New Slow Food Community founded: “African Youth Leaders for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems”

06 Dec 2019

The Slow Food Community “African Youth Leaders for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems” was founded today in Nakuru, Kenya. Their objective is to create an inclusive African youth network that can advocate for the restoration of indigenous peoples’ food systems and rights. This community is the first of its kind, created by indigenous and non-indigenous youth together.

A Slow Food Community is formed by at least ten people, and is established to pursue a specific objective, related to the general goals of Slow Food. As a conclusion to the intensive training and hard work of the past days at “Shaping the Future of Food in Africa”, today 15 youths and 15 indigenous youths signed the founding declaration of this new Slow Food Community. In order to achieve their general objectives, the members commit to strengthening networks and reaching out to communities, organizing advocacy campaigns and events, as well as preserving food culture and indigenous people’s knowledge.

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Forming this Slow Food Community is an important step towards a more sustainable food system in Africa, especially as it includes representatives from seven African countries: Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and South Africa.

Drawing a road map to Shape the Future of Food in Africa

As the week goes by, the workshops are getting more specific; the conversations denser. Delegates of “Shaping the Future of Food in Africa” have gathered over the past few days to form an action plan and a road map for the future. Hivos delegates Maria Gomez and Nout van der Vaart spoke about the idea of resource mobilization, while Slow Food Youth Network coordinator Valentina Gritti taught participants how to pitch a project to institutions, while Francisco Prieto, Slow Food focal point for indigenous peoples’ communities, led a successful session on action planning strategies.

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A Role-Playing Game around Project Funding

Depending on the nature of their projects and their target audience, organizations choose which institutions to approach to ask for funding, and how. A role-play game, which the Hivos delegates introduced to the group, included seven “actors” from the Slow Food and Hivos teams who played different roles: a government ready to assign a grant, a crowdfunding manager, a private donor or local company. The participants goal was to pitch their idea in a way that would convince the institution to offer funding for the project.

The concluding event on Saturday, December 7.

During the past days, we’ve been trying to include the audience beyond and outside of this workshop as much as possible. Tomorrow we’ll go LIVE on Instagram, where our followers can ask us questions, engage with the group of future food leaders, ask them about the event, what they’ve learned and so on and so forth. The goal is to spread the word of the importance of good, clean and fair food as widely as possible, in a time where we have unprecedented possibilities to connect with one another, Slow Food wants to build bridges, as well as share experiences and connections across countries and continents.

by Anna Messerschmidt

 

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