The IRC in Greece hosted cooking workshops for refugees and local women living on the island of Lesvos.

Some of the women who took part in the IRC's cooking classes, talked to us about their experiences and shared the recipe of the dish they prepared for the group. Elisabeth, who is originally from Cameroon, shares her mouth-watering spinach stew with beef and shrimp recipe, ndole.

35-year-old Elisabeth has been living in Greece for two and a half years. She has a strong work ethic, “Back in Cameroon I was a secretary and had a small shop that I was selling cosmetics and other stuff for women.”

“My life was harsh,” Elisabeth told us. “I had many problems with my husband, he was violent with me.”

When she arrived in Greece in 2019, Elisabeth was forced to live in the Moria refugee camp, which has since burnt down in September 2020. “I was shocked with the living conditions,” she told us. “My life in Cameroon was harsh, but it was a normal life; I had my house, my hygiene. Moria was like chaos.”

Despite the difficulty of living in the camp, Elisabeth was determined to make a new life for herself. “I stood on my feet and I said to myself: “If you fall now, you made that journey, you came all the way here for nothing”.

Elisabeth received her refugee status in November 2019 and currently works for the IRC as a Cultural Mediator. “My dream is to return to Cameroon in 10 years, when I will be ready to make an NGO for women and children’s rights,” she said.

“I am not the same person I was before leaving Cameroon. I want to go back and fight, with all the knowledge I have now– and support other women that passed or pass through the same things.”

Elizabeth has chosen to share a recipe called Ndolé which she says  is ‘“a heavy food for the stomach.” 

Follow the recipe to learn how to make spinach stew with beef and shrimp.



“I would like to open a restaurant here in Mytilini with Cameroonian food and recipes.”
Photo: IRC