Archive for the ‘Exchange programmes’ Category

Michinda Boys Primary School Exposure Tour to Nanyuki Secondary schools..

July 6th 2012 boys at Michinda primary school hastily loaded their belongings, into the school bus with much enthusiasm. The trip ahead was going to be an adventurous one full of new experiences. The boys were going to have a whole weekend to socialize with their senior counterparts from Nanyuki Boys High school, Moi equator girls high school and Gakawa High school; it was going to be an intensive weekend full of learning experiences: both socially and intellectually. The idea of conducting this trip was conceived in mid 2011 when a group of students from the above schools visited Michinda Boys Primary school for an exchange learning program. During the said visit the students were given a guided tour around the 4K club garden and they were really impressed that the young boys aged between the ages of 8 and 13 years old could achieve so much given their ages thus this challenged them to go back to their respective schools and implement the same. They vowed that in future they’ll invite the Michinda boys so that they could show case what they had achieved since the mid 2011 visit. That time had come and on 6th July 2012 roughly a year after they had visited michinda, it was now the time for michinda to visit the other schools i.e. Nanyuki boys high school, Moi equator girls high school and Gakawa high school. After a long drive of approximately 7 hour we arrived in Nanyuki, a town located at the feet of Mount Kenya, in early morning it offers an impressive magnificent view of Mount Kenya. That evening the student had dinner and spent a night at Nanyuki High School where they had an interaction with the team that had organized the visit i.e. Seanet ‘s director, Mr. Macheru, Lukas and Anna both from People in Peril Association (Pipa)and Nanyuki high school.
On July 7th the Students had a chance to visit the Nanyuki E-clubs’ Garden where they learnt about the activities the club has been undertaking. The Demo offered by the E-club members tours included: Demonstration on drip irrigation, Biogas production, Water harvesting and use efficiency and Green house farming technologies. The E-clubs are run in such a way that the produce from the E-gardens is processed by the members of the club and sold to both the school for consumption and the local market. The E-gardens were adorned with mainly vegetable e.g. kales, spinach, onions, cabbages, tomatoes and tubers: potatoes, carrots and sweet Potatoes. After the Demo tour the students participated in a joint tree planting activity together with the members of cooperatives societies in Nanyuki as a way of marking the world cooperatives day marked on July 7th annually. Shortly after completing the tree planting exercise we departed for Moi Equator girls high school which is located at a five minutes drive from Nanyuki town along Nanyuki – Kiganjo highway. Here we found that our hosts – The E-club Moi Equator girls high school had prepared a guided demo tour around their E-garden. As they had witnessed earlier the boys from Michinda had a chance to see various agricultural technologies ranging from greenhouse farming, drip irrigation, chicken rearing, rabbits and pigs rearing. As with the previous E-club from Nanyuki boys high school, Moi equators’ garden mainly composed of vegetables and tubers farming. During the interaction session which was held in the garden the students had an intense and thorough discussions on the methods of cultivation used by both schools, advantages and disadvantages of each method. They also visited the cottage industry of the school’s E-club where they had a chance to witness various food transformation processes aimed at value addition. Guided tasting sessions were also conducted by the hardworking members of the E-clubs.
Later that afternoon we departed to Gakawa high school which boarder Mt Kenya forest reserve, 30 minutes drive from Nanyuki town towards Kiganjo. Here the students were given a tour of the Gakawa High school E – garden by the members of the E-club, the tour included demos on drip irrigation, agroforestry, Greenhouse farming technologies, tomatoes farming and roof water harvesting technologies. After the visit to the garden the members of both the 4K club and the E-club (from Michinda and Gakawa schools respectively) held intense discussions on their farming practices before proceeding to Gakawa’s E-club cottage industry. In the cottage industry the taken through a demonstration on the transformation and processing (Value addition) of potatoes to make potato chips. This was done using readily available kitchen equipment making it easier for students to replicate when they are back to their respective home. This was particularly significant as the students gained could market their product to their peer in school and at the local market to earn the club some income which can be used to propel the club forward moreover to cultivate interest in other students from the school who have not yet joined the club or have a negative view of agriculture and economic activity. When the demo was done the overly generous students from Gakawa high schools’ E- club offered their guest a packet of potato chip as a gesture of good faith and strong friendship.
At the conclusion of trip the students from Michinda were challenged to implement the activities they had learnt about in their school and also to challenge their parents back at home to adopt them as this will go along way in contributing towards a food secure Kenya where the youth no longer look down upon agriculture as a peasants way of life instead they should perceive it as a viable and respectable way of earning an honest and dignified living. This successful trip eventually, I believe taught the young boys from Michinda a valuable lifelong lesson. We are forever grateful for having had this wonderful opportunity to interact and experience all the good stuff we learnt and for all the nice people we met. Many thanks to PIPA, Nanyuki boys high school, Moi equator girls high school, Gakawa high school Seanet and Necofa Kenya for having made this trip a success.

CHEESE 2011

Cheese returns to Bra, Italy, from September 16-19, 2011. The international biennial event organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food is now in its eighth edition. Dedicated to “milk in all its shapes and forms,” it has created an international network of cheesemakers and artisans who gather every two years to present their products, meet co-producers (consumers), discuss the challenges of the trade and market prospects and share solutions to problems old and new.
The program of the event is available on http://www.slowfood.it/cheese (select the language on the top right corner) Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/slowfoodhq
International Presidia and Food Communities at Cheese 2011
Ten different countries will be represented at Cheese by the Presidia, unique products protected by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. Old favorites like Tcherni Vit green cheese from Bulgaria, Swedish cellar-matured goat’s cheese from Jämtland and Pokot ash yogurt from Kenya will be joined by four international Presidia participating in Cheese for the first time: Auvergne Salers Cow Cheeses from France, Mavrovo Reka Mountain Pasture Cheeses from Macedonia, Bregaglia Valley Mascarplin or Mascarpel and Mountain Pasture Sbrinz from Switzerland.

These Presidia, already familiar to Cheese visitors, will be on display in the International Presidia Market in Via Principi di Piemonte. Information about them can be found on the website http://www.slowfoodfoundation.org

Armenia Motal
Bosnia Herzegovina Cheese in a Sack
Bulgaria Tcherni Vit Green Cheese, Karakachan Sheep
France Bearne Mountain Pasture Cheeses, Pélardon Affiné
Great Britain Artisan Somerset Cheddar
Ireland Irish Raw Milk Cheeses
Kenya Pokot Ash Yogurt
Netherlands Aged Artisanal Gouda, Texel Sheep Cheese
Poland Oscypek
Romania Bucegi Mountains Branza de Burduf
Spain Carranzana Cara Negra Sheep Cheese
Sweden Jämtland Cellar-Matured Goat Cheese
Switzerland Raw Milk Butter, Emmentaler, Raw Milk Vacherin Fribourgeois
The Terra Madre Network: Food Communities
of Nomadic African Herders
The food communities belonging to the Terra Madre network are groups of people who produce, process and distribute quality food in a sustainable way and are historically, socially and culturally linked to a geographic area. The communities share the problems generated by an intensive agriculture that damages natural resources and a large-scale food industry that standardizes tastes and puts the very existence of small-scale production at risk.
At Cheese, representatives from Terra Madre food communities will be recounting the stories of women and men who make their livelihood by herding animals. They will participate in conferences and workshops and contribute to a global exchange of traditional knowledge.

Burkina Faso – Oudalan Nomadic Farmers
Oudalan is a vast border area, located along the invisible lines that divide Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Like the rest of the Sahel, the region is mostly populated by nomadic herding communities. The CRUS (Conseil Régional des Unions du Sahel) brings together around 40,000 herders and nomadic farmers, divided into 1.776 groups. The organization promotes interreligious dialog, the sustainable use of resources and food sovereignty through the realization of pastoral and agricultural potential and the promotion of local products.
Production area: Oudalan region

Ethiopia – Fantalle District Karrayu Pastoralists
Pastoralism and agropastoralism are the main livelihood systems for the Karrayu, a community living in the Fantalle district in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley. The Karrayu seasonally move their livestock to better pastures, using permanent settlements in different areas. This system is particularly suited to arid regions and allows the community members to easily adapt to the highly variable conditions. The animals raised by the Karrayu—cattle, camels, goats, sheep and donkeys—allow the community to use different types of fodder and provide food, traction power and a small income.
Production area: Fantalle district, Oromia region

Mauritania – Nouakchott Camel Breeders and Milk Producers
The breeding of camels on the outskirts of Mauritania’s capital is the modern version of an ancient activity, following the wide-scale urbanization that has affected the nomadic populations whose diet is based on milk. In the areas surrounding the capital, many farmers own or manage herds of dromedaries, gathered into groups of 20 to 30 animals allowed to graze freely. Camel milk is sold directly to passers-by and to intermediaries.
Production area: Nouakchott district

VISIT BY YOUNG GASTRONOMES!

15 young students  from University of Gastronomic Sciences (Unisg) learnt about Kenyan Food Culture and Heritage during their Study Trip (6th-16th February).

Unisg which is supported by International Slow Food association was created in 2004 to create an insight on gastronomy and professionals who can join the act of eating with that of production, without crossing any intermediate stages.
Supported by the regional governments of Piedmont and Emilia- Romagna, the University of Gastronomic Sciences is based in Pollenzo. It is a private institution recognized by the Italian state.
The university has students from Japan, Africa, Europe, Latin America and countries like Venezuela and Colombia.
At this university students do not learn to cook, but they engage in visiting producers involved in
production processes, culture and have extensive knowledge of the territories. It is important that students know in particular; cuisine, history, culture and biography of a country.
The aim is to create ambassadors of good food; this is achieved by trying to relate and to strengthen relations with chefs, growers and consumers.

On this trip students had a ten-day visit, where they learnt about the country through various visits and meetings with local food communities, schools as well as  participating in a series of lessons, including on such subjects as;  Kenya’s fishing industry, tea production and commercialization, sugar refining, the coffee industry, school gardens and Small- scale farming organized by Network for Ecofarming in Africa( Necofa), Sustainable Mobilization of Agricultural Resources Technologies (Smart Initiative) and Youth Action for Rural Development (Yard).
In addition, the trip included visits to the Slow Food presidia Projects; Nzoia River Reed Salt, Mushunu chicken and Pokot Ash Yoghurt, where they had an opportunity to interact with different food communities, dance to traditional rhythms and share meals.

Presidia projects are sustainable food production initiatives which build the capacity of a group of producers in order to improve production techniques, develop production protocols and find local and international markets. Each Presidium supports a quality product at risk of extinction; uses traditional processing and/or agricultural methods; and safeguards native breeds and local plant varieties. The Presidia projects were created in 2009 following a research study on traditional foods in Molo and Western areas carried out by Kenyan Graduate students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences and spearheaded by Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, Italy.

 

Students had an opportunity to visit the historic city of Kapenguria, travel through and watch the destruction of the Mau escarpment, visit a coffee-hulling plant, mix wildlife and study by visiting the Maasai Mara Park, visit to a tea plantation and they also met with Karunga women group who utilize wool from sheep to make different products like dolls, carpets among others.

A great visit it was ” I did’n’t know I could learn so much about a people’s culture and their lifestyle in 10 days, I loved the interaction with food communities,eating together and having a dance with the pokot women” Eloise Vincent one of the students from Canada.

SEEKING TO BALANCE LIFE AND WORK.

As we seek to balance life and work, we often think of our next vacation as one of the ways of restoring balance in our lives.

Terra Madre Safaris through Necofa hosted 6 American visitors; who included their partners  (FKSW) and their friends from the 7th -29th January,2011 .  The friends of FKSW were interested in learning about the different activities of the 2 organizations in Kenya, learning about the kenyan people and their culture. This was achieved through visits to successful community projects, school projects, and local food communities where they shared meals with the local people, as they exchanged information and shared ideas of the two different worlds they live in. These exchanges help the local people in appreciating themselves, priding in their culture and heritage, and holding their heads high with dignity.

Asked of their experience in Kenya, Karen had this to say;

“Sometimes we take a big trip, far away from where we live and what we do. These journeys abroad can provide rich learning, not only about the people we meet and the places we visit, but also about ourselves. Such trips are as much an adventure (looking outward), as an inventure (looking inward). Travel provides us with an opportunity to be students of our experiences, reinvent ourselves, and rewrite our personal narratives. ”

 

STINGING NETTLE AND PUMPKIN PRODUCERS SHOWCASE THEIR PRODUCTS AT SALONE DEL GUSTO, ITALY.

 

 47 Kenyans were part of the delegates that celebrated the fourth Terra Madre and the eighth

Salone del Gusto, Slow Food’s biennial food festival that showcases quality, small-scale producers

from around the world, that attracted a record 200,000 visitors to  Turin  with around 30% coming

from outside of Italy.  

 

In addition to displaying the quality  food,  the international market had a strong educational focus,

with emphasis on raising awareness and stimulating debate about the future of food production.

A major focus was to present foods which are at risk of extinction, such as Mau Stinging nettle from

Kenya, Ethiopian mountain honeys, Brazilian Baru nut and Indonesian pepper, and this year

around one third of the stalls were allocated to 182 Italian and 106 international

Slow Food Presidia – projects to support small-scale, traditional food production –

who also participate in the Terra Madre meeting. 
To highlight the numerous and diverse regions coming together in these two events,

and the importance of territory in producing quality foods, the theme of this year’s

Salone was “Food+/=Places”. Thus, the exhibition was organized by grouping producers by

region rather than by food category, with each region or country presenting its own products,

projects and cuisine. 
The Salone del Gusto together with Terra Madre has been confirmed as one of the most important

events in the region of national and international significance. With its 200,000 visitors,

it contributes in an important way to the tourism and commercial activities of this region

and at the same time has the capacity and authority to inspire a profound reflection on food

and the global community it represents.