Rugbeians from 11 different countries come together to cook food from around the world and make new friends

Rugbeians from 11 different countries came together to share food and make new friends as part of a project to bring communities together.
Photo courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.Photo courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.
Photo courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.

The World Kitchen project, partially funded by the county council, is aimed at reducing inequalities in ethnically diverse communities/

The event sees food-focused sessions that teach English through joint cooking and conversation.

They received the grant in November 2021 and used it to purchase tabletop hobs and kitchen equipment, as well as providing supermarket vouchers to allow those cooking to purchase their own ingredients.

Miriam Sitch, a director of Rugby Community Hub, said: “We have been delighted that two of our Timebuilder volunteers, who came to Rugby from Syria about four years ago, have enjoyed making and sharing some of their favourite Syrian delicacies.

"They invited a friend from Algeria to join in the cooking on the third World Kitchen.

"On each occasion, we have been joined by a number of asylum seekers, currently in Rugby, making food from their own home countries: Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq.

“World Kitchen has helped challenge preconceptions about asylum seekers which has had a positive impact on our HUB and church community. One of the main benefits has been the friendships which have started to develop with some of the asylum seekers and some of those who are now settled in Rugby.

“We know that many if not all have come through some traumatizing experiences and if we can provide a warm welcome and an environment in which a taste of home can be enjoyed, then we are very privileged. It has been a very enriching and humbling experience.”

Dishes have spanned a range of cultures, with attendees sharing recipes and working together to produce fusion dishes.

One of the participants, originally from Yemen, made baked salmon at the first event, and returned for the second to cook spicy rice and chicken kabsa.

She said “I can’t thank you enough. Everyone is so happy here.”

And organisers hope to keep the project runnin – with more English language sessions and more donations of clothing to asylum seeker families planned.

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