In partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI), the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is highlighting food during Refugee Week (June 16-22) and asking everyone to ‘Share a meal, share a story’.
The theme for Refugee Week is ‘A World of Stories’, and tomorrow Wednesday, June 26, 11am-2pm, SSI will present cultural activities and performances over a shared meal at its Community Kitchen in Auburn, a place where people from different backgrounds cook, eat, dance, learn and create together.
Through the concept of a shared meal, the Community Kitchen reduces social and cultural isolation of community members, including refugees, people seeking asylum and migrants living in the local Auburn area.
Refugee Week celebrations will include an array of activities and entertainment, including tours of the SSI Friendship Garden, a cultural fashion show, and dance and vocal performances.
“This is a place that lives and breathes the ‘Share a meal, share a story’ ethos,” said SSI General Manager, Public Affairs & Communications, Shannon Kliendienst.
Every fortnight the Community Kitchen serves a warm, culturally familiar meal in a relaxed setting that allows for intercultural and interfaith friendships to be formed.
Nasrin Azizi came to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2002. She gained her degree in social work in 2014 and runs a wellbeing group for Afghani women, which aims to decrease social isolation.
“As refugees, we appreciate the freedom of Australia,” she said.
“Dancing was once forbidden in Afghanistan (under Taliban rule) so, by sharing their culture through things like dance and music, the Community Kitchen makes the women in my group feel empowered and builds their self-esteem.”