successful in a certain period of their lives but are now going through some rough patches. It’s understandable for life is an unsteady road. They are different from us, because they don’t have the safety and warmth of a home. They usually don’t have a family or anyone whom they could turn to when they need help. Therefore I, who has the gift of having a home, family and friends wants to share with them. For me they aren’t simply just homeless people, they are my friends. It fulfills me and gives me energy when I help them and throughout this experience I realize, that I should be grateful for every little thing I have.

Text: Samuel Kecer, Barbora Romanová, Salma Alhenami
Translation: Barbora Romanová

Photo: Eva Bročková