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Food for Thought: Classed and Gendered Consumption
Start date: May 15, 2015, End date: Dec 15, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Food for Thought: Classed and Gendered consumption was a training course aimed to give youth workers knowledge, skills and tools to work with issues related to gender, LGBTIQ rights, food consumption and class. This objective had several levels: • To give an introduction to the social construction of gender and how class and gender intersect. • To give an introduction to sustainable food production and consumption and its societal benefits. • To give an introduction to how gender and class affect consumption. • To initiate a change in attitudes towards consumption as it relates to gender, class and sustainability. • To develop life skills, including cooking and sharing responsibilities among members of a household (short-term or long-term) with particular attention given to gender norms and class differences as they apply to divisions of labour. • To promote healthy living by promoting a plant-based diet among young people. In the training course we went beyond the international youth encounter and reflected individually on ourselves not only in terms of culture but also in terms of gender, diversity and sustainability in the European Union and the Western Balkans. We provided a safe and inclusive space for self-reflection, competence building and exchange of experiences and good practices. We discussed the impact of socially constructed gender roles, heteronormativity and consumerist culture in society on all of us. We provided youth organisations with the tools to 1) increase awareness and understanding of gender and sustainability as key cultural factors among their members, volunteers and in local communities, 2) to combat discrimination against women and LGBTIQ people, while at the same time 3) making more informed and more sustainable choices in their daily consumption. This six day training took place in Tenala, Finland in 27.7-1.8.2015. It involved 30 participants from EU and Balkan countries, who were deeply involved in social change through their national and international projects. The first few days of the training were devoted to informative sessions, workshops and reflective execises on the themes of gender, class and consumption. Once the participants had gotten an introduction to these topics they divided themselves into smaller groups with the task of planning follow-up projects for Food for Thought, either to be carried out by NuorisoWork or between participating organisations in the training course. Among these is a training going deeper into the topic of gender, LGBTQ and women's rights with a focus on Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Northern Africa, and a project focusing on sustainability and food production that would be done in the form of a caravan tour visiting ecological farms. The training team provided information and support on how to actually implement these projects, for instance via Erasmus+.

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