From Food to Friendship and Family
Me and my family are part of the neighbourhood at the local church, where we focus on sharing meals, exploring the world together and making our neighbourhood a little bit better. So when we heard about the Welcome Dinner Project, we definitely wanted to be involved. So we hosted and facilitated several Welcome Dinners since the beginning of 2016. I think sharing meals is a great way to break down barriers between people, and to really feel the connections we actually want to build to improve this world. The Welcome Dinner Project solidified in us the importance of welcoming and treatment of all people as friends. It’s always powerful to hear everyone’s stories at the end of each Dinner. Everyone’s story is different and valuable.
It’s been a great experience and hence we really wanted to continue relationships made through these dinners. So we kept organising unofficial gathering with the same people we met through WDP at our place. At one of the post-Welcome Dinner events we met a single mum with two lovely kids who was originally from South America. We became really good friends, and now meet regularly. I guess we even became part of each other’s lives, we helped her move house and things like that. It’s been great to have an opportunity to meet people like this and build relationship through the Welcome Dinner. This is how we want to live. My daughter’s best friend is from Iraq. We really want to encourage this friendship and partnership with the family. Personally I really struggle with what’s going on with the refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. I want to be part of the world that welcomes people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Another thing that the WDP encouraged us to do is to get involved with a refugee organisation. We help to welcome people that are new to our area and help them to make the first steps in their new country.
For us the WDP is a practical, proactive and positive way of responding to current Australian challenges. This is what we can do right here, right now. We are hoping to grow the awareness in the community about the current pressing issues and teach our kids to live a life full of love and trust.
WDP host & facilitator
based in Brisbane, Queensland