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Who is Baraka for?

Anyone who is 18-26 years old and passes the admissions process can become a member of the community. The process is aimed at establishing whether the applicant could bring some benefit to the school and the community for them. Older students, alumni, or younger teachers from the Bilgym community may apply for membership. Members of Baraka are interested in their own development, but also in helping others, the Bilgym community and its surroundings to grow. Some of the members are believers, some are not, some are agnostic, doubters or seekers. What connects them, however, is the desire to better understand themselves, the world, and the time we live in. Everyone is welcome.

Criteria

-         A member of the community must be at least 18 years old

-         A member of the community can be an adult student / a gap year student / young teacher / other

-         Psychological maturity and independence are expected from a member of the community

-        A member of the community is determined to live within the community during the school year, and take part in the compulsory program

-         A member of the community must commit to keep the order of the community (Community Rules)

-        Members of the community are expected to make a monthly financial contribution of 200 EUR. This sum covers the cost of accommodation, breakfasts, shared dinners twice a week, and any expenses for weekend trips (accommodation, travelling, and a full board). The running costs, salaries, work and mentoring support as well as the developmental program are covered by donors. However, we do realize that even this monthly contribution may exceed the limits of some applicants. We believe that finances should not be one of the reasons why not to join the community, and therefore we would also like to offer scholarships.

FAQ 

What does a typical day in the community look like?

Every day we start with breakfast at 6:45 am. In the morning and in the afternoon every member works on his own responsibilities (school classes, internship or project). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we meet for dinner and a development or community event, which starts at 7 pm (or earlier for those who are cooking dinner) and ends at 9 pm. How you spend the rest of your free time during the week is your own decision.

Can I join the community for less than 10 months?

The Baraka community program always lasts one school year. That means that we start at the end of August and finish at the end of June. We grow, work and live together which means that we have a commitment to each other and it is needed to adjust your expectations to that.


Is there a provided curriculum for the study program?

Baraka is in its pilot year now so there isn’t a curriculum yet. However, we already know that we will put emphasis not only on personal growth but also on professional development. The studies will be in the form of workshops and discussions with different guests. During the year, our main topics will be identity (Who am I?), context (Where am I living?) and mission (What should I do with this?).

How much money will I need?

The monthly membership fee is 200 euros. The price contains accommodation in renewed spaces of Bilgym, community breakfast every day, warm dinner twice a week and community weekend events outside of Bratislava (accommodation with full board, travel costs). The remaining costs are individual, and they depend on how sparingly you live, how do you eat during the week (if you cook, eat out or choose simple meals, etc.).

Do I need to bring my own towels and sheets?

Yes, it is good to have your own bet sheets and towels.


Will I have internet access in the community?

Yes.

Can I have visitors?

Every good community is characterized by hospitality, but every household needs some time for itself too. For now, we have two evenings, and weekend events reserved for ourselves, the rest is left for discussion.


How much time do I have to spend with the community?

Mandatory time spent in the community: everydays breakfast, a community evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays, one weekend event per month. In the remaining time, you won’t be forced to stay in the community. However, it is highly recommended (according to your options) and that is so because of the development of the community. The community will give you as much as you will give into it.

What about my insurance and employment/job during my stay in the community?

If you are a Bilgym or university student, you can live carelessly because your health and social insurance are paid by the state.

If you aren’t a student and you are not employed, you have to pay everything by yourself. If you are employed, these costs are paid by your employer.

Do I have to be a Christian?

No.

Can I provide my own meals?

We have breakfast together every day and we eat a dinner twice a week together. The rest of the meals are left on everyone’s responsibility (you can eat in the school canteen or cook in the community kitchen. Or stay hungry.)

Is the community a safe haven for “the weary and worn out”?

Here you can rest and work a lot at the same time, but the advantage is that you can do both things alone as well as with others.


Will I need any other things during my stay in the community? E.g. a computer, etc.

Let’s look at it this way: Imagine moving to a dorm, what will you take with yourself?

I am not 18 yet, can I become a member of the community?

No. If the community interests you but you aren’t 18 yet, try to sign up one or two years later.

Do I need to speak English in order to be a part of the community?

The community is a part of a bilingual high school. We will talk in Slovak, but some texts and films will be in English, so you will need it at least on an elementary level. However, the members of the community won’t be chosen based on their English skills.

I am not a student of Bilgym, can I become a member of the community?

Absolutely! If your life goal/vision and mission is consistent with the mission of the community, it is possible to be a part even if you aren’t from Bilgym.

I run several other projects in my life, would these be an obstacle to join in?

You need to count with the fact that you are committing to invest your time and energy into the community for 10 months. Beside mandatory community time, you will have your own project on Bilgym (and a supervisor). If you are a part of other projects, you need to consider this.