Barikama: Migrant Entrepreneurs creating Social Inclusion

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Barikama is a social cooperative founded in 2011 by 7 African boys residing in Rome:  Suleman, Aboubakar, Cheikh, Sidiki, Modibo, Seydou e Ismael.

The meaning of Barikama is resistance.  This association of social promotion is based on a micro-income project that aims to foster social inclusion through the sale of organic vegetables and yogurt.

The aim of this cooperative is to give those who do not have an income the possibility to find their own sustainable means. For this reason, Barikama creates a network for them to promote learning Italian, through the interaction of locals and foreigners, and secondly, to increase their sense of confidence.

Since 2014 the project has grown over time and Barikama now incorporates into its staff Italian boys who have Asperger Syndrome. The African guys of this cooperative consider the interaction and integration of these two different realities very important and above all they seek to prioritise offering opportunities to them. Some tasks performed by the employees who have Asperger’s at Barikamà are functional to overcome obstacles typical of people with the developmental disorder.

Recently in 2015, Barikama, with Grandma srl and Casale di Martignano won the call for the Chiosco-Bar Assignment in the Nemorense, a park in Rome. They also see to the cleaning and maintenance of the park.

Significantly, Barikama is involved in the conflict against the exploitation of agricultural workers, especially of migrants. The cooperative has been able to attract much funding and it has won numerous awards. Their participation in many conferences, presentations, as well as newspaper, radio and television appearances ensures that they are preceded by their own fame!

 

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