Arabian Bites began through the work we do with newly arrived refugees to the country.
Most are Syrian and Iraqi (but there are other nationalities too) and most have suffered trauma and persecution in their home countries and have had to relocate in order to build new lives for themselves and their families.
We recognised that this group of people had skills that could be used, a wonderful culture that could be shared and delicious food too. We began a pilot restaurant in which the refugees learn English whilst they work, learn what it means to work in the UK, understand employment legislation and food hygiene regulations and how to run a business.
Everybody wins! The refugees move closer to being fully employed members of society (which is something they all desperately want). The host community gets to see their culture, taste their food AND support a good cause (and make some new friends from interesting places too).
All proceeds from the sale of food goes back into supporting our new neighbours in getting closer to the workplace, learning English and developing skills.
What do we want to fund?
Well whilst amazing food is one outcome, the real outcomes are the transformations of individuals lives and future. We want to do a number of things: we have been given a café space and a kitchen following our pilot to make our own. But at the moment we have no kitchen equipment or tables or chairs. Funding for these are a priority.
Beyond that we want to be able to make sure the project is sustainable in delivering training and support for our volunteers. We need to be able to fund a volunteer manager to look after everyone, and the business and make sure that the volunteers really do make progress towards employment.