Yonas Shefaraw is a bicultural worker with cohealth and a leader within the Ethiopian community in Melbourne. In this recovery story, Yonas describes how the Ethiopian community shaped their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic restrictions of 2020, Yonas saw that people within his community were losing jobs, businesses were suffering and some people were struggling to put food on the table. So he initiated a program to help, with funding from the Victorian Government. The program employed restaurants, grocers and delivery drivers to provide 365 cooked meals and 75 food boxes to those who were struggling most within the Ethiopian community.
As a community-led initiative, this project drew on and enhanced the existing ‘recovery capitals’ within the Ethiopian community – particularly social, cultural and human capital. It relied on social connections, cultural knowledge and the skills and efforts of those who contributed to delivering food to those who were struggling most.
In July 2020, the Ethiopian community in Melbourne also donated almost $14,000 for the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal.
The diagram to the right shows how the connections between the recovery capitals are illustrated in this story.