Reported By Women: April 20
Reporting, photography, and videography by Chelsie Walter.
The Welcome Project is a social enterprise that trains our newest neighbors, immigrants, and refugees who call Cincinnati home in fabrication and art skills as well as store management. Their refurbished space reopened this past weekend on April 14th in the heart of Camp Washington.
As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by Sheryl Rajbhandari, one of the co-founders of The Welcome Project with, “If Women of Cincy is here, it must be a party!” It took me five seconds to fall in love with the space. So many details went in to this space to make it feel cozy and welcoming. The entire back wall is filled with artwork, created by immigrants and refugees who’ve found a safe place with Welcome. Each piece of artwork contained a single word, “Welcome,” in the artist’s native language.
Across the street, Sheryl’s husband, Amsu, created homemade Momo’s, a Nepali dish that I’ve become obsessed with. Just to the left of the Momo making station, Cal Cullen, the other founder of The Welcome Project and Wave Pool, gave an interview to a local television station. Cal’s daughter watched her through Welcome’s windows, perched on a window bench, surrounded by brightly colored pillows.
Taking in the whole scene, I felt so good, so inspired by the community’s support and hope for a future where our cultures and languages don’t separate us, but bring us together in celebration.