'Empowering Women' catering project aims to help newcomers become self-employed
NORTH BAY -- The Northern Himalayan Café at the Jack Garland Airport in North Bay will host a special event on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Café owner Laxmi Konwar is partnering with the North Bay and District Multicultural Centre’s "Empowering Women" catering project. The project’s first event is a ticketed dinner celebrating Mongolian and Iranian food.
Konwar is thrilled about the partnership, saying she wanted to not only provide a cooking space, but also help mentor the participants. "I had an idea when I started this business to collaborate and work together with women, especially women who have great skills in cooking and presenting their food and flavour from all different countries," said Konwar.
The project aims to help women, who have come to Canada and haven’t found work yet, to start a business.
Vijanti Ramlogan is the project coordinator and says the women have been learning many skills, including marketing, to help them become self-employed.
"These women have skills. It’s just an issue of maybe navigating a new place and all of the requirements that are needed. Pretty much all of our women have gotten their food handler’s certificates. So, they are learning quite a bit in a short amount of time," said Ramlogan.
Saturday’s dinner will feature traditional dishes from three countries.
Among those who will be doing some of the cooking is Ankha Weidman, from Mongolia. She is excited to celebrate with her Canadian friends.
"We are going to share all of our traditional foods and we are going to bring it to all the Canadians, so hopefully everybody will like the taste," said Weidman.
"The point of this program is that they’re not alone, that there’s a lot of support in the community and that we can have everyone employed," said Ramlogan.
Saturday’s event is already sold out, but the Empowering Women’s catering project will continue to host different events at various locations once a month.
The event organizer clarified that Iranian food will be offered at the event in addition to Mongolian.