About Barca

What could be more precious than childhood? Discovering the world carefree and with great curiosity. It is not uncommon for us adults to wish for exactly this time back.

But that’s not the case for around 50,000 children in Switzerland. They simply don’t know the feeling of a carefree childhood. They have to function on a daily basis. 50,000 children in Switzerland live at the side of a mentally ill mother or father. Withdrawal, sadness, loneliness or even aggressiveness are often the result and determine everyday life. The sick parent is treated, the children are usually forgotten.

And this is exactly where the Barca children’s project of the VASK Zurich comes in. In 2006, two art therapists from Basel recognised the need of the affected children and were awarded the Prix Perspective by the company Jansen-Cilag. Four years later, four art therapists in Zurich founded the Barca children’s project under the auspices of the VASK.

At Barca, the focus is on the child - and this at an early stage and in the long term. A trusting relationship is built up. It protects the children from isolation and exclusion. With creative forms of expression such as painting, modeling, playing theater, making music or telling stories, the child is given creative possibilities to process his or her emotional world and needs. Central to this is the empathetic, age-appropriate conversation about the mental illness of the mother or father.

The four art-therapy trained facilitators at two locations in Zurich, one in Uster and one in Winterthur are networked with psychiatric, medical and educational institutions. The registration of the children is deliberately low-threshold - by phone call or e-mail. The children or adolescents from 4 to 18 years come individually or with siblings fortnightly, in times of crisis weekly, to the accompaniment. The deductible per setting is CHF 15.00 and is covered by the social welfare office in cases of hardship.

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What makes Barca special

The Barca children’s project is a project of the heart and unique in this form in Switzerland. We have consciously committed ourselves to prevention. In other words, we want to accompany and strengthen children before they show psychological problems. This is because affected children are 6 times more likely to become mentally ill themselves in adulthood.

In addition, everyone at Barca works on a voluntary basis. Only the art therapists receive a contribution towards expenses, for example to pay the rent for the studio.

With 150 francs you finance one month of Barca for a child. With 450 francs, a child can attend Barca for a quarter of a year.


We need you!

Since no public funds are spoken for the necessary prevention of this risk group, we are dependent on donations. Crowdfunding helps us to ensure that we can continue to offer our prevention services free of charge to affected families in the future.

As long as there are still children and young people who are left alone in turbulent times, Barca is needed.