Introducing Indonesian Food to British food lovers to raise money for Syrian Children in refugee camps.

The great thing about Connect Indonesia, The Charity is that we don’t always stick to the rule that fundraising by us only to raise money for our projects. The fact that over the years, we had done fundraising events to raise money for other charities.  It feels great to be able to do this and feel rewarded.  In the past 2 years, we have been very active promoting Indonesian food in the UK. We connect with food enthusiasts and Indonesian food traders encouraging them to go out there and cook Indonesian food for the public.

The great thing I enjoy being here in the UK is that I carry with me many special things as an Indonesian origin. I am very proud to have originated from Indonesia, with all the beautiful things attached to me about the country. People in the UK generally love Asian food, and they know a lot about Indonesian food, although they probably know only a few. The British love Indonesian culture, so it is a bonus that I am able to present Indonesia in the way they love. I love life and love it more if I could share what I have with other people.

The war in Syria has left many children suffering and had to leave home to avoid conflict. When you sit in your comfortable home, it is hard to imagine what these children are going through in the refugee camps, particularly during the cold season.  There have been many campaigns to help them, groups of people doing things to raise money to help these children. One day, I saw a small add on the internet by a company renting out their kitchen to pop-up restaurants and was renting it free of charge to those who wish to create an event, raising money for the Syrian children. I got excited and contacted this company in Battersea, South London.  I told them what I wanted to do and I was delighted they agreed with my plan.

The plan was to arrange Indonesian cooking demo, and charge people for it and the money will go directly to the charity.  There were 18 people registered, paying @£25/head. I was so chuffed!! Not only that I had the chance to promote Indonesian food and gain more teaching experience from this, I also managed to raise money for a very good cause. Now, that is happiness.

The evening went really fantastic. People attended were so appreciative. We started by introducing spices and all the ingredients, then showed them how to prepare and cook them.  Nothing really major about it all, but I must admit, preparation is key. I had to make sure we had all the necessary ingredients and equipment needed and plus, I had to prepare printed recipes for everyone to look at and understand. Imagine, each and every one of the people attending, had different levels of food knowledge. It was easy to explain certain things to a certain person but could be quiet a challenge trying to make someone else understand, but all was great fun. The great thing was that the group was so diverse in age, background, profession, etc. and we all got on very well.

We prepared everything together, we cooked together and feasted on our food together. I was truly grateful to Eric Hendartono, an Indonesian student currently completing his degree course at one of the Universities in London, who offered to help me. What an angel. Thank you, Eric, for all your support.

My sincere gratitude to the London Cooking Project at Battersea, South London who has given me the opportunity to use their kitchen for free. Thank you!!!!


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