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Volunteer Spotlight:  Fawezeyeh Sharafi

Cooking Matters Michigan

Empowering families with the skills, confidence and knowledge to prepare healthy and affordable meals

Volunteer Spotlight: Fawezeyeh Sharafi

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Tell us a little about yourself. Fawezeyeh volunteers as an Arabic Interpreter for the Cooking Matters program.  She recently shared her skills with a class at ACCESS in Sterling Heights.

Fawezeyeh moved to the United States in 1979 where she met her husband, married, and had four children.  When her son was very young, he spent many months in the hospital.  At the time, Fawezeyeh was still learning English.  In order to communicate with her son's medical team, Fawezeyeh taught herself English during her son's time in the hospital.

Fawezeyeh has always enjoyed preparing healthy, affordable meals from scratch.  After her son was diagnosed with liver disease as a baby, Fawezeyeh learned to adapt her cooking to be even friendlier to her son's medical needs.  She still cooks in a way that supports his medical condition.  Recently, Fawezeyeh began adapting her recipes to be gluten and lactose free; adapting and experimenting until they meet her extremely high standards for both taste and health.

After her children were grown, Fawezeyeh turned her love of caring for children into a business.  Fawezeyeh ran her own day care for 18 years.  She has since retired, but is very proud of the character and accomplishments of the children who spent their first years in her care.

What led you to the Cooking Matters Program?

Fawezeyeh has always enjoyed cooking and baking very healthy meals from scratch.  She was very pleased to find the Cooking Matters Program, as it is very in keeping with her own beliefs that healthy cooking and lifestyle are achievable on a budget.  Fawezeyeh also loves to work with people.

When a friend of Fawezeyeh's learned the Cooking Matters program needed an Arabic Interpreter, she thought of Fawezeyeh, and reached out to make the introduction.

What is your favorite thing about being part of the Cooking Matters team?

Fawezeyeh enjoys helping others!  She says she has had a lot of help from others, and enjoys giving her help to others, in kind.

Fawezeyeh enjoys helping others learn to cook and eat healthier, on a budget.  She enjoys sharing her knowledge, and also enjoys learning even more about healthy cooking, herself.

Do you have a favorite moment from a Cooking Matters class you would like to share?

Fawezeyeh enjoys Participants very much!  She likes to see the interest in Participants' faces, and likes to help them.  She especially enjoys that the Participants in her class at ACCESS did not want the class to end.  Fawezeyeh also enjoys the Grocery Store Tour.

What ingredients will we always find in your kitchen?

Fawezeyeh always keeps lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber in her kitchen, as she loves to make and serve salads.  She also has homemade hummus in her kitchen at all times.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Fawezeyeh enjoys time with her family and friends, especially her grandchildren.  She also loves to cook, bake, and share with others.

Fawezeyeh also loves to volunteer.  She shares this interest with her children, especially her son, who speaks regularly on behalf of organ donation.