“I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
On June 17th we celebrated World Refugee Day with 100 of our closest friends and neighbors. Our awesome volunteers joined forces and with their efforts, we were able to provide an entire afternoon of health and wellness for the community. We had an art and craft station, a gardening workshop, a make shift salon, and a fitness session led by a volunteer Crossfit Trainer.
Did you know nearly half of all refugees in 2017 are children?
With the support of another Bangkok based organization, Jesuit Refugee Services, we were able to feed everyone some of our CK favorites: Green Curry, papaya salad, fish, fruit, and all the trimmings. The kids gobbled it up faster than we could plate!
This momentous occasion marked a special one for our families, as we’re typically caught up in the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. When we’re not cooking, we’re teaching English, or visiting a family in need. For Refugee Day we were able to rest our woks and enjoy celebrating the beauty and diversity that makes up Courageous Kitchen, while honoring those that make up this world.
Written by Christy Innouvong and Photos by Dew Napattaloong
In the main community where Courageous Kitchen operates, people struggle to feed their families. It’s not uncommon in this poor neighborhood outside of Bangkok’s tourist sites to see families scavenging through the trash for leftovers that can be used to feed their families.
“Food isn’t a Fun Topic for Everyone”
Often, this includes children who can dig through trash piles without drawing ire or attention from those nearby. So when you bring up food in this community, versus the food loving crowd of teens a similar age at Bangkok Patana (a prestigious international school in Bangkok), the reactions are drastic.
I’m proud to say we’re changing that and if you’re new to our organization we do it in three important ways:
- We distribute nutritious food, most often fresh produce, to the families in the community.
- We provide a pre-school for students 3-6 years old, and a Saturday school with English and cooking lessons. Lunch is provided to all of the students and adults participating.
- Courageous Kitchen identifies the most vulnerable families and provides emergency support for housing, medical expenses, or emergency needs.
This three-fold, holistic approach to reaching out to the community means we’re changing attitudes about food and our students anticipate cooking classes and opportunities to practice their cooking skills at home. The proof is the look on their faces when it’s time to cook!
We couldn’t do this without your support, thank you!