Havenly Treats was founded with a mission to break the cycle of marginalization that keeps refugee women in our city in poverty and isolation. Our flagship fellowship is a paid job training program that combines work experience at our restaurant with skills and community building. But we do more than that - we know that the only lasting, real solution to this problem is building economic and political power together. That is why we are dedicated to creating community, sharing knowledge about injustice, and standing by and for each other.
Our founder, Nieda, resettled to New Haven from Iraq five years ago. In Iraq, she had a business degree and managed two restaurants and a bakery. But in New Haven, she could barely land a job. She did not speak English, and could not prioritize attending unpaid English classes over getting an immediate income. Nieda is not alone - 58% of refugee women in the United States are unemployed, and many are underpaid or deprived or worker protections. With COVID, this situation has only gotten worse. Refugees and immigrants often do not qualify for federal and state aid, so families are struggling with food insecurity, unemployment, and sudden evictions.
At Havenly, we strive to break this cycle of marginalization by providing paid work experience and education, at the same time. We offer 6-month, paid fellowships that combine work experience at our restaurant with English, digital and financial literacy, advocacy, food safety classes, and more. At the end of the program, we continue supporting our alumni as they secure jobs, advocate for themselves and their communities, and advance their education.
A year ago, we dreamt up the next step in our vision. We imagined a space that would allow us to hold classes, prepare our food and build community. Thanks to the support of hundreds of grassroots donations, our dream became a plan. In the hardest year we have ever faced as a community, we launched a food relief program, reached seven women through our training program, and, finally, opened our cafe.
This year has weakened our community. It has threatened our existence. It has multiplied the challenges we face everyday. We’re facing difficult months ahead, between businesses closing again and food and economic insecurity increasing. Without community support, we will have to end the food relief program. But we’re also facing incredible developments. A new fellowship of 6 women, from both the Middle East and Latin America. A new advocacy training program. A space to create bridges and share meals in.
Your donation will allow us to continue the food relief program for another 6 months. It will directly support 6 women in our training program. It will allow us to build our sales to reach 15 women in our next fellowship.
Please join us in supporting refugees and immigrants in our community - each and every donation counts!