Cooking for Freedom

We in the Unitarian church have been helping support a very small charity, Cooking for Freedom , for the last 3 years .
          The charity was started by one of the women in the direct provision centre in Hatch Hall, a short distance from our church in Stephen’s Green. At that time they used the funds to buy ingredients so that they could occasionally cook for their families, in borrowed kitchens. Hatch Hall is now closed.
          Currently the project is supporting 15 families in the Balseskin direct provision centre for asylum seekers who are trying to reduce their Covid exposure by cooking in their rooms - by buying small rice cookers as well as ingredients.
          At Ramadan they used funds collected to support many Muslim families in a variety of direct provision centres with the support of the South Circular Road mosque. They have set up a support Whatsapp group which currently has 28 members, checking on support needed in these difficult times by those new to Ireland who are having real difficulty coping.
          The Whatsapp group has been helping asylum seekers access information on self care, health, practical matters, offering emotional and practical support. It also links asylum seekers to other projects such as linking the children in Balseskin refugee centre with the Science Gallery via donated laptops.
The website is Cookingforfreedom and they are also on Facebook as cooking for freedom
          Donations are gratefully received. All the funds raised go directly to those in need. While we look forward to the day that the inhumane direct provision system ends we hope to be able to provide practical support to those already in this system and also to those who are exiting from the system. They have been in enforced dependency for sometimes many years and need support as they transition to living independently.
          To donate look at cookingforfreedom.ie or Facebook Cooking for Freedom
          ( Donated laptops are also gratefully received)

Emer O’Reilly                                      November 2020
Dublin Unitarian Church


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