Guest post by: Juan Forero / Vice-president PSF – Food Revolution Ambassador
It is Food Revolution year in Colombia and around the world, capped off by Food Revolution Day on May 15th. The Food Revolution campaign is promoted by celebrity chef Jaime Oliver and pushes for the inclusion of compulsory practical food education in school curriculums around the world. By educating children about food in a fun and engaging way, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves, and their future families.
Proyectar Sin Fronteras (PSF) Foundation has been selected as one of the global ambassadors of the campaign here in Bogotá. PSF is a non-profit solidarity organization fighting against poverty and exclusion in Colombia through programs that seek to reduce the economic, social cultural and/or environmental vulnerability of the target populations. One of its projects, Seeds of Confidence (SoC), focuses on urban agriculture production and education. Through regular trainings in schools and organizations around Bogotá, the program aims to inspire change in food habits and promote better nutrition and food education for all, especially youth.
Worldwide, over 42 million children under the age of five are either overweight or obese and by 2030 that will include 41% of the world’s population. Here in Colombia, in addition to growing obesity problems, malnutrition is at a startling rate of 13.2% for children ages 5 and under. For a country with such natural nutritional abundance, we cannot let these inequalities continue. This is where food education comes in!
What is Food Revolution Colombia working to achieve and how can you join in?
Impact in public policy: by signing the global petition, submitting proposals to governments, organizing conferences and discussions around the topic, the campaign aims to make changes in public policies. It needs your support by signing the petition, speaking with schools you know and connecting people who work in nutrition with the campaign.
Events in schools around Bogotá: Each month, the campaign will have chefs and students in Bogotá cooking and sharing experiences. If you would like your school in Bogotá to participate send an email to email@example.com or follow the campaign here in Colombia on Facebook.
Spread the word: Through social networks, bulletins and events the campaign will promote information about healthy food consumption, especially for children and teens. Also, everyone will be looking out for and denouncing publicity and advertisements that encourage excessive consumption of calories for this age group. We all play an important role in this ambition by reading, sharing and informing ourselves on this topic.
Donate to support the campaign: By donating funds or your time, you can make a big difference in the success of Food Revolution Colombia. Financial contributions support the workshops and events in schools as well as the advancement toward public policy changes. You can make your donation on the PSF website. If you are in Bogotá, the campaign can use your help in schools, in upcoming events and in many different roles -shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What has the campaign done so far in Colombia?
- Community Cook-out: During the COMParte Urbano event in PSF’s Centro COMParte, around 50 residents of the Santa Rosa neighborhood in southern Bogotá gathered for a community cook-out. By helping with the organization, preparation and by donating fresh ingredients, everyone worked together to create a delicious traditional Sancocho. It was an excellent opportunity to promote the importance of preserving cooking traditions and participating in the kitchen to lead a healthy lifestyle.
- School Trainings: with the weekly hands-on training provided by PSF’s Seeds of Confidence program, children in the French School (Liceo Francés) spent time in the didactic garden caring for plants and learning to distinguish between various vegetables and stages of maturity. With the vegetables ready for harvest, instructors shared fun recipes with the families, allowing children to try these and change their perspective on these veggies.
- May 15th Cooking Workshops: on the actual Food Revolution Day, the campaign will be active in several schools throughout Bogotá with chef-led workshops to join the global Food Revolution community in celebrating food education!
Buen provecho and Happy Food Revolution Day! Together we can make the changes that our youth need in order to prosper tomorrow and for generations to come!