ASYLUM SEEKER CUISINE CAN START CONVERSATION
ASYLUM seekers and refugees settling in Perth will be working to change the social stigma surrounding their groups, using food. Welfare and advocacy non-profit CARAD, which supports asylum seekers, refugees and detainees, has received $100,000 from Impact100 allowing them to realise a dream of starting a food truck. Volunteer co-ordinator Joanna Josephs said it would be one of the first social enterprise food trucks in Perth. She wants people to engage with these minority groups and get to know them through food, rather than a generalised public perception. The asylum seeker and refugee clients working with volunteers on the new venture will also be acting on behalf of CARAD clients who cannot speak for themselves: detainees. CARAD volunteers regularly visit Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre in Northam providing education and support to detainees. Sadly, the volunteers are the only visitors most of these people get. Regardless of personal opinion on where the detainees should end up, it’s important to start a conversation with these groups. Learn about their culture, tell them about yours. Taste the dolma or biryani from Iraq and chat about the weather. These asylum seekers and refugees are selling their cuisines to start a conversation. It won’t solve the refugee problems of the world but it will promote acceptance.
Denise S. Cahill, Editor