United Women of East Africa Support Team

Somali, Ethiopian, and Eritrean cuisine

Based in San Diego, United Women of East Africa Support Team (UWEAST) was founded to be a pipeline of culturally competent health services, education, and advocacy for the improvement of East African women and their families’ health and well being.

Several years ago, a group of East African refugee mothers felt that they were losing their daughters because they were not eating the Somali, Ethiopian, or Eritrean cuisine that is traditionally passed orally through the generations. Instead, their American-raised teenage daughters were eating at the fast food restaurants located around their schools.  To bridge this generation gap, UWESAT began sponsoring cooking classes.  Applying the theme, "We learn from them.  They learn from us.  We learn from each other," the classes focus on refugee moms teaching their daughters East African culinary traditions, teaching the mothers to prepare American favorites, and teaching both mothers and daughters to prepare healthy meals to reduce health problems.

In 2014, UWEAST recieved a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program to support this intergenerational cooking program.


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