This project seeks $5,000 to help a 27-member family of Afghan refugees in Maryland start a business selling homemade Afghan food. Back in Kabul, the female family-members worked alongside the men as interpreters, photojournalists, teachers, and engineers. One owned an HVAC business. Another was a professional boxer. Then came Taliban rule. The women became targets and were among the last to be evacuated. Your donations will provide the start-up capital for their new life in the US!
It has not been easy for this family since arriving in the US. After leaving successful livelihoods behind, most members have had to work multiple menial jobs to pay rent, buy personal goods like sanitary napkins and use public transportation. They also need proper medical care for the children and one family-member who is being treated for breast cancer. In such a context it is incredibly difficult to fulfill their talents. But they are wonderful cooks and all contribute to family meals.
Lala, seen in the top photo, is the family matriarch and will take the lead as her children and their spouses prepare Afghan food that is not normally available in the US but is certainly appreciated once tasted! They are expert at pickling vegetables, canning jams, and preparing popular Afghan delicacies. They recently catered a benefit for Afghan rug-makers (see photo) and were delighted when their food was a big hit! Your donations will help them turn their talents into a business.
Running a family business will help this family thrive and become independent while giving other Marylanders a unique gastronomic treat. If it works well they plan to invest their profits in a food truck, and expand their customer base to veterans at military bases in Maryland and even international agencies in Washington DC. By connecting with other refugee initiatives in Maryland they will also help to enrich the Afghan diaspora in the area, to the benefit of current and future refugees.