In recent years while political, economic and social relationships have been extensively tested, mankind neglects the key cultural factors, such as food and its importance.
The modern way of living has resulted in transforming the eating process from an opportunity for social interaction to a fast, isolated and individualized process. However, the consumption of food is an important presupposition for the accomplishment of three significant functions. Firstly, eating is important for the survival of human beings because it provides the necessary energy for the body functioning.
Moreover, the type of food that is consumed determines, among other factors, the health status of each individual. The third function of eating is that provides pleasure, and emotional comfort (e.g. reduces anxiety).
The multilateral youth exchange aimed to promote the three functions that constitute the “eating well” process, by addressing the social importance of eating, the necessity for changing eating patterns, not only as a means to preserve our health status, but also as a way of promoting sustainable development due to the rapid environmental changes that affect our eating habits and our health.
Different methodologies, such as group work, role-playing, artistic creations, and plenary discussions supported the experiential learning, which applied in non- formal educational settings, focusing on the individualized needs of the participants and encouraging them to share their experiences. 39 beneficiaries from 6 countries (Italy, Turkey, Estonia, Slovenia, Spain, and Greece) met together in Naousa for a period of 7 days (18-24 of August 2011).
Through this youth exchange the participants succeeded to:
- Get informed on Mediterranean diet and promote it
- Gain knowledge and experience on healthy food
- Change attitude towards eating patterns and make healthy choices
- Increase awareness for the need for youth participation and volunteering in social engagement
- Work in multicultural environment
- Act as multipliers in their local settings
- Create a European network and exchange experience concerning healthy food
- Establish co-operation among EU counties