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Sydney

Kabul Social Sydney: For every meal you buy, 2 donate to refugees

At Kabul Social near Wynyard station in Sydney, it was lunchtime and there was a line at the counter.
City officials order meals prepared by Afghan women with flavors from their hometowns.
For every meal sold, the social enterprise donates two more meals. One to refugees and asylum seekers living in Australia and one to someone in Afghanistan.

A summary board shows the impact your project is having.

sauce: SBS / sandra froon

“We have donated over 98,000 meals to date,” said Kabul Social founder Sean Christy David.

“Of that, 49,000 meals were provided to refugees and asylum seekers in Sydney.

“We will provide families in Afghanistan with packs to prepare meals at home so they don’t have to buy ingredients they may not be able to afford.”

Yakut Hamayoun at the Kabul Social counter.

Yakut Hamayoun makes traditional bread in Kabul Social. sauce: SBS / sandra froon

The United Nations World Food Program reports that more than 6 million people in Afghanistan are facing starvation-like conditions and 20 million are severely food insecure.

Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, international aid has dried up and many are at risk of starvation.
The staff of Kabul Social are women fleeing political turmoil in Afghanistan and proud to give back to their homeland and new country.
Refugee Yakut Hamayoun left Afghanistan more than a decade ago and uses traditional techniques to make flatbread.

“I make bread all day long because this bread is so good,” she said.

Hamayun beats the dough with his hands and bakes the flattened discs on a metal plate.
Bread is served in rolls and stuffed with spiced chicken and pickled onions or slow-cooked lamb.
Hamayoun’s daughter and daughter-in-law both work in Kabul Social, but she still worries about her extended family living in Afghanistan.

“My sisters and brothers are all there and I am very worried about them. But I am happy to work here and we are safe,” she said.

create opportunities

The casual restaurant is located inside Sydney’s MetCenter shopping center, with a new location opening in the north of the city next month. It will be the third venue for Christie David’s Plate It Forward Hospitality Group.
Founded in 2020, the nonprofit delivers up to 3,000 meals each week to people in need and employs a staff of diverse backgrounds.
“So far we have hired over 175 people,” said Christy David, who is of Sri Lankan descent.

“And that equates to about 70,000 hours of training, education, employment and $2.5 million in wages for those who may have had barriers to entering the workforce.”

“We create opportunities for those who don’t have equal opportunities,” Christy David said.
“That means hiring asylum-seekers, refugees, women over 50, people released from prison, people living with disabilities and members of indigenous communities.

The Plate It Forward Group aims to hire a total of 300 people by the end of this year.

Sean Christie-David in a T-shirt and sitting with his arms crossed at a table

Restaurant owner Sean Christy David. sauce: SBS / sandra froon

Among the new recruits are Afghan brothers and sisters who recently came to Australia.

“When the Taliban came, we were very confused. Everyone was running around in fear in the streets,” said the sister.
“It would not have been good for us to stay in Afghanistan.”
The brothers are not refugees, but they are displaced persons and understand the difficulties many refugees face.
“Many of the refugees who come here are out of work for a year or two,” said the sisters.

She and her brother plan to study in Australia while working at a restaurant, but Taliban-era Afghanistan doesn’t give girls the chance.

Australian Human Rights Commission Chairman Rosalind Croucher said the key for many refugees in Australia was to ‘begin and get involved’.
“If you come to a new country without language skills or an understanding of the working environment, being able to cook will help you make connections and gain confidence in the language, which is very important and will lead to permanent employment. There is a possibility.”
She describes Christie David’s work as inspirational.

“Shaun’s real appeal is his focus on community and connection to build people’s lives in a new country.”

Christie-David has several new hospitality projects in development.
“We want to break down walls and stereotypes and bring people together through the most universal language of love, and that is food,” he said.

Refugee Week runs from June 18th to 24th. World Refugee Day is June 20th.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/small-business-secrets/article/for-every-meal-you-buy-at-this-sydney-restaurant-another-two-go-to-a-refugee/ar2snadkt Kabul Social Sydney: For every meal you buy, 2 donate to refugees

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