When I first heard about the opportunity to volunteer with JRS by cooking at the Blaiket Men’s Accommodation for their fortnightly shared meal and house meeting, it seemed like a great fit. I like cooking and could easily manage the commitment to do so every few months.
I also knew the importance of sharing a meal with others at the end of a day, and what this can add to all our lives. I had spent a few years living overseas in the past, in very privileged and different circumstances to those coming to Blaiket House. However, as I had struggled with learning a new language, becoming part of the community and meeting new people, I knew just how good it felt to be asked to share a coffee or a meal with someone. If I had the opportunity to do that in Australia, that was a great privilege.
All the residents at Blaiket House have been so welcoming to me and appreciative of the meals that I prepare. I have had the great pleasure of meeting so many interesting people from all corners of the globe, with fascinating backgrounds. We’ve had some fun discussions, a lot of them about football, and I’ve been given insights into parts of the world that I admit that I knew nothing about.
Forced migration is one of the biggest issues around the globe today. It is a massive issue and I don’t know what the answer is. What I do know is that while the arguments and politics of the issue continue, one thing I can do is walk beside, and share a meal, with those who are going through it.
Written by Jennifer Melocco, JRS Volunteer