Last Friday, Barka UK took part in a meeting with a 15-persons delegation of the FEANTSA Network (The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless).
FEANTSY’s delegates, coming from various European countries, visited Wrocław and Poznań for two days. At the Headquarters of Barka in Poznań, the guests got acquainted with the history of Barka and its founders – and the possibilities of support that families from Ukraine receive in Barka: Polish language courses, assistance in finding accommodation and work, or medical assistance. In the afternoon, a seminar was held with the participation of FEANTSY representatives and Barka UK representatives. Ewa Sadowska and Andrew Keogh talked about the support programmes implemented by Barka for the Polish and Central and Eastern European citizens abroad, living in difficult socio-economic situations in Western Europe.
Barka UK has been implementing the “Returns” programme since 2006, when the authorities of the Hammersmith & Fulham district in London invited the Foundation for cooperation in order to help hundreds of Poles for whom the experience of migration turned out to be painful (struggling with homelessness and addictions or mental health problems). Since then, nearly 25,000 people have returned with Barka to addiction treatment centres, hospitals, civic organisations and families.
The seminar focused on different possibilities of support for people returning to their countries of origin, and the role of governments in enabling the safe movement of migrants and refugees for work and a better life. Barka UK shared the experience of working on the streets of European capitals, in which the main role is played by “leaders after the crossing”. The situation of Great Britain and the rights of European citizens after Brexit were also discussed.
We are glad that, as Barka UK, we can share the fruits of our work with partners abroad. We believe that this will increase solidarity and cooperation between governments and organisations in countries where people emigrated and their countries of origin.