Migrateful: cookery classes run by refugees & migrants, now online

November 6, 2020

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

As we are now in lockdown again I was thrilled to learn about this innovative, online cookery school, Migrateful.

Migrateful: cookery classes run by refugees & migrants, now online

Migrateful runs cookery classes led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants struggling to integrate and access employment. The cookery classes provide ideal conditions not just for learning English and building confidence, but also for promoting contact and cultural exchange with the wider community.

The Migrateful idea was borne following discussions with a group of refugee women at a Time Bank project in Tower Hamlets. The women in the group were all very qualified, yet were unemployed because of language barriers and their qualifications were not recognised in the UK. When asked about the skills they could share with the group, many of them said they could cook. This gave Jess the idea to launch Migrateful in July 2017; with the aim to get these women into employment by supporting them to share their incredible cooking skills with the world.

Due to legal, linguistic and social barriers, finding work can be extremely difficult for many migrants. Being unable to provide for themselves and their families has significant negative effects on self-esteem and mental health.

Migrateful’s mission is to empower and celebrate refugees and vulnerable migrants on their journey to integration, by supporting them to run their own cookery classes.

Obviously they currently can’t visit offices to demonstrate their cooking skills and people are not allowed to book classes in private homes. So when a girlfriend contacted me to tell me about their online cookery classes. These classes are taught by the Migrateful amazing refugee and migrant chefs on Zoom! You can learn to cook delicious food, meet new people, and enjoy a cultural exchange in the fun, intimate setting of your own kitchen.

These classes are getting booked up very fast so you need to go now to the Migrateful website to purchase a ticket at £22.15 for one of their November Zoom classes.

I have booked Amani’s Vegetarian Syrian cookery class on 18th November at 6.00pm. Chef Amani’s cook-along dishes will be Mosakaa (Aubergine & Tomato Mezze), Fatosh (Arabic Flatbread, Vegetable and Herb Salad) and Jajik (Cucumber & Yogurt Salad)

Amani, Syrian refugee, teaching online cookery courses via charity Migrateful

Message from Amani: “I am Amani, an Arab from Aleppo, Syria. I am 26 years old. I live with my mother and my younger sisters. I left Syria in 2013 when I lost my father, brother and husband in the war and we fled to Lebanon and stayed there for six years, which were hard and difficult years. I worked there more than one job and studied, and then we applied to travel to the United Kingdom and it was approved after many years of waiting.

When I came to the UK, I started to learn the English language. I started out like a butterfly – I was locked up and then saw freedom. Then I got a job with Kent Refugees Action Network and I used to help them with cooking sometimes. One day I cooked with my mother and some students for about 60 people, and this was my first step in my dream of being a great chef.

I love writing and I would like to publish a special book in my name and tell about what I have suffered from the war. I love cooking because I see cooking is the path to kindness and love, for food is a language that no one can hear except generous people. My teacher proposed this institution to teach cooking and I agreed to join. I am happy and grateful for my joining Migrateful because I can now see my dream clearly with them.”

Go to the MIGRATEFUL website to find out more info. Click HERE.

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