Bloom is part of Linden Church, run by Rachel to support asylum seekers and refugees. About once a month Bloom takes over Red Cafe, a local coffee shop, and asylum seekers prepare a meal traditional from their country. For one reason or another we've missed Syrian, Sri Lankan and Iranian meals but we finally made it to the Pakistani meal last Saturday.
For starters we had wild garlic and potato soup. This was made by the Italian chef so possibly not entirely Pakistani in origin but very nice.
Then we had a dish made up of lots of tasters: chicken, lamb, vegetables, rice and sauces.
Delicious, as you can see from my empty plate.
We also met a young woman. Let's call her Jenny. Because she's in her early twenties her case for asylum was considered separately from that of her mother and younger sibling. Her request has just been turned down resulting in instant destitution. Her money was stopped and she lost her accommodation. And she's not allowed to have paid employment or live with her mother.
I assume the idea is to make her feel as unwelcome as possible so she reaches the state where she's glad to return to her native country. From which she fled.
Where is humanity? Where is compassion? Where is decency?
I don't know her story but I hope to find it out.