Innovation That Matters

Migrateful promotes cross-cultural through cuisine | Photo source Migrateful

Cooking classes led by refugees promote cultural exchange

Food & Drink

The classes provide an opportunity for participants to share their culture and cuisine with their new communities – highlighting the importance of food in bridging cultural divides


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Spotted: As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it is more important than ever to promote understanding and respect for different cultures. One way to do this is through food. Migrateful is a London-based cooking class that provides refugees and asylum seekers with the opportunity to share their favourite recipes with their new communities.

The initiative was founded in 2017 by Jess Thompson, and has since grown to include classes in several other cities across the UK. Thompson developed the idea for Migrateful through her interactions with migrant women when working as an English teacher in London. Thompson had the opportunity to learn about the recipes that her friends had grown up with when they invited her to dinner. They were confident in their cooking abilities and wanted to share their knowledge with others – even though they may have lacked language skills and connections in the UK.

Through these shared meals, Thompson was able to gain a better understanding of her friends’ culture and cuisine – bridging the cultural divide and connecting on a deeper level.

Migrateful classes are run by refugees and asylum seekers, who use them as a means of both earning an income and sharing their culture with others. In addition to providing participants with a valuable culinary experience, the classes also help to break down barriers between cultures and promote greater understanding and acceptance.   

The classes are held in various locations around the city, and each class is themed around a specific country or region. Participants in the class learn about the culture and cuisine of the featured country, and they also have the opportunity to taste traditional dishes.

Other recent innovations spotted by Springwise that help to support refugees and migrants include a language learning app that helps migrant children navigate cultural differences, a banking solution that helps refugees open a bank account, and modular shelters for Ukrainian refugees.

Written By: Katrina Lane



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