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[tabs title=”Rationale”]In 2006 the WHO for the European Region declared that “The epidemic of obesity poses one of the most serious public health challenges…” and at a European Ministerial Conference – Counteracting Obesity – attended by the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection that year they placed the issue high on the political agenda.

The conference responded to a report that one in five Euro Region children were overweight, contributing to a large proportion of noncommunicable diseases, shortening life expectancy and adversely affecting the quality of life. A European Charter to Counteract Obesity was created which called on partners and stakeholders to take stronger action against obesity and search for innovative methods to tackle the problem and improve the effectiveness of policies.

They noted that European action can set a global example and this project will offer an opportunity to research whether the project can provide a model for future learning about the key issues – the importance of making healthy choices for example. The report also found that adult obesity and overweight problems are responsible for up to 6% of health care expenditure in the European Region; in addition, imposing indirect costs (due to loss of lives, productivity and related income). Overweight and obesity affect more people in lower socioeconomic groups, and this in turn contributes to a widening of health and other inequalities.
In the UK the Children’s Food Campaign recommends that children need to receive proper food education to ensure that they are able to choose and prepare a healthy diet high in nutritional content and low in salt, fat and sugar and that the only way to ensure this is to provide learning experiences to enable understanding of the importance of this.

The project will seek to address all of these issues but in a fun and engaging way that will be suitable and accessible for all the participants. Family learning and wider intergenerational activities have been found to be enormously effective in developing learning to learn skills (The Best Coach in Life is You – UK, Campaign for Learning 2007) which this project is ideally suited to – grandparents’ knowledge about their tried and trusted recipes that they can share for example. It will focus on creating an interest in learning and developing confidence for all ages to becoming lifelong learners into the future.
The pedagogy developed out of the project will contribute to improving the quality and breadth of adult and family education engagement and create a forum for dissemination of practice including the learning to learn approach which has been found so beneficial to families. Cooperation between teaching and training practitioners will deliver a unique opportunity to share skills and increase professional expertise throughout the life of the project and which will benefit learners long after the project has ceased to exist – there are rare opportunities to engage in professional development in the area of vocational teaching and this will constitute a really important aspect of the project.

The project will encourage family members to learn together, and these activities will in turn boost learning in adults, enabling them to promote anew their own learning and development process, allowing for further life long learning processes and possibilities in the future – they may decide to use the skills learned in an employment context for example. In a wider sense the project provides adults with pathways to improve their knowledge about multi-generational learning in a family context which will help them to develop key competencies such as better communication, basic competencies in new skills such as video production and computer technology.

Transversal skills gained through the project include civic, social, cultural and intercultural competencies all of which will leave behind a heightened sense of self-esteem and increased self-confidence.
Finally, there will be an inherent opportunity to learn other languages at basic level which will form an important part of communicating the project to others. Most importantly, a serious subject will be addressed through the project with a fun and creative approach that will serve to engage whole families and communities, leaving a lasting legacy that may enhance individuals lives long after the project has ceased to exist.[/tabs]
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Adult learners, trainers, teachers and the wider Euro community to learn about the culture of food and its place in society of each partner.

Enable a greater understanding of the issues surrounding healthy eating and create an opportunity to learn the skills to make informed choices about which foods facilitate leading a healthier life.

Raise awareness of citizenship in a healthy eating context – how do governments look after its citizens in relation to the problem?

Seek and develop experiences of good practice involving adults learning in a multi-generational context. Stimulate and facilitate innovative learning activities for adult learners.

Enhance educational opportunities for disadvantaged citizens and develop their knowledge and skills across the subject area – healthy eating and cooking, competencies in IT, video and design technology.

Provide an opportunity for adult education trainers to learn and benefit from others expertise, experience and knowledge.

Develop learners’ cultural competence and intercultural awareness and the confidence to share this during the project.

Raise aspirations through activities and increase motivation while challenging cultural stereotyping and misconceptions.

Provide an opportunity for participants who might not normally engage with learning about making healthy choices especially disadvantaged groups.

Exchange ideas on developing a healthy approach to diet leading to the publication of a recipe book.

Involve local agencies or expert support where appropriate to provide background to setting out the project aims.

Share best practice in disseminating the most successful approaches as the project progresses.

Exchange ideas and develop rigour in communication.

Strengthen bonds between partner nations and provide a forum for a better teaching practice.

Design and create a web-site to provide a space for posting films, recipes and project information.

 

Subjects addressed will be healthy eating and cooking, technology, literacy and design.
Approach will reflect the intergenerational and cross cultural participation with regular sharing of ideas, reflections and competencies delivered via qualitative and quantitative methods. Deliverance of realistically achievable activities to enable the fulfilment of the project aims. Professional exchanges via transnational meetings.[/tabs]
[tabs title=”The partnership”]The partnership is made up of institutions delivering learning in an adult non-formal educational perspective. The project was devised to share a common experience between differing Euro institutions in order to develop new ideas and create a supportive environment for the trainers in order to improve intergenerational learning surrounding the issue of health within the family.

There is a huge need in all participating countries to respond to the challenge of an increasingly unhealthy population and one that is also ageing.
The project aims to include the skills of seniors in an intergenerational context when delivering the project which is an innovative approach, especially as the project has a clear ITC component where video equipment, laptops and software will be used.

Moreover, the institutions from participating countries will seek to reach people from socially disadvantaged context. The target groups of this project are young parents and seniors from socially disadvantaged context, especially those who have children/grandchildren under 18, have left education without basic qualifications, from low-income families, unemployed or geographically disadvantaged.

All participating countries and institutions are acutely aware of the possibilities that a Grundtvig Learning Partnership project gives to the development of innovative practices in an adult learning context.

The project sets out to explore partners’ best practice in delivering adult education activities based around drawing on peer led knowledge – about cultural food consumption, filmmaking and editing which will be taught by professionals and there is an understanding about delivering the project to the most disadvantaged learners.[/tabs]
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This project is co-funded by the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of the author only and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein.
Life Long Learning Programme
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