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9KITCHENS, the power of plants with a social purpose

For those who just got to know our initiative, 9kitchens is an idea that started during the second lockdown when I was bringing food items to Syrian refugee women donated by Mutual Aid Food Willesden. I thought that those ladies could work if they were given the chance.

Since September 2021, women who have faced hardship (financial, domestic abuse, social isolation) have joined me in the kitchen (at The Avenues Youth Project, 3rd Avenue) to make plant-based meals that are sold locally.

We have helped women with various ethnic, social backgrounds and personal stories. But all of them have this in common, they can not find a job but have children to look after. However, they are fighters and want a change in their life.

All our Sisterhood Chefs are migrant women. Some have faced dramatic personal challenges:

  • 2 refugees from Syria who could not access the job market

  • 2 migrant women who were victims of domestic abuse

  • 1 single mum who did not have any income even just to pay for transportation

We have provided our Sisterhood Chefs with:

  • A source of income

  • Training: Food Safety Certificate level 2 / Self employment status

  • Nurturing and flexible working environment: The women can work straight after dropping their kids to school and until they need to pick them up.

  • Additional support depending on their most urgent needs. Navigating the welfare system is complex and finding the right support can also be a challenge especially when language is a barrier.

We can not list all the benefits for the women who join our kitchen but just to name a few, by joining a different environment than their own neighbourhood or their family circle, they develop confidence and social skills. They meet people outside their own community and can practice their English. The working setting also enables them to gain or enhance personal and professional attributes that are important for future employers.

Everyone benefit from this enrichment from different cultures: with 9kitchens, we are creating a more diverse workforce.

From September, we look forward to transferring our initiative to 9k Sisterhood CIC (Community Interest Company so we can grow even more and support more women. This legal status confirms that we are operating as a "not for profit" company. All profits generated will be used to grow and develop our business to benefit local underprivileged women.

Thank you for supporting us!

Diane and Kieu-My

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