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One World ~ One Community

The mission of Barka UK is to provide severely excluded Eastern European migrants with the opportunity for reconnection and social reintegration.


Barka UK was established in June 2007. It is affiliated to the Barka Foundation, Poland. For twenty years Barka has been working in Poland with excluded and vulnerable persons. Among its many projects, Barka has developed vocational schools for the unemployed, numerous social and economic enterprises, a program of accessible housing and self-sufficient communities in the countryside.

Following the end of communism, Eastern European countries faced numerous social problems such as high unemployment, eviction of families from their homes, homelessness, drug and alcohol addictions and low levels of education. In these circumstances over two million Eastern European nationals emigrated to seek better lives in Western Europe, many settling in the United Kingdom.

In 2006 Barka Poland was contacted by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in association with Housing Justice UNLEASH and The Simon Community. They were concerned about homelessness among Eastern European migrants. They saw many who had lost their jobs, became cheated by unscrupulous employers and dishonest job agencies, fell victim of gang masters and ended up on the streets. Many were addicted to alcohol and drugs, suffering from physical and mental health problems and spiraling towards ruin.

Eastern European migrants currently have no social security protection during the first year of their stay in the UK. Hostel accommodation is not available to them, as is detox and rehab for drug or alcohol problems. We have witnessed cases of Eastern Europeans dying on the streets because no help in available to them.

London Operations

In 2007 Bernadette Cassidy offered Barka the use of her house in London. This quickly became the hub of operations, used as both office and accommodation for the Barka team. Barka UK was established that year by two senior officials of Hammersmith and Fulham Council together with Mrs Cassidy and a few Polish nationals.

Barka UK is now working in fourteen London boroughs (Hammersmith, Fulham, City, Tower Hamlets, Barnet, Lambeth, Southwark, Brent, Hounslow, Ealing, Chealse, Kensington, Slough, Reading) in partnership with local councils, outreach teams, day centres and Eastern European Consulates.

For the last three years, Barka UK has been working in partnerships with civic society organisations, local borough councils, Central government, Central and Eastern European Consulates, the House of Lords, Committee of the Regions and European Parliament.

The mission of Barka UK is to provide severely excluded Eastern European migrants with the opportunity for reconnection and social reintegration.

I have been privileged to be both CEO and a Board member of Barka UK. For 20 years I assisted my parents who established the Barka Foundation in Poland. Creating conditions for people to grow and develop their potential as human beings is very close to my heart.

Ewa Sadowska (Barka UK CEO)

Barbara Sadowska participated in the EU- Africa Business Forum

Barbara Sadowska , Vice President of the Barka Foundation, participated in the EU- Africa Business Forum, held on 31 March and 1 April in Brussels. The Forum, attended by over 1000 participants, […]