During the Festive season, one thing that often brings us together as families is food. Moments, memories and feelings are created that stay with us.

Rahel, from the Boaz Trust, is no different:

“I started cooking when I was seven. Because my mum was not there, me and my sisters were the ones to cook. I learnt to make injera from my sister when I was eight or nine.”

Growing up, food brought people together, and was about so much more than what was on the plate: 

“In my culture if you have guests then you cook and eat together. Food is something that brings people together. If you are eating, you have to share it with others.

You would not be comfortable to eat alone in the presence of others. We eat together from one big plate. It is all about love when we eat. This is what makes a family united. When we are eating together we speak about how we are, how we are feeling. We get to know each other. It brings solidarity.

If you are eating alone and another person is eating alone, you might as well be in different places. When you eat together you learn of each other’s feelings. At first when I came to the UK it was really hard. In my culture you greet people on the bus, you share your food. Here it was difficult because I realised you don’t do that.”

Over the years coming together to share food at Family Night has meant so much to us. Circumstances make this more difficult at the moment, but on Thursday 9th December, we were incredibly excited that Rahel taught us how to cook traditional dishes on our first Boaz cookalong – we were so glad that many of you were able to join us, and so was Rahel:

"I am excited to be cooking with Boaz. I like introducing people to my culture. Here I have learnt to accept the culture and now I can introduce people to something from my culture. It makes me very happy that people want to learn how to cook a dish from my culture.” 

At this time of heartbreaking news about the dangers of desperate attempts to reach the safety of this country, and disgraceful efforts to discredit and criminalise people seeking safety, for us the cookalong is about more than the food we will prepare together. It is a chance to come together and show welcome and support to people seeking sanctuary. 

And that is what we do every day at Boaz. We stand with people, offer safe places to stay and the support needed to be able to move out of destitution. This Christmas we are able to extend welcome, generosity and kindness to more than 80 people currently accessing our accommodation and support. We are so thankful for the part you have played in that. 

But with the menace of the Nationality and Borders Bill, the threats of evictions of people granted asylum accommodation during lockdowns, and the danger of the pandemic, we know that for many people who are seeking sanctuary, the next year is filled with fear and uncertainty.

To respond to this, the work of Boaz will be needed more than ever, and we can’t do it without you.  

So, if you are able to do so, please will you stand with me and the rest of the Boaz family this Christmas, and give a special gift of – in the words of Rahel - togetherness and solidarity, to help all of the people we are able to work with now, and the many others who we will meet in 2022? 

From Boaz's staff, voluneers, and clients, thank you and Merry Christmas.
Ros Holland
Chief Executive
The Boaz Trust is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1110344 at Kath Locke Centre, 123 Moss Lane East, Manchester M15 5DD. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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