Kobiety Wedrowne Foundation creates access to decent job opportunities for migrants
The global refugee crisis has become a key issue for Poland. In 2016, the country granted 586,000 first residence permits to nationals of non-EU countries, more than any other EU member state except Britain. However, most migrants and refugees in Poland cannot find jobs. With little system support to fall back on, they are left to themselves living in poverty.
Kobiety Wedrowne Foundation tackles this situation by creating opportunities for migrants to access dignified jobs. Today, the social enterprise directly works with 40 migrants and refugees. It especially focuses on women and families who experience housing and financial challenges and have difficulties accessing education, legal advice, and language support. By offering jobs, providing training and building community, the social enterprise reaches up to 300 people in the migrant and refugee community.
Its main line of business is Kobiety Wedrowne w Kuchni Konfliktu (“Kitchen of Conflict”) a bistro and a store in the seaside resort city of Sopot. The bistro shop provides quality and diverse vegan and vegetarian food. The menu includes dishes from the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Central Asia, offering refugees and migrants a safe space to eat and have open conversations.
Bistro-shop Kitchen of Conflict hires refugees to work in gastronomy, providing jobs in the kitchen and catering, as well as in running educational and culinary workshops. Refugees can sell their artisanal products and clothing at the bistro, which gives them a much needed alternative source of income.
Working with 30 local food suppliers, the social enterprise strives to reduce its carbon footprint. It screens its providers carefully, purchasing only from local, individual farmers and food producers that adopt sustainable practices and comply with labour laws, prioritising suppliers that have received certifications.
The Poland and Romania accelerator will support the social enterprise with its expansion, covering the costs of new equipment and personnel. The Kobiety Wedrowne Foundation will also have access to networks offered by NESsT and IKEA and will be connected to the community of entrepreneurs in their portfolio. In addition, the social enterprise will receive technical guidance to support the development of its business, including its governance structure. The programme will enable the Kobiety Wedrowne Foundation to maintain the financial stability of its organization and the bistro shops.
Our venture responds to the needs of forced migrants at their root, giving an opportunity for real and profound social change. Our experience shows that empowering people and allowing them to influence their life situation is the most effective way to prevent exclusion. This accelerator gives us the chance to significantly increase our impact.