Spice Caravan

One woman's story

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My name is Asha. When I was back home in Somalia  I use to live in the countryside where I used to look after the camel and sheep, fetch water and milking the camel, also cook for my family since age of  8 year as traditional girls should learn cooking so they can help the family. Whereby the boys take more responsible outside the family. 

When I was 16 I had arrange marriage to my cousin where I found it very difficult but I could not say anything since you have to respect your family if you refuse you’re bringing shame to the community. As I was getting use to my family life and enjoying it, the tribal war started which as bough me in UK as a refugee in 1994. 

The government has supported me and my family, after few month I registered myself at City and Islington College where started my education. Then I apply for a local job with Somali community for work and the Age Concern where I got my experience and then I work with the local hospital as support worker and then back to education where I have to finish my nursing  training. I started working in Whittington hospital  as nurse.

I like cooking and I am interesting in the future to open my own cafeteria. When I visited my niece she told me that there was a group of women who have came together sharing plans about cooking and I though this was very good idea and I say let me try and see the group. It was very well, calming and friendly. I started attending the meeting so I can get use to the group. 

Since that time cooking project was very successful and had work at the being of the festivals but as time goes on we are getting use to events and food presentation also my practical skill are getting better