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, Tomasz 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.
Sana Afzal, KERBB Project Leader (Enactus Queen Mary)
I was first introduced to Barka UK after working closely with the organisation to provide cosultancy for the charity and to aid the creation of a new employment programme. As a member of Enactus, myself and my team immediately identified that we shared many of the ideals of Barka: empowerment, social enterprise and social integration.
However, it was not until I completed my two week study visit to Poznan, Poland – the birthplace of Barka – that I truly realised just how inspiring and ground-breaking both the work and people of Barka are. On my trip I was fortunate to experience the work of Barka on the ground level, visiting communities of previously unemployed and homeless people, social enterprises run by them aswell as attending conferences and meetings with the Sadowska family to discuss future change. I hope to briefly reflect on each of these areas.
Senior Probation Officers Toyin Folawiyo and Fiona Parker learning about the Barka Foundation work in Poland.
Toyin and Fiona from the relaunched Foreign Nationals Unit (FNU) joined delegates from other organisations including Homeless Link and Turning Point in order to gain the necessary understanding of the context their Eastern European clients come from, their motives for coming to England and what might be the difficulties to helping people recover or return when they get into difficulties in the UK.
Visit to the Barka Foundation in Poland by John Downie and James Morris
A deputation from London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham visited the Polish Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) the Barka Foundation in and around its headquarters in the Polish city of Poznan. The borough was considering entering into a contract with Barka to offer an outreach and reconnection service for destitute and vulnerable A8 migrants on its streets. This visit was made in order to ensure that reconnection would be an appropriate and effective response to the borough’s own inability, because of restrictions on the use of public funds, to intervene in the deteriorating condition of A8 street drinkers & rough sleepers.