Youth exchange will take place in May, 2022 in Belluno, Italy.
Objectives of the project. Food lies at the heart of our lives. It is vital for our survival, and links us to our natural and social environment in a unique way. But our food system is unsustainable. Food insecurity and sustainability are widely recognised as among the most significant global challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, linked to a range of other challenges including malnutrition, biodiversity loss, climate change, soil degradation and water quality. Ensuring sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all is a major issue for the European Union, both internally and in terms of its wider international responsibilities. Such challenge is also exacerbated by the current conditions of rapid population growth, increasing urbanisation and political instability across the world. The availability of food is not perceived as an immediate, major concern in Europe, but access to safe and nutritious food is still problematic for significant parts of the population in many European countries. The food system (which includes all the actors and institutions involved in producing, distributing, consuming and disposing of food) is beset by multiple problems, from unacceptable levels of food waste to the growing ecological footprint of agriculture, from chronic soil depletion to recurrent food scares. Moreover, of the six WHO regions, the European Region is the most severely affected by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Excess body weight (BMI >25), excessive consumption of energy, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar and salt, as well as low consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains are leading risk factors. In 46 of the 53 countries of the Region, more than 50% of the population is pre-obese or obese. Therefore, the projects aims to raise awareness on sustainable patterns of food consumption and production for climate change mitigation, activating young people and enabling them to develop and learn about green practices and behaviors, and to influence institutional decisions, so they can lead us to a sustainable global food system.
More specifically, the project aims to: • promote sustainable diets to reduce the impact on the planet and protect human rights • promote local alternative food systems, local producers and territorial markets • fight against food waste • promote sustainable food education and knowledge sharing dissemination • fight against climate change and equal access to healthy, sustainable and fair food.
Moreover, participants will have the chance to strengthen their level of tolerance, understanding and active listening by engaging in the project with peers coming from different countries, and, therefore, cultures. Indeed, they will develop cultural awareness, open their mind, enhance their selfconfidence and improve or gain language skills. These are all crucial soft-skills that participants will need for their personal, academic and professional life and that they can use during and after the project. Furthermore, the project will allow participants to create and develop a European identity and a common sense of responsibility towards the importance of certain food choices. Such common sense will give birth to a community/network/movement of young people and a sense of belonging and identity will be created. In this way, once the project is over, participants will have the opportunity to have a point of reference and a space where organize future actions and debates in order to achieve a change. Finally, participants will gain a deeper understanding of social inequalities and stereotypes applied to gender and food. This will allow them to overcome differences, change their mindset and see no gender differences when it comes to prepare and eat food.
Planned activities. The consortium on this project has come forth in order to face one of the most pressing challenges that our society is dealing with today: food and environmental sustainability. Therefore, the project will promote activities to disseminate green practices related to alternative food production systems and food consumption choice’s that every single European citizen can make. All learning activities are designed in accordance to the project’s objectives, respecting the main principles of the non-formal education and are in line with the general policies, objectives and priorities of the Erasmus+ programme. Additionally, the project promotes zero food waste, sustainable agriculture and gender equality. The topics of the training course are: green practices, food and environmental sustainability, sustainable food consumption choices, sustainable and alternative food production systems (i.e permaculture), zero food waste, gender equality related to food consumption, plants and foraging, the nexus between food production and climate change and food production and human rights, urban food systems, the importance of grains and the dark side of chocolate. Main methods used on the training will be: group work, ice breaking activities, group building, getting to know activities, game based learning, observation environment, discussion, group work, case study, presentation, creation of online content, role playing, exchange of good practices, cooking classes, outdoor activities, visits, facilitation by trainers, mentoring, input from experts, peer to peer education, networking & idea planning. The training course will gather 16 participants aged between 18–30 coming from different EU programme countries’ non-governmental organizations and associations that work for promoting food and environmental sustainability. Participants will come from different social, economic and academic background and equal opportunities will be given both to girls and boys. Furthermore, 2 trainers, experienced in teaching food and environmental education through the non-formal and informal methods, will be the main actors in facilitating the learning process. NINA APS will host the youth exchange from 04.–08.05.2022 in Belluno, Italy. The project will be implemented in cooperation with partner organizations from the following 4 countries: Greece, Spain, Estonia, and Poland. Each of the above organizations will be represented by 4 participants + 1 group leader, while Italy will be represented by 4 participants + 2 trainers. The total number of participants is thus 26.
Project results and impact. The project will result with 24 young people educated in the field of food and environmental sustainability. While 2 participants will be involved as trainers. Young participants will acquire a new insight and new input on alternative food production systems and food consumption choices, on environmental sustainability and climate change, on human rights and gender equality. In particular, young participants will manage to develop competences, skills and knowledge emphasizing on green practices and skills development through alternative food consumption opportunities and other tools and methods, that they will acquire during the training and that they will implement with other young people belonging to their local community and/or affiliated to the same organization or association. The project will result with a strong collaboration among 5 partner organizations active in the field of food and environmental sustainability and green practices.
The impact on the partners: • acquainting with a new, innovative training plan for working with young people in the theme of food and environment sustainability. -Useful and concrete information and knowledge, obtained with experiences from the various countries, practices and culture related to the topics of the project • improved skills in sustainable project management, cultural knowledge and improve language skills (by working with project partners), practices and approaches in food and environment sustainability • broader insight into the working methods of the partner organizations • opportunity to learn about good and established practices in EU, networking and strengthening of partnerships for future projects • new projects and ideas developed through Erasmus+ funding • all partners will build their experience, understanding and confidence to use Open Educational Resources Expected impact on the indirect target group after the implementation of workshops and raise awareness activities in their local communities • gain information on the legislation and opportunities for alternative and more sustainable green practices related to food production and consumption • learn different green practices and approaches in order to prevent the environment and fight climate change through everyday lifestyle choices • learn new perspectives and new aspects in the field of food and environment sustainability that will offer the basis for further deepening of knowledge and conquest of new/different competences and behaviors needed to lead the change and make our food systems more sustainable • learn new methods to achieve zero food waste by recycling food, creating, sharing and learning new recipes • learn healthier lifestyles by boosting creativity and improving problem solving skills • the training activity will support young people with creating movements, initiatives and actions to implement in their local communities. In the long term, the project results will affect the promotion of more sustainable food production systems and consumption choices as well as green practices to protect the environment and fight climate change throughout Europe, thus contributing to EU’s values and set goals in regard to the topics of environmental sustainability and climate change. The project results will indirectly contribute to the reduction of food wastes, gender inequalities related to access to food and food consumption, non-friendly environmental practices, so that to create more sustainable and greener communities. Additionally, the project aspires to contribute to create a beahvior change among young people so that they can become role models for future generations and the main actors of a urgent change that our society needs more than ever at all levels: local, European, and international levels.
Our partners are:
- NINA APS, Italy (coordinator)
- Bank Zywnosci w Olsztynie, Poland
- Institouto proothisis ka pistopoiisis proionton agrodiatrofis, Greece
- Associació Juvenil Culture Clash Barcelona, Spain