“By Sharing Food
We Are Sharing Love.”
Meet Ellie Kisyombe
Ellie Kisyombe, a founder, a mother, an activist, and political candidate. In 2015, Ellie co- founded an Irish Café Award winning social enterprise called OurTable with fellow activist and chef, Michelle Darmody. In 2017 Ellie got the opportunity to be trained by Darina Allen in Ballymaloe. In 2018 she featured as part of Dublin City Council Culture Company’s ‘Local Heroes’. In 2019, Ellie was the first asylum seeker to run for the local election and also worked hand in hand with TD Garry Gannon. Ellie is originally from Malawi, has experienced living in the Direct Provision system for many years in Ireland. Ellie has also spent many years volunteering with Irish Refugee Council working on the campaign to end Direct Provision and was a key participant in public outreach and awareness raising activities.
Ellie’s activism and passion for positive social change did not begin in Ireland, however. In 2005, she founded the Rhoda Bosom Charity Foundation Trust, an organisation which raises money to provide essential infrastructure for rural villages in Malawi. This includes the building of a school, and the purchase of bicycle ambulances to transport women in labour and people experiencing medical emergencies to the nearest health centres.
Ellie has also been a member and organiser with City of Sanctuary Dublin, a long-time member of the Clondalkin Towers Residents Committee and a regular spokesperson in the media relating to issues that affect Ireland’s asylum seeking and refugee community.
OurTable is a community-based, social enterprise designed to provide migrants with employment skills in Ireland. OurTable operates pop-up cafes in Dublin and provides catering services in the rest of the country. Through OurTable, Ellie provides immigrants with employment and help them to develop their culinary and hospitality skills.
Our Table has seen a number of successes including winning The Irish Cafe Awards and launching its own range of Hot Sauces and Hummus. OurTable previously pop up restaurants includes the Project Arts Theatre, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Christchurch Cathedral and at various festivals.