A social enterprise for migrant and refugee women

In the Dandenong region of Victoria, Wellsprings for Women advocates for women’s rights to self-determination, education, safety, employment and economic independence. The Centre offers skills development and social connection for migrant and refugee women.

The Mercy Foundation awarded a Social Justice Small Grant to Wellsprings for Women to create a social enterprise for migrant and refugee women. Challenges faced by these women include low literacy and English proficiency, and most have few employment options. Twenty women are currently involved in the project, learning food handling, food presentation and catering skills. The skills acquired will provide these women with an opportunity to become more economically independent. Wellsprings for Women is committed to providing the administrative support this venture requires for long term success.

Since July this year, the women have catered for many events including a dinner involving a regional meeting of Community Development workers, two group lunches, the Wellsprings for Women AGM and a Women’s Health Expo, where they provided a Vietnamese banquet for 70 attendees. The women will be participating in further training on event planning, budget and purchasing at St John’s Regional College.