Slow Food Youth Network Uganda successfully held their first camp intending to connect young people to the local food systems.
To tackle the current and prospective food system problems, it is crucial to involve youth as they are the ones building the future society. However, for most youngsters in Uganda, the questions related to food systems, such as access to land, food waste, and malnutrition, remain unfamiliar. To change this and encourage more youth participation in the management of food structures, SFYN Uganda and Slow Food Uganda organized the first instalment of Good Food Camp at the last weekend of May.
Held at the Nabbale Sub County, Mukono, during the three-day camp, more than 40 young people from indigenous and non-indigenous communities from all over Uganda gathered to learn about the food systems and share the food-related issues and experiences from their own societies. The main goal was to connect people from different backgrounds to reflect and share views on overcoming the challenges that affect food. That was done through various engaging activities like the Biodiversity Tour, during which the participants had a chance to visit multiple farms within the vicinity and learn about different farming practices, such as agroforestry, goat and pig rearing, banana plantations and pineapple farming.
The participants got to enjoy a local chefs’ testing menu, which illustrated how food waste can be reduced in a delicious way and teach about how to make nutritionally balanced meals from local ingredients. Representatives from Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) and other food sector experts educated the participants about the local food organizational issues. The chefs and farmers contributed to the discussion by sharing their side of the organizationalfood system.However, one of the main goals of the camp was to foster networking among future food leaders. One of the participants, the 28-year-old farmer Hudson Nsubuga also emphasized how important this event was in connection-building: “I was able to network, exchange knowledge and experience with my peers about sustainable land management and learn about other culture’s food history and issues affecting their food system.” Hudson grows fruit trees in Nabbaale village, Mukono district.
At the final discussion, the organizers, as well as the participants, agreed that these camps should be held annually; thus, the following Good Food Camp will take place in May 2022.