A few words and photos from the trip to Poland – thank you again for allowing me to join the study visit.
It was invaluable to see where it all started and experience first-hand the enthusiasm of your parents, Tomaz and Barbara, and your sister Maria. The welcome I received – especially with the recent tragic developments in Ukraine – touched me deeply, and I was very grateful for that.
What’s more, it was easy for me to see how the success of Barka has come about (and, judging by your recent trips, clearly continues to spread) – the enthusiasm of all staff and programme participants is palpable, and quite infectious! (and in this I include the assistants I got to know on the trip)
What struck me was the way in which Barka staff, leaders and all those involved in its work simply got on with the job at hand: be that building accommodation for themselves, helping others to learn new skills, or translating. While we received a very warm reception everywhere we went, there was a sense that these people were ‘doers’, not ‘talkers’. This struck me because, here in the UK, I often feel there is a sense of people doing a lot of taking and not much doing!
What people need is solid support – not just the promise of a better future, but the tools with which to create it. To me, that’s what Barka is about and that’s what I saw people doing. It made me feel really positive about the sort of future that vulnerable people Barka works with can have within their grasp.
The photos I attach are just episodic impressions, trying to capture the atmosphere of the communities we visited. I hope you enjoy them.