Food for Financial Freedom
Each year, we join our Muslim friends in the spiritual celebration of strength and endurance following the month of Ramadan. It has been a Daya tradition to host a celebration potluck lunch to appreciate one another over a homemade meal. As we reflected on the purpose of Eid, this year we wanted to do something different to celebrate our clients.
There is a long standing stereotype of a victim who is downtrodden and weak. The truth is quite the opposite! Clients are survivors – they surpass insurmountable obstacles to create safe families. But, starting over isn’t easy. In the aftermath of years of financial abuse and isolation, the number one reason survivors return to their abusers is financial need for themselves and their children.
How can we break down this barrier?
With support from The Simmons Foundation, Daya advocates are involved in an in-depth financial empowerment training program through FreeFrom.org. We’re learning to think creatively with clients on building income through showcasing their skills. Traditional employment may not always be the best fit for immigrant survivors who face language, transportation, and cultural barriers. But, these barriers, will not stop our clients and our team. Instead, we are leveraging the unique talents that come from within our community.
Daya advocates are empowering clients to see their skills in a new light and to honor their talents. Lately we have been busy brainstorming business names, designing business cards, and building menus. As Eid approached, we thought of no better way to celebrate this work than by becoming a customer ourselves. We were thrilled to celebrate Eid by feasting on the dishes and desserts made by our clients.
Delicious chicken biryani passed down from generations of mothers in India, crushed walnut cookies that bring back the nostalgic scents of neighborhoods in Iran, sweet dahi baras from Bangladesh, and savory aloo palak from Pakistan. Food tells the stories of our families, it ties our cultures together, and it is a direct result of the unique talent of our community.
We’re thinking outside of the box as we tackle the barriers to financial freedom. We’re helping clients see themselves as entrepreneurs, as business women, and as the strong survivors they have been since their first call to Daya. We encourage you all to contact Daya for your catering, beauty, and household needs. By doing so, you strengthen our community and that is just delicious!