“More Taste, Less Waste!” - eine tansanisch-deutsche Jugendbegegnung

How can we consume and produce food more sustainably? This is the question that seven young people from Zanzibar, Tanzania, and seven young people from Germany are pondering in the international youth encounter project “More Taste, Less Waste!”.
The "More Taste, Less Waste!" youth group in Zanzibar in January 2024. 

A Tanzanian-German Youth Project

How can we consume and produce food more sustainably?

This is the question that seven young people from Zanzibar, Tanzania, and seven young people from Germany are pondering in the international youth encounter project “More Taste, Less Waste!”.

The project is jointly run by the Practical Permaculture Institute Zanzibar (PPIZ) and the Berlin-based Ludwig Wolker Association. It is really the young participants though, who are bringing the exchange to life with their innovative ideas, motivated spirit and taste for adventure.

Young people as changemakers

16 days in Zanzibar in January 2024 and 16 days in Berlin in June 2024, and so many possibilities to make this the experience of a lifetime whilst also making an impact as active citizens. The participants of the youth encounter chose the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  of the United Nations as the focus topic of their international exchange.

Sustainability issues such as environmental protection and climate change are extremely relevant for young people. After all, it is up to them to create a world that, as described by the Agenda 2030, offers generations living today and in the future a chance to have a “good life” in social, ecological and economic terms.

Many of the project participants are pondering such questions in their daily lives. Participant Judith from Zanzibar, for example, is a young entrepreneur running her own “Trash to Treasure” initiative that literally turns trash collected on beaches and the streets into artistic treasures, such as greeting cards made from paper mash. Hasan from Saarbrücken, on the other hand, studies Law and hopes to be able to advocate for fair working conditions and climate protection at a legal level in his future career. When joining the project, he declared that the motto of the Saarland - “Great things always come from small things!” - is also his motto in life, and fits the idea of a youth encounter perfectly. The goal of all the participants in the project is to become changemakers in their local communities and hereby also make an impact on the global level. 

More Taste, Less Waste!

The particular focus of the youth encounter is SDG12 - sustainable food production and consumption - and that’s why we called it “More Taste, Less Waste!”. Our goal is to learn and teach about food waste reduction, local and organic methods of growing food, reducing our carbon footprints by largely turning to vegetarian and vegan food options, and generally developing a conscious consumption.  What we put on our plates has an impact on the world!

  

In a participatory process, it was decided which activities should be reflected in the program of the project.  The group chose to visit local food markets, such as the Darajani food market in Stone Town in Zanzibar and the Wochenmarkt in Berlin Kreuzberg, to get their hands muddy with composting and raised-bed gardening at the Msonge Family Farm in Zanzibar and at a Bio Bauernhof in Brandenburg, and to stage beach cleanups on the beautiful beach of Paje, Zanzibar, as well as in the Brandenburger lakeland. Above all, the creation of a joint sustainable recipe book and a documentary film based on their experiences in both countries is the goal of their project work, so as to share the lessons learnt with a wider audience.

Participants from Zanzibar and Tanzania jointly shape the "More Taste, Less Waste!" project. 

Of course it is also about tasting delicious food! In community cooking sessions the group cooks together with members of the local communities. Jointly preparing food really brings people together across cultures! In Zanzibar, it was a group of local students and their families who spent their day together with the project group peeling fruits, chopping vegetables and experimenting with spices. For the visit in Berlin the plan is to stage a picnic with rescued food items for homeless people in the city.

Community cooking session in Zanzibar in January 2024. 

Opening horizons and partnership across cultures 

For young people, such projects offer a framework to explore sustainability topics outside of school and together with friends in a leisurely atmosphere, with the added bonus of getting to travel and explore a partner country and its culture.

The most interesting thing about meeting new people in far-away places is the way such encounters will open your horizon! Learning new ways of greeting, finding topics for small talk, striking the right tone, dealing with conflicts or interpreting the other person's body language are both challenging and enriching at the same time. The goal of the “More Taste, Less Waste!” participants was not to get stuck in stereotypes about Tanzania and Germany, but to allow themselves to make real-life experiences and thus build a nuanced picture of what life is like in the other country. 

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