Mavis Ramazani is an asylum seeker from South Africa and has been living in Direct Provision with her daughter for over two years.
Mavis and her daughter got sick of eating canteen food so she decided to do something about it.
Last December Mavis started up ‘Cooking for Freedom’ - an initiative gives people living in Direct Provision the opportunity to cook their native food in donated kitchens across Dublin.
Mavis said: "Cooking for Freedom is bringing about an activity that promotes community. I did not have friends where I was staying and I wanted to break that loneliness to bring people together."
Some 25 people from nine different countries use the group. They all may not speak the same language, but they are connected by food.
"Cooking for freedom has changed my life. It has been amazing for my mental health because living a life of limbo when you don’t know when you’ll get an answer on international protection can be depressing, traumatising and very, very stressful. Whereas if I can walk out of the centre and be in this kitchen it’s done wonders for my mental health."
"I’m hoping Taken Down will educate and highlight the realities of individuals like myself in Direct Provision."
Mavis is currently watching new RTÉ Drama 'Taken Down'. She says it highlights the realities of living in Direct Provision.
"I cried the first episode I watched. I didn’t know 'Taken Down' was covering what the realities of what is happening in Direct Provision Centres. I’m hoping Taken Down will educate and highlight the realities of individuals like myself in Direct Provision."
‘Cooking for Freedom’ has had a positive impact of Mavis’ life and she remains hopeful for the future.
"My hopes for the future are to get my freedom. To go out and contribute the skills and experience that I have and to add value into the Irish community to my best ability, to further my study and be the best mom I can be for my daughter."