Barka, the charity we support

The British Slovene Society has been supporting Barka since 1997. It is a charity run by L’Arche, the Canadian parent charity which operates internationally, and was the first charity of its kind to set up in Slovenia in the village of Zbilje, close to Medvode, about 20 kms north of Ljubljana.


By coincidence, David Lloyd, our Chairman, lived in Zbilje when he was  Ambassador to Slovenia and came to know Skupnost Barka well as neighbours and friends. It was the then Society Chairman, Keith Miles, who approached David in search of a ‘good cause’ in Slovenia to donate money collected by the British-Slovene Society, as a result of which the connection was forged. Shirlie Roden, one of our Trustees, and a long-standing lover of Slovenia, has brought her music to the community on a number of occasions.

Historically, Društvo Barka, under the tireless stewardship of Manca and Klemen Kastelic, has lived a hand-to-mouth existence. Staff who come from all over Europe are voluntary and devoted to their work. Only relatively recently has the State made some modest funding available and some money has come from the EU. Barka now has two residential villas  and a magnificent workshop/studio/chapel complex built and donated by a German benefactor. Its 25 or so residents, some who board and some who attend daily, are fully integrated into the Zbilje community and much loved by them.

We invite anyone wishing to donate to Barka to contact the British-Slovene Society Treasurer, Gorazd Kert on

If you wish to learn more about Barka in Slovene, see

Here is their blog where they report on their events:

20 years of British-Slovene Society – Prešeren Dinner on 8 February 2014 with Zoran Predin

We kindly invite you to our Annual Dinner at which we honour the great Slovene poet FRANCE  PREŠEREN on Saturday 8th February 2014 at HOTEL RUSSELL, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE (Nearest stations Russell Square, Holborn, Euston). Drinks from 6.30 pm, dinner at 7.20 pm.


We are delighted that Shirlie Roden and the Slovenia’s leading singer and song writer Zoran Predin and his actress wife Barbara Predin will be performing for us.

M E N U     


Chicken liver parfait, red onion jam, sourdough bread

Vegetarian alternative

Main Course

Braised pork shank, creamed potato and wholegrain mustard sauce

Vegetarian alternative


Fruit mess



Tea/coffee and Chocolate Mints


Half a bottle of wine per person (courtesy of the Slovenian Embassy)

Price (including welcome drink):  £37 for members, £45 for non-members, £25 for fulltime students. Free for members over 80 (a donation would be welcomed).

Capacity is restricted – by reservation only. If you wish to make up your own party, please nominate a host who will book the table in his/her name. Please advise if you have any dietary requirements. In order to avoid disappointment, please complete the attached application form and return it to the address below no later than Saturday, 1st February 2013 and make your payment. We cannot guarantee places for applications received after this date. You should assume that paid-for places have been reserved for you unless you hear from us to the contrary. No tickets will be issued.

A tombola will be held and the proceeds donated to Barka charity.

Please print out and fill in the Application form for Annual Dinner 8 February 2014, and return it either by post or email.

If you wish, you can pay through PayPal below.


Drago Jančar talks in London on 15 January

The Slovene author Drago Jančar will give a reading and take part in a panel discussion in London at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 15 January 2014.


Europe House
32 Smith Square
London SW1P 3EU

The event is on the occasion of publication by Dalkey Archive Press of the 5th anniversary collection of their anthology of Best European Fiction 2014. Short readings and discussion will be followed by a reception.

The event is open to the public, but it is essential to RVSP by 13 January to:

Drago Jančar has penned the introduction to this year’s anthology. Other contributors taking part are Herkus Kuncius (Lithuania), Oskar Magnusson (Iceland), Susana Medina (Spain), Robert Minhinnick (Wales) and Tonu Onnepalu (Estonia), in conversation with  the journalist, Rosie Goldsmith, renowned in the UK for her work in the promotion of European literature.

The anthology includes literary work of Slovenian author Vesna Lemaić titled The Pool.