Rev Lord Roberts of Llandudo hosted a presentation of the work of Barka UK, a charity which has reconnected thousands of homeless East European migrants to their families or to support centres in Eastern Europe, in the House of Lords on 2nd December. Amongst the guests were ambassadors and consulate staff from several Eastern European embassies and Consulates, as well as staff from London local councils and the Home Office.
Ewa Sadowska, CEO of Barka UK, spoke of the therapy, training and work opportunities available to the reconnected migrants in the Centres of Social Economy in Poland. The success of those centres is largely due to the ethos of solidarity and community, together with the enterprising and entrepreneurial work of Tomasz and Barbara Sadowski, founders of Barka Foundation, in Poznan. Almost all of the Barka Leaders who now work on the streets were once homeless and addicted and with Barka’s help now make a valuable contribution to society.
Lesley Mallett, Head of North London Housing Partnership and Phil Herbert, Director of Healthy Living Projects in Redbridge spoke of their work with Barka UK whose perseverance with the entrenched homeless people who do not easily ‘tick boxes’ was particularly noted.