The first week of September was extremely active and full of events for project “My Kitchen Is Your Kitchen” participants from 5 European Union (EU) countries – Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Latvia and hosting country – Italy. Event took place in sunny Palermo city of Sicily and showed the perfect example of transcultural collaboration and integration on a basis of common values of distinct cultural backgrounds.
Supported by Erasmus+, “My Kitchen Is Your Kitchen” project is designed to improve the integration and tolerance among the different countries involved as well as contribute positively to the phenomenon of youth unemployment and active participation of youth. Latvian team was represented in project by 5 students and non-governmental institution’s Social Innovation Centre members.
Participants took part in activities related to, first of all, cooking, tasting and sharing eating traditions of different countries involved, showing in general the culture and interests in different parts of EU. Secondly, each day consisted of activities dedicated to such topics as integration, participation, migration, social inclusion, work of participating non-governmental institutions, personal and professional empowerment, traditions, at the same time getting to know local culture of Italians in Palermo. This was organized in order to provide and share the knowledge of differences and similarities between nationalities, problematical issues in different fields of EU policies, good practices of problem solving, experiences on support, help and integration of socially excluded groups as well as defining the term – social inclusion.
Week long event was organized in very positive, informal atmosphere, taking into account all planned activities and working in groups – national and mixed ones. This allowed participants to become closer and understand each other better, making sustainable connections and widering network of partner organizations as well as friendship. Through all the activities, methodological and non-formal educational methods were used the way they could produce positive experiences for each of participants. The use of audiovisual tools for the dissemination of the results ended up in the product created by the members of “My Kitchen Is Your Kitchen”. Check the video of discovering, sharing and evaluation of Sicilian local food here.
The main achievement of Latvian team is gaining the understanding of how similar we – representatives of different cultures – actually are regardless of our appearances, languages, traditions. This become easier thanks to variety of activities, that “mixed” us all together, like singing, dancing, using different languages, sharing traditions and, of course, meals. Participants also had a chance to travel together and visit some cultural sites, like Agrigento, Cefalu, Monreale and Mondello.
The long term result of this project is greater integration and tolerance between young people from different countries, as well as increase of entrepreneurship, interest in projects and mobility.
“My Kitchen Is Your Kitchen” project activities has finished, and participants are already thinking about coming together again to continue exchange culture and tolerance!