Jane and Francois Marx, Melbourne-based cafe owners, are raising funds through crowdfunding to build a cafe that provides employment and training opportunities for young refugees.
They are highly experienced in the hospitality industry and have a passion for the rights of refugees. It all began with a pop-up cafe at a popular music festival in Melbourne followed by a second pop-up invitation to attend the Melbourne Festival of Live Art.
The success of both pop-up ventures led to them finding a permanent space for the Long Street Cafe in Richmond. They plan now to raise enough funds to fit out the new site properly as both a fully functioning cafe as well as a training facility for young refugees. Via a campaign on the crowdfunding site Pozible they have thus far raised almost $19,000.
"Little to no Australian work experience, less-than-perfect English language skills, and often a lack of self-confidence, are usually the reasons for this. As everyone can understand, it's very difficult to feel a sense of belonging, to make friends, and to be self-sufficient when you don't have a job. Our dream is that Long Street will come to play an important role in building a more progressive and inclusive Australia, a place where asylum seekers and refugees feel welcome."
The aim of the Long Street Cafe is to help young refugees find their feet in the workplace in Australia by providing them with a six-month paid traineeship. Once they have completed their traineeship they will assist them in securing ongoing employment.