Cathy Cao Xi is a recent graduate of Erasmus Mundus Master in Advanced development in Social Work (ADVANCE). She undertook her research semester in Paris, during which she developed the research project" Let Photos Speak About Young Displaced People’s Place-Identity" in rural communities in France. The research employed photovoices, a participatory research method, aiming to mobilize young refugees and asylum seekers who are displaced in rural communities to express their needs, in addition to assert their rights. During her frequent visits to young displaced people in rural communities, they often expressed feelings of helplessness brought about by their dim future prospects. Being young and being displaced, they are eager to make a living by themselves, either to seek employment or continue education. At the same time, young asylum seekers and refugees exhibited incredible strengths on cooking and cultural awareness. It was by leveraging such strengths that, Cathy initiated Le Pain Sans Frontières Project with joint efforts from young refugees and asylum seekers, social workers and volunteers from the community.
Le Pain Sans Frontières, or Bread No Borders, ډوډۍ Project aims to address refugee and asylum seekers’ employment issues in rural Europe through utilizing their talents on cooking. It offers 1) food made by asylum seekers/refugees 2) culinary workshops 3) food and cultural events. Beyond promoting asylum seeker and refugees’ employments, Bread No Borders/ Le Pain Sans Frontières Project intends to foster the understanding and integration between refugees, asylum seekers and local residents. Additionally, the cooking workshops can be provided by refugees and asylum seekers upon requests. The cooking workshops do not only offer cooking skills to participants, but also include an elaboration of the cultural elements embedded within the cuisine.
Overview of LPSF events in 2017
Thanks to the EMA and ESAA, the project is currently receiving technical support from ESAA incubator program and financial support from EASS community fund.2017 had witnessed the birth and launch of LPSF, three events had been taken place in the rural community between August to November 2017.
Event 1: Community Discussion, 18 Oct 2017
The event gathered refugees, asylum seekers, social workers, officers from Maison Pour Tous, volunteers from the community to explore how to collaborate with one another in the times of refugee crisis. The discussion particularly emphasized the strengths exhibited by refugees, with a specific focus on the Afghanistan and Sudanese refugees that resides in the local community. The focus group discussion enhanced partnership of participated community organizations. In the end, we agreed to co-organize a series of cooking workshop in the community in 2017, with refugees and asylum seekers playing the leadership roles and community organizations providing relevant support.