July 29, 2016 | Friday

A Showcase on Healthy Living Held at the EU Information and Cultural Centre in Pristina

The EUICC in Pristina held an Open House event, Eat and Drink Healthy: For You, For the Environment, in July to conclude the bi-monthly campaign, EU is about Environmental Sustainability. The event began with a presentation by Samir Shahini, a program manager at the Ideas Partnership, about their Volunteer Support to Healthy Families in a Healthy Environment project followed by a live presentation of organic cooking methods with innovative recipes.

The Ideas Partnership project highlights one of their many objectives, to combat environmental challenges in Kosovo’s minority communities. This specific project is focused in Fushe Kosove and Janjeve working with Albanian, Turkish, Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities to provide support for social enterprise projects such as growing organic food for sustenance and income as well as producing a feasibility study regarding the use of biogas. As part of the project community members grew unique vegetables like kale (a superfood previously not available in Kosovo), tomatoes, paprika, eggplant and green salad from seeds brought by volunteers from Europe and the US. Families then had the option to sell the produce for profit, or keep the yield to provide for family meals. While the project aimed to raise awareness of families about healthy living and eating, especially in regard to children, the broader goal is to provide sustainability beyond the grant period as new women farmers are able to provide sustenance for their families with community gardens.

After the presentation by Mr. Shahini, a scholar of global health and nutrition, Rina Dula, presented aspects of maintaining an environmentally conscious, balanced diet, including recipes for preparing delicious and healthy food. Ms. Dula prepared dishes with local ingredients live for the guests who participated in the cooking lesson while asking questions about the nutritional factors of the ingredients and methods used. Ms. Dula pointed out that Denmark, the country where she lives and studies, is regarded as the most ecological country in Europe and could be a model for other European countries who aspire to improve their own environmental sustainability, particularly by improving access to quality, locally sourced, ingredients.