Houria, which means ‘freedom’, is a pan-African catering social enterprise that specifically supports, trains and employs migrant women and survivors of slavery. It was founded in 2019, by Kim Prado, with values of empowerment, sisterhood, enterprise and cooperation.
Houria creates dishes based on traditional community food (during 2021 it has even developed a vegan menu), and organises food events, such as pop-up supper clubs. You can order your own Friday Feast, to be delivered locally in BS5 or picked up from St Werburgh's. The organisation will even provide catering for your events.
Women at Houria feel seen, as their culture and cookery is appreciated, challenging the stereotypes migrant women are often subjected to. Houria also supports women to navigate the systems and processes to secure employment. Through COVID-19, the organisation adapted its service to provide home deliveries and socially-distanced events.
For these women, working with Houria is the start of a positive new beginning. It provides a safe place where they can start to integrate into their community, feel valued and confident again and learn new skills. As a result, hope and resilience starts to return and the past becomes less painful.
Before registering as a Community Interest Company (CIC), Voscur supported Houria to select an appropriate structure, and mentored its Directors. We also provided funding information and advice, resources, and signposting to other useful services.
Houria’s goals for the future include developing a new training programme for migrant women and women who have escaped slavery, and extending the home delivery service. The social enterprise also goes beyond food, to support women’s lives in other ways – for example, by promoting anti-racism allyship.
What's more, this year Houria successfully applied for grant funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund, which is supported by Voscur, Wesport and Black South West Network. This funding helps charities and community organisations reach those most affected by COVID-19 who have experienced a reduction in physical activity and a lack of access to sports or exercise. Houria’s project provides movement and dance sessions for women, keeping them active and boosting their wellbeing.
If you're forming a community group or organisation in or near Bristol and you need support, please get in touch with our development team. We also offer a range of online and face-to-face courses in Bristol that can help you make progress; this includes a course on setting up a CIC.