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  • Joe Sims

Biryani and Bananas

Good morning everyone, 

This week we are celebrating the other groups that 500 Reasons have inspired. Throughout the UK there are groups set up following the 500 Reasons template and we encourage and support each group. One of our sister groups is called 500 Acts of Kindness and is run by Julie and Chris. Julie is also a member of our original group, they do amazing work in the Manchester area and abroad.We are so proud that we can work together and send help wherever it’s needed. Here’s this weeks’ nomination, Julie says it all. Hello you wonderful lot.I’m just on the plane back from an incredible trip to Athens with the wonderful (and tiny)  NGO, CRIBS, who support refugee women in mainland Greece through pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. I met extraordinary women who have experienced unimaginable hardship and loss, including some that 500 Acts have supported in the past, and attended a grow clinic and a women’s health drop in. Just fantastic. I also met this legend, Ruhi, from Northumberland, who has been running and growing an organisation called Refugee Biryani and Bananas for years now. She started by pledging to provide 2500 portions of Biryani and bananas to the people in the Calais camp, and now does incredible work on the Greek islands and in Athens where she runs a free shop and provides whatever is needed. She gave up her NHS job in the UK to dedicate her life to this work. I visited the free shop today and asked what she needs, and because they try to tailor the stock specifically to the dietary needs of the various refugee groups, and let people choose items for themselves, they are always desperate for donations to purchase oil, spices, nuts and dates: pricier items that mean that people can have a balanced, culturally appropriate meal. Choice really matters to Ruhi. So often refugees are just expected to get what they’re given and be grateful. And in Greece there is ZERO government help, and small NGOs are scrambling to full the huge gaps in need. We have supported RBB before, and we’re about to donate to CRIBS, and I wondered if you might please consider giving Ruhi and her team a little boost to their free shop coffers. They are a wonderful organisation and I’ve seen for myself the fantastic work they’re doing for people who have no one and nothing else. you’re all well.Sending so much love to you all,Julie xx

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