A shared culture and a passion for cooking are just some ingredients that have banded together migrant women to form Kitchen Mamas.
Founded in December 2012, Kitchen Mamas is a social enterprise run by migrant Asian women that offers local catering services to businesses around the Canterbury area. Since their inception, Kitchen Mamas have provided catering for 20 different functions and served over 800 guests.
The brain child of Ms April Pan from Metro Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) and run in partnership with Asian Women at Work, Kitchen Mamas addresses the issues of social isolation that many migrant women face. Some of the factors causing this isolation include language barriers, no formal job qualifications, and a lack of an established support network.
“I had had the idea of running a women-owned and operated social enterprise for a long time but I wasn’t sure if the women would support the idea. But when I finally mentioned it them in October last year, they loved it!” said Ms Pan, Settlement Services Officer from Metro MRC.
“We realised these women have a lot of informal experience and knowledge but it was being wasted. The benefit [of Kitchen Mamas] is helping them to realise their self-value in society. They have always been active in social groups but they still want to ‘do something’ that would contribute to the society. We picked catering as we thought that is where everyone’s skills were and it would be easy to start operating,” said Ms Pan.
One of the main funding sources for this social enterprise came from Canterbury League Club which donated $22,000 through the ClubGrants program. Asides from contributing towards the general running and kitchen costs, the donation was also used to establish a brand logo and design, and brochures for promotion.
“Canterbury is happy to support community projects like this which helps migrants adjust to the local culture and community. They have the opportunity to meet other women in the same situation and channel their efforts back into the community,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.
For more information or orders click here or please contact Kitchen Mamas on 0405 128 399.