The country's first Slow Food Youth Network meeting was held on Saturday, July 19 in Makumira village (20 km outside Arusha City in northern Tanzania).
The idea emerged from the collaboration between Helen Nguya, the local representative of the 10,000 Gardens in Africa project, Lucas Aristarick, coordinator of the Slow Food Youth Network in Tanzania, and Slow Food Mohawack Valley (U.S.) who have adopted the Makumira school garden.
"The festival was conceived to promote the production and consumption of traditional foods among students from schools in the Arusha area to teach young people the importance of food that is not industrialized but rather self-produced and therefore much healthier," Helen explains.
More than 300 people participated, 260 of whom were students from four schools in the area: Baraa primary and secondary schools, Uraki primary and secondary schools, and the Watoto Foundation children.
After visiting the Slow Food gardens created by the Watoto Foundation in Makumira , the children took part in several training activities, including a workshop on the importance of traditional food and Slow Food's good, clean and fair philosophy, as well as a theatrical performance by a number of students from Baraa school.
The lunch, cooked by the students, was an authentic feast: cassava, pumpkin, pumpkin leaves and potatoes, a traditional dish with goat meat cooked with stewed corn, bananas, beans, and fried potatoes. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed the fresh fruit juices: baobab, tamarind, avocado and passion fruit.
Given the huge success achieved, ideas are already brewing to repeat the event in the future, even with the involvement of the Slow Food Arusha Convivium.