Inside Four Brave Women there’s a small and rapidly moving line at a buffet. Down the hall and in the courtyard often a small band plays up-beat songs to a crowd of families and couples sitting on milk crates and stools.

This is a restaurant tied to a refugee training program run by The Trading Circle, a not-for-profit organisation that empowers women by creating economic and educational opportunities for them via visiting schools to run workshops, and providing mentorships and business and life skills.

Here, recently arrived refugees (men and women) are taught the hospitality skills they need to find sustainable employment, or to start their own businesses. And they’re trained in business by Ignite, a program run by Settlement Services International.

When you arrive at Four Brave Women you select the size of plate you want and fill it at the buffet, then take a seat at the bar, outside or on a crate. Because each cooking team brings its own recipes and runs the kitchen for eight weeks at a time, the menu options change depending on who’s involved.

The exception is the morning coffee cart, which serves traditional Ethiopian coffee and grab-and-go Ethiopian-inspired snacks such as teff chocolate brownies (teff is an African cereal cultivated almost exclusively in Ethiopia, used mainly to make flour) and kita firfir (shredded flat bread mixed with spiced butter).

During the day the space operates as the Trading Circle has done for years, selling fair-trade products and raising money for its endeavours.

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Updated: December 16th, 2018

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