Food for Change

By Maryam Alaouie

Everybody loves food, but have you ever tried a slice of discussion? A sip of chat? Have you ever just felt so full after a delicious dialogue? If yes, you definitely want to hear about our new ‘recipes for conversation’!

 On the 13th of February, Crossing Borders was in Berlin for the kick-off meeting of our brand-new European project ‘Food for Change’. In partnership with CRN from Germany, Euro-net from Italy, Kainotomia from Greece, Novo Mundo Azul from Portugal, and Active Youth from Lithuania the project offers an innovative food-based approach to dialogue and social issues using universal concepts like food. The project is based on dinners that involve young people cooking together, sharing food, and with the help of the ‘recipes for conversation’ which will be provided for the participants, initiating conversations that allow the youth to share their stories on personal, societal, and political issues that affect their everyday lives with peers on a local and European scale.

With this project, we aim to develop innovative food-based methods to engage youth in intercultural dialogue that contributes to the social inclusion of marginalized youth, who are affected by poverty, disabilities, discrimination, or mental health issues. By participating in the dialogue dinners, they will gain social and professional competencies that we expect can strengthen their employability.

Furthermore, ‘Food for Change’ is promoting two of the main values of Crossing Borders which are the importance of storytelling and highlighting the cultural diversity of food. We believe, through these dinners, that sharing food and stories will enhance the youth’s feelings of community and belonging. In addition to cultivating the mental health of these participants, the dinners also have a positive impact on the participants’ physical well-being with healthy seasonal food recipes they can cook together and learn to use in their daily lives.

Being a part of a community will make us more resilient during difficult times in our lives, imagine all this…with food? The perfect recipe to a fulfilling evening!

Stay tuned to hear more about how this project will develop on all of our social media platforms!