Cooking with Refugee Cafe – Faten

Simon Ware
Simon Ware
Cooking Syrian Pumpkin Jam

Hello, my name is Faten, I am from  Syria and I am married and a mother of twins, a boy and girl. I didn’t finish school and got married when I was sixteen years old.

In 2011 the situation in Syria started to deteriorate with demonstrations, oppression and arrests. As the years went by the situation just got worse with artillery, airplane and tank shelling and bombing civilian areas. That’s why in 2015 I left Syria for the sake of my twins, who were three at the time to avoid them getting hurt. 

When I left Syria, I left my family, relatives and home. I settled in Turkey in 2015 searching for safety and a better life for my children. It was very difficult as I didn’t have any family or relatives around to help me. I could not speak the local language and had to take care of my children on my own. It was a difficult time and I was depressed. 

I moved with my children to live in the UK in December 2019. I was searching for a country that offers safety for myself and a better future for my children. The process involved in applying for resettlement to the UK was tough and took nearly two years between interviews and medical tests. Soon after I moved here the pandemic began. It was a challenging time, especially since I don’t speak English. 

Before this role, I hadn’t had a job before. A few months ago, my friend who worked with Refugee Cafe spoke with me and told me about the charity. I went and met Iolanda and she explained how it worked. I started working with them, and it was fun. I love cooking, and it’s my favourite activity. I hope this project will become a big and successful project and provide us with long and regular working hours. It is nice to work in a place you love. When I cook with the Refugee Cafe, I feel like I’m cooking at my house.

My hopes here are to learn English, find a job and feel safe and have a good future for my children. 

I wish everyone involved in Refugee Cafe every success and thank them for their support.