Pledge me campaign to help the launch of pop-up former refugee eatery

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Home Kitchen is set to bring delicious food and raise awareness of the former refugee community to the people of Hamilton.

Founder Tania Jones says after following the refugee crisis and volunteering in Kara Tepe camp in Lesvos, Greece she came home to New Zealand wanting to look for ways she could better support those who lived a refugee experience to thrive in Hamilton.

“What I knew was we needed to provide work and training opportunities to make those who have moved here feel like a valued community member, and before long the idea of Home Kitchen was born.”

If the PledgeMe campaign is successful Home Kitchen will be a pop-up style restaurant initially using the space in Yalla Yalla Café.

The Kitchen will work with a number of people who have lived experience as a refugee and refugee services such as Red Cross, Sharma, and ROC with the aim to recruit six former refugees to begin with from a variety of backgrounds.  

“While in Greece I meet and stayed with a Greek couple Katerina and Nikos, they had dedicated their lives to creative a loving space where refugees can come and eat with friends, play music, dance and learn English.

“I want Home Kitchen to be similar. I can’t wait for the people of Hamilton to eat a diverse ethnic cuisine cooked with heart by our vibrant former refugee community. 

“It is exciting to think people will connect over kai, share stories and create new memories, and even make new friends.”

The PledgeMe campaign hopes to raise $30K to establish the pop-up restaurant, cooking classes, and to provide work opportunities for a core team of individuals who have lived a refugee experience.

“We’re asking people to show our project some aroha by helping us achieve our PledgeMe goal. In return we promise amazing taste experiences brought to you by a diverse group of individuals with passion and culture to boot,” says Jones.

This is the first step for Home Kitchen, in the future the plan is to roll out other experience like catering, fundraising events that support the refugee community both in Hamilton and oversees and also a food truck to take Home Kitchen across New Zealand.

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