Enjoying making and eating food brings everyone together…that was the principle behind a "resettlement event"which took place on Monday 4 September in the Western Isles Learning Shop.
This enabled learners in the Resettlement ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) provision to cater for friends, family, employers and support workers in a social gathering attended by a turnout of around 50 adults and children.
"The event’s objective was to bring learners together in an inclusive space for social interaction through the universal language of food," said the organisers.
Afghan and Syrian learners cooked traditional food and produced an array of dishes. Learners’ past and present from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine attended the event.
Funding secured through collaboration with NHS Health Promotion allowed costs for catering learners to be covered. This, and future events, are part of a longer-term project which will culminate in the collation and publishing of a booklet of recipes and resettlement learner writing.
Melissa MacLean, Resettlement ESOL Support Worker, said: “Cooking for others is a way to share identity and culture whilst showing hospitality to one another, which can lead to reducing isolation and increasing social cohesion.
“So far, the feedback from this event has been really positive, with a common desire to organise another in the near future.”
A film crew from BBC Gaidhlig also attended, as they were filming one family for a documentary for the series Eòrpa. With permission from those in attendance they were able to experience and film parts of the evening. The documentary will air on BBC Alba on 26 October