An International Food Hub launched in Blackburn this week supporting integration and culture across the borough.
Café Harmony based in MeeMaws at The Exchange on King William Street opened its doors for the first time to the public.
It was officially opened by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Council Leader, Cllr Phil Riley alongside Chief Executive, Denise Park.
The café is being run by The Community Harmony Project CIC with women from the migrant, asylum and refugee community who are living in Blackburn with Darwen working at the café.
Its purpose is to empower migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to bring culture and community, offering a friendly environment and a safe space where people can go ‘without bias’.
Cllr Phil Riley, said: “In Blackburn with Darwen we are proud to open our doors and our hearts to those in need. It is a lovely idea to give asylum seekers and refugees the opportunity to engage and contribute back to our town showing people a different example of food and culture. It’s great to see everyone now joining together to embrace something new and congratulations to all those involved.”
Food is served at the premises in King William Street from nationalities including Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Gambia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Myanmar and Syria.
Fozia Aftab, leads the Community Harmony Project and said it that Café Harmony will bring acceptance and harmony as well as a safe space for people to meet.
Fozia said: “A lot of hard work has been done to bring this project to life and it is mainly for Blackburn itself for people to give back to the community. We are building relationships with different groups to help others gain confidence and learn new skills as well as being a safe environment for people to meet without bias. The food hub will bring us together so that we can build relationships.”
MeeMaws is open to Community Harmony Project on Tuesdays between 12 and 2pm.
It also hosts other organisations during the week such as Relish English, ARC and the Jigsaw Project.