Now that this blog has had its first page, it is time to move to practical things: an Erasmus Plus project planning.
We currently working with the BRGD team on a new Erasmus Plus proposal, for once not connected to technology: the usage of cuisine as tool for the integration of migrants and refugees.
We had several contacts last year with the very nice Warsaw based organisation called Kuchnia Konfliktu during MakeSense meetings and those meetings sparked the idea to get involved on this topic.
This idea of using food as a tool for intercultural exchange and inclusion has proven to be very effective over the years and the idea is gaining popularity in youth work and in other sectors but with the refugee crisis, the use of this medium has been taken to another level. Indeed, all over Europe refuge restaurants, or migrants’ food centres have been created under different forms: directly managed by migrants or run by an NGO or foundation, focused on the kitchen only or including social activities, focused on skill development or used as an entrepreneurship tool, etc.
- Kuchnia Konfliktu: created in the summer 2016 in Warsaw after a very successful crowdfunding campaign. Their idea is based on the American concept of Conflict Kitchen which intends to present, through food, the people coming from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Following the same idea, the people from Kuchnia Konfliktu have organized their activities centred on the cuisine of the migrants living or arriving in Poland from Syria, Ukraine, Palestine, etc.
- Kitchen on the Run is a German organisation who acts with a mobile kitchen in a shipping container. They travel Europe and Germany and organize cooking events for refugees and locals to get to know each other, cook and eat together and share their stories.
- Altrove Ristorante: based in the centre of Rome since this 2017 summer, this restaurant define itself as “an open door to the world”. This restaurant allows youngsters from migrants’ background to finish their training or to acquire their first professional experience in the Italian job market but is also a space for training and above all for intercultural exchanges about the countries from which refugees are coming from
- There is many more such as Africa Experience in Venice, Taste of home in Croatia, Pao Pao in Portugal, Trampoline house in Denmark, etc.
The success of this medium all over Europe and the success of many of similar initiatives created via crowdfunding platforms shows the clear potential of using food as an entry point for the inclusion of migrants and refugees. On the other hand, despite this spread and the funding successes, the usage of culinary and food as a tool is still untapped. Each of these initiatives are done separately with a low level of communication between them and a lack of methodological base to develop activities.
Therefore, we are working on gathering several of these restaurants, centres together with education specialists in order to develop methodological and practical tools for improve the impact of their activities in this Erasmus Plus project.
With these organisations to have two other main impacts:
- Be useful to launch a communication between organisations using food as a medium for inclusion, or willing to do so.
- Promote this form of social entrepreneurship towards youngsters, migrants and professionals
As this aligns perfectly with some of the Erasmus Plus programme, we believe that this proposal could be assessed positively byt the Erasmus plus evaluators
If you are interested or if you want to share your thoughts, please comments or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org