FOPSIM participates in the Creative Europe project Risk Change, along with ACE KIBLA (Slovenia – coordinator), ACAX (Hungary), ZINC (France), MMSU (Croatia), RIXC (Latvia), MSUV (Serbia), and University of Athens (Greece). As part of the project, FOPSIM is organising a number of activities. On the 20th of July one of those activities took place in our offices in Mosta.
The event used food – a major part of culture – to facilitate a discussion about inclusion and empowerment. Migrant Women Association along with the Saha Food Truck and Familija Serbian Restaurant joined us to offer valuable views and lessons from their experience.
Upon the welcoming address and the Risk Change project, as well the project EVOLVE and two upcoming projects, TA BOOM and MYgrant METAMORPHOSIS, Steven Frigerio, project officer at Migrant Women Association, presented the main challenges that migrant people, and in particular women, face
As shown by Mr. Frigerio’s presentation, when we talk about migration, there both negative and positive notions coming to mind. Some of the words that first come to mind are Discrimination, Unemployment, Violence, but also Opportunity, Diversity, Culture.
As any other person, migrant women have to sustain theirselves and their family. However, they come across more difficulties than most people. There is the language barrier that makes it more difficult to be part of the society or join the workforce, as well as the lack of work experience. In addition, they are responsible to take care of their children and they face discrimination
On this point was the “empowerment” exercise that followed. Mr. Frigerio, surprised us with four (4) files. Upon teaming us up in 4 groups, he distributed randomly the four files. Each file contained a paper with multiplication exercises. Two of the files had from one calculator, one file had two calculators and one had zero calculators. All groups had to find the answer for the sum of the multiplications distributed.
Upon completing the task, followed a discussion. The first think to be noticed was that all groups had the same assignment, but one group had more tools to complete the task and one had less than the other two. The second observation was the way the team with the least means felt after they realised they were given less chances to complete the task. They felt angry and wronged. The next remark was that the other teams, did not notice that one team had less means, and therefore did not consider helping them. Once this was stated, the teams asked them why they did no ask for help. As it was noticed, sometimes, disadvantaged groups do not know how to reach out and ask for help.
Migrant Women Association has introduced an initiative called Saha Food Truck. The Saha Food Truck is a project aiming at the empowerment of Migrant Women. The team is a group of women who love cooking and want to share this love. The women of team come from different countries and cook their traditional foods. So, each week there will be a different cuisine introduced.
Following the presentation of Saha Food Truck, Mr. Vladimir Stojanovic from the “Familija” Serbian Restaurant presented the experience of opening a restaurant. The restaurant was initiated from Mr. Stojanovic and his two partners, all Serbians from the same city who all shared the dream of opening a restaurant and share their home’s food. As Mr. Stojanovic described, it is very important to have good planning and budgeting. In searching for a place to host their restaurant, the partners decided that it was very important for them to find a space that already had a professional kitchen, as to do this from beginning takes a lot of time and a significant amount of funding. Of equal importance is staying true to quality of the food. The three partners were dedicated into having food that tastes exactly as it does in their home town. If this cannot happen for any reason, it shall not be served. Recognising that most of the Serbian Community members, which is their prime target group consists mostly of medium to low wage, they decided to create a place where money meets value. Or else, keeping the quality high and the prices low. This aims at making the restaurant accessible to all
Following, Ms. Gonca Kara Demir presented the funding opportunities presented by the Climate-KIC programme. The programme offers funding opportunities and trainings for sustainable businesses. If a person or a group of people have an idea for a business, they can apply for the programme. Apart from the funding opportunity, the programme provides training for business development abroad, to help the participants prepare. For more information click here
Upon all presentations, we had the chance to try some the delicious food of Saha Food Truck while talking and getting to know each other a bit better. The event was a pleasant experience for our time and we received positive feedback from the participants. We look forward to meting you in our next events. Please follow us on Facebook and our website to stay updated. For any further information, do not hesitate to contact us.