Estonian School lunch at Kongo Primary School

The primary school class 5 students from Miina Härma Gümnaasium draw pictures of their school lunch and sent them with two Estonian ladies to Kongo, Ghana for a display at Kongo Primary School.Kongo PS_MHG (1).jpg

The Mondo teacher John Bire organised the exhibition on 15th of December 2015. But first the pupils had to discover from the pictures the items of food that are common for both Estonian and Ghanaian students like chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, bread and carrots. But there was also a lot to discover for Kongo students: beloved fruits like cherries were even unknown for the teacher. Another aspect the pupils found bizarre was the fact that most Estonian students drink milk with their lunch.

Kongo Primary school is one of the lucky schools that benefits from the national school feeding programme. Not all schools and students have this luxury. When you take a look at the poster, notice also the section dedicated for hygiene in the lower left section and how all of the family is involved in the process: father is farming, mother is cooking and children are happily in school!

Kongo Prim Deco (5)

Take a look at the menu and go check what foods were banku and okro! Also compare the menu with yours at school and to the recommended food pyramid.

Kongo Prim Deco (3)

Estonian pupils are eager to receive replies to discover more in detail the Ghanaian food!

 

 

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Food Day in Kunda Ühisgümnaasium

 

Kunda Ühisgümnaasium has a tradition of  holding topical project days at the end of every school term. The idea of these days is to give students different outlook on life and teach them using different methodology. What is more, students can compile their own timetables by choosing from different workshops. Even the students groups are formed based on their interest rather than age.

As Christmas was at the door, the Food Day held on the 21st December was related to food and traditions of that time. Students were given the opportunity to compile their own timetable – they decided themselves which workshop to participate.

Elementary school students learned different fruits. They solved puzzles, wrote poems, drew pictures, played the game „The World of Fruits“. Poems and pictures were depicted and demonstrated to all the students interested in the matter.

http://learningapps.org/1924231

http://learningapps.org/1924250

 

Year 4, year 5 and year 6 students could pick between different activities: cooking, glazing gingerbreads, making hand-made candies, and herb teas. They also learned how to lay the table and table manners. What is more, students visited a local cafe „Saarepiiga“ where traditional Christmas food was served, Christmas traditions were talked about and different games were played.

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Even the (wild) animals of the local forest had the opportunity to participate our Food Day. Year 4 students went hiking and took food (carrots, cabbages, potatoes) to wild animals and birds. In order to see how farm animals are taken care of in winter, students visited a local farm. As a reflection students were asked to write reports and draw pictures about their farm or forest experience.

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Year 7, year 8 and year 9 students could also pick between different workshops. Students could make themselves a wooden butter knife in a handicraft´s workshop. Both boys and girls could attend that workshop. English workshops concentrated on Christmas food and traditions all over the world. Students listened to Christmas music, read poems, played games and did crosswords. Students also played Jeopardy, where a lot of questions were related to Christmas food and traditions. Christmas smells and plants which are commonly used during Christmas were also spoken about.

jeopardylabs.com/play/julukuldvillak3.

Students played „A Wheel of Woders“/ „Wheel of fortune“, where questions as well as prizes were fruits and vegetables. In a computer class students compiled  e-cookery book about Christmas dishes. Unfortunately 45 minutes was not enough to add pictures.

https://www.widbook.com/ebook/read/joulutoidud

Year 7 students had a practical survival workshop. They learned how to survive in the forest. Students had to find food and heat themselves with items from nature. The teacher was supported and helped by the representatives of Estonian Defence League.

Students also played the game „World Kitchen“. The idea of the game is to match traditional food and the country it comes from. Later, students could see the image of the dish on the Internet.

Physically active students could do sports in a local gym and pool. After being physically active for some time they counted the calories they had lost.

 

At the end of the day we had the traditional Christmas Cafe where students sold self-made products and performed on stage.

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Are school introduced fruits from around the world as part of the world’s week

On Friday, 27th November 2015 Year 8 students presented different fruits from around the world and the entire school took part of the lecture. It was possible to listen, look and taste the fruits. More than 20 different fruits were introduced: where and how they grow, how the plantations look like, who the major manufacturers are, why these fruits are good for you and how they can be used.

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Students and teachers could taste avocado, persimmon, tangerine, pomelo, grapes, pomegranate, grapefruit, melon, kiwi, orange, watermelon, banana, pineapple, lime, physalis, kumquat, and papaya. Dragon fruit, carambola, feijoa, and lychee were also shown. Many looked the exotic fruits suspiciously and dared to taste only the familiar ones. The purchase of fruits was financed by MTÜ Mondo and the members of student representative board came to school early in the morning to clean and prepare the fruits.

 

At the end of the lecture, teams of students from Year 1 to 5 had to complete a quiz on their mobile phones using Socrative, an online learning environment.

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Though this kind of event was organised for the first time, it proved to be a success and some thoughts have been already gathered for the next year.

 

Ingela Uussalu, the spokeperson of student representative board

World Food Week brought fresh ideas and tastes to Väike-Maarja

World Food Week in Väike-Maarja (in Lääne-Viru county) took place on 16th to 20th of November in 2015. The activities stroked senses and encouraged to think about food and its origin.

On 17th of November we had meetings, lectures and cooking classes with an inspiring guest, Mrs Liina Saaremäe, a representative of NGO Mondo. The subject of the day was “Food in Ghana and Ghanaian food”.

The day began with Liina’s meeting with our pupils in elementary scool (1st-4th classes). We learned that Liina is an Estonian school teacher, who was deployed by the NGO Mondo to the Republic of Ghana in West-Africa to do volunteer work. As an introduction, every child had to choose a candy: raisin in cocoa, almond in cocoa or hazelnut in cocoa. They were told about the cocoa and the fact that in Kalevi kommivabrik nearly 70% of cocoa comes from Ghana, a country which was the main topic of the day. Pupils learned about Ghanaian life, society and food. The best questioners were awarded a bookmark-rulers and teachers received different proverbs to discuss their significance in classes. The pupils were shown and given to sniff a kalebass – a bowl made of pumpkin, from which people in Ghana are eating.

 

Liina's lecture to the 5th-12th graders and students from vocational school
Liina’s lecture to the 5th-12th graders and students from vocational school

On the same day, we had a next meeting in Väike-Maarja with Liina and our older students from 5th-12th classes and vocational school. At first, Liina opened the meaning of volunteering. Her volunteer work in Ghana took place in 2014. As we learned, her responsibility was to develop cooperation, global education and humanitarian assistance. Her specific tasks in Ghana were teachers methodical training and food projects, plus additional lessons to teach children to read and write. With numerous images and stories she shared her moments in Ghana – so called ice cream (or frozen juice in a plastic bag), Ghanaian national dishes, custom to carry things on your head, we all learned the Ghanaian hello “toma-toma” and the Ghanaian approving rhythmic clap. It was eyes-opening and interesting to learn that food and eating is of vital importance in Ghana, and a private activity – even so private, that the dinner guest is left alone to eat in the hut. Our students were directed to think about the one billion people in the world who live below the poverty line.

IMG_5642As in Väike-Maarja we also have a vocational school, Liina held a cooking course for vocational students and their supervisors. Together they prepared a Ghanaian dish called „red-red“ that was served with fried bananas. The participants all agreed – the result was delicious. Liina had only positive words about the active cookers, who were even ready to take a next cooking lesson by the end of the class.

 

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Degustation of different countries breads

During the week our pupils had a possibility to taste various countries breads, participate in photo competition of world food and recipes. Food provided by the school canteen was also by the week theme, from different regions of the world – Ukrainian, Italian, Chinese, the Mediterranean, Estonian. Primary school added a playful nuance – a guessing game about the region of the food for the children.  Different nationalities from the Vao refugee center nearby came to school to introduce, share recipes and offer their snacks – Ukrainian pancakes with cottage cheese, biscuits from Afghanistan and Dagestan.

 

There’s no doubt, World Food Week brought new tastes and ideas to Väike-Maarja. We are grateful to all the people, who contributed to the success of the World Food Week, especially to you, dear Liina, and NGO Mondo!

 

Heili Nõgene

Public Relations Specialist

Väike-Maarja Gymnasium

Ghanaian food in Peetri School

This event took place as a part of world month named “World’s Different Faces”, read more here:

https://maailmahariduspeetris.wordpress.com/maailmapaevad-2015/

Few weeks ago, when it was our cooking class, we got to meet a volunteer from Ghana. At the beginning she introduced us Ghana’s traditions and different foods and then she introduced us what we were going to cook. So the meal was made of fried bananas and some spicy sauce called „red-red“. It was a bit surprising that African people don’t eat bananas as a dessert. Bananas are considered as a salty food or a dish.

When it was time to start cooking, we were told what to do and then we started. At first, some of us fried the raw bananas and the others were making the sauce. Our food was smelling so good that some teachers even came and peeked into our kitchen to see what we were doing. Besides cooking African food, we got to hear different stories about volunteering life in Africa. Finally it was time to eat our delicious meal and we were positively surprised about the good taste of fried bananas with „red-red“ sauce. We are thankful for that fun experience.

Peetri kooli toidupäev

Cultural Identity – A Project Day in Paldiski schools

The town of Paldiski is located on the shore of the Paldiski Bay, some 50 km from Tallinn. Convenient geographical location, an excellent place for landing, short ice period – all of this attracted people to settle near the local harbour. There have been educational institutions in our town from the year 1770 to the present day. Today, there are two schools at our schoolhouse – Paldiski Basic School and Paldiski Gymnasium. Paldiski is a bilingual town.

The school’s objectives are updated annually – this year, we wanted to introduce different nations and their culture to our students. Because of this, on 6 November 2015, we arranged the project day ’Cultural Identity’ for classes 5 through 12. The purpose of this day was creation and shaping of positive attitudes towards different cultures and people, development of tolerance, and prevention of biased attitudes. The importance of cultural diversity as means for mutual enrichment of cultures was also emphasized. The pupils had a chance of reflecting about their own cultural identity.

On the project date, the pupils were arranged an out-of-the-ordinary, less structured study day at school. We invited guest lecturers from MTÜ Mondo, Estonian Refugee Council, and the Estonian Association of Gestalt Therapy. The pupils met foreign students from Albania and Turkey, who currently study in Tallinn. We played board games providing information on different countries of the world. There was a comic workshop with interesting group assignments and discussions on difference and similarity.

For the elementary school pupils, a lecture on the national cuisine of Ghana by Liina Saaremäe, a former volunteer in Africa, was especially memorable.

The pupils also had the chance of preparing a Ghanaian beverage. The project day ended with some movie watching.

Liina Saaremäe loeng Ghana vabariigist4
Students trying/tasting natural shea butter made by Ghanaian students in Sekoti School

The exhibition ComiX4 = Comics for Equality was displayed on the third floor of the school building to celebrate the project day.

World Education month „Over the World, Over he Land“ together with Valga Museum

For many years Valga Gymnasium has collaborated with Valga Museum to conduct the world education month. The target group for this month were elementary and basic school students and teachers from Valga County. The citizens of Valga also took part in the event while visiting the art gallery at the museum.

The aim was to acknowledge different cultures and pay attention to sufficient supplies of food. While planning the event in spring, we could not foresee how important such a positive event woulbe, considering the refugee crisis.

During this month, a collaboration day for the county teachers was held, where they shared their experience and a small DIY workshop took place.

The opening of the exhibition „Over the World, over the land – Burma“

The World Education month began with the opening of Burma exhibition. Valga was lucky to be the first place where Kair Käsper’s new photo exhibition was displayed. Kair Käsper volunteered in Burma via the non-profit organisation Mondo. The opening was contemporary as the author was in Valga via Skype. Still he was able to share his exotic experience from Burma and the participants could ask questions.

To make the opening more stylish, the participants were served rice from a big pot and the tea was from Burma, picked from a village, 2000 metres above the sealevel.

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Picture: The opening of the exhibition. The author shares experiences virtually.

The guests were offered exotic fruit and Burmese music played.

The Worlshop for Making Lipsticks

During the time when the exhibition was on, lipsticks were on sale. The lipsticks were made by the students of Valga Gymnasium in their Globalising World and Chemistry lessons.

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In the picture: The worlshop for making lipsticks

The money that comes from the sales goes to two children, Doinee and Ibrahim, in Kenya to support their way to education. The tuition fee for one year is 40€, which evolves school uniform, sandals, studying materials and exam fees. The students of Valga Basic School are following how the two children are doing. View more about the charity and voluntary work

Lipstick ingredients:

  • oil
  • cocoa butter
  • shea butter
  • beeswax
  • a bit of colour and scents if wants
  • a lipstick cup

If you want to know how to make lipsticks or to learn about our workshop experience, please, write to Pille Olesk pille.olesk@valgagym.ee

Junk Food Eater

On the 14th and the 18th of October, there were workshops for basic school students. There were five workshops. Due to the time limit, all students could not take part in the event.

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During the event, there was an exhibition about Burma and the students watched animated movies on healthy food theme.

The students played a game of angling for food. The boys and girls who had been fishing before knew how to angle. This time they were fishing for food not fish. They only got points for fishing for healthy foods. When they got junk food, they did not get any points. The students whose mother tongue is Russian could practise Estonian words during the game.

After the game, there was a „sockroom“ (sokituba). On the table there were socks, some thread, needles and pieces of cloth for students. Every student could make a sock-puppet. The most difficult part was coping with the thread and a needle, especially for boys. Some of the students gave the puppets names and performed some scetches. At the end of the day Mareli and Elina from Valga Gymnasium put on a small play for the basic school students. The last group of the day could also perform a play with their pupets.

Watch the fun video of the basic school day at the museum. You can also see some students dancing in Burman music.

In the film: The students of Valga Basic School and Valga Priimetsa School with their puppets. Video is made by Pille Olesk.

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Career course and Killerbag

 On the 16th October Valga Gymnasium offered a career course for the students of Valga Basic School and Valga Priimetsa School.

As Valga Gymnasium is a UNESCO school, the career course includes world education elements. The career course takes place once a month and lasts for five lessons. 57 students will take part in it. The students will be devided into two groups. On the 16th of October one group of students were working on a job market topics, and the others were working on environmental education aims at he same time. The groups were swopped during the day.

On a world education study group students got to know about the necessity and opportunities of environmental education. The lecture was conducted by Riho Karu from Environment Department of Self-governments of Valga County. The lecture took place in Valga Museum.

After the theory the group had a workshop how to make a recycleable shopping bag. The best self-made bags were sent to the nation-wide Killerbag competition. The workshop was conducted by Pille Olesk.

The shopping bags were made of pillowcases, lace blouses, sugar bags and other materials. There was a lot of fun during the sewing. The boys used a sewing machine, which was still being used, even when the thread was broken. For bag handles dress belts and scaves were used. Even a pink washrag was used as a handle. The boys found working with a thread and a needle most challenging.

The aim of the workshop was accomplished, even if the bags do not get high places in the competition. The students understood that it is possible to make a shopping bag in 40 minutes even if you do not use a thread and a needle, but use a stapler. There is no need to buy a plastic bag in the shop. You can do it yourself.

The students of Valga Basic School and Valga Priimetsa School taking part in the DIY workshop at Valga Museum. The workshop was conducted by Valga Gymnasium. The video was made by Pille Olesk.

The video can be seen on the following address

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Picture: Workshop on making a shopping bag.

Making a carton-box, a workshop for teachers

On Oct 26th all the teachers in Valga County were asked to come to the museum. They had a look at the display about Burma and on the floor, there was an improvised picnic area wher tea from Burma was served. The atmosphere was created with the faint sounds of music. The teachers tried to eat red rice with chopsticks, crab sticks and vegetables wrapped in rice paper and different fruit were on menu.

The teachers shared information what had been done at schools and what are the plans for the future. Pille talked about the experience of her school and about the future plans.

After the lovely tea and talk, the teachers joined in the workshop. Janne Koppel showed how to make a napkin box. By tghe end of the day everybody had finished with a beautiful and colourfu box.

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Teacher Reet is ready with her box.

The World Education month is over, the thoughts and ideas are already in the next year.

 

The exhibition of shopping bags and of puppets made of socks that were made during the workshops, as well as lipbalm sales were opened until the end of October.

The World Education month has finished for this year. Every year the grasp of this theme has become vaster.

The plans for the next October have already been made and even some of the arrangements have been set up.

Great thanks to all the participants, helpers and supporters,, to the lovely people at Valga Museum. Good teamwork is very important. Special thanks to Kertsi Salujõe, the museum pedagogue, due to whom all the teamwork came to be. The students from Valga Gymnasium helped in the workshops.

The exhibition was sponsored by Non-profit organisation Mondo, Eesti Kultuurkapital , Valga Museum and Valga Gymnasium.

 

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Picture: The surprise table is laid.

Pille Olesk

The text was translated by the  12th grade students of Valga Gymnasium ( Christina, Ariel, Rainer, Alex, Erik, Kirill, Hanna, Viktoria, Henri, Raigo, Kadi, Robin- Stefani ) with teacher Helen.

 

Wondering around on the food planet. 21. – 25th of September in Laagri School

Do you like pasta? Or pizza or hamburger? What about blood sausage? Do you know how far your food is grown? Do you know how this food was produced? These are only some of the questions that we hoped to raise during nature week in Laagri School. Nature week is our tradition and there is diferent subject every year. Food is something that can be related to every subject and every pupil in school.

Here are some actions done during our nature week:

* Food art – tens or even hundreds of food pictures were drawn. Of course discussion about them was essential.laste pildid

* Games, games, games… Many teachers found a way to talk about food with games. There was also „Food planet“ game with hidden riddles for all pupils. Another bigger game was about fair trade. We managed to borrow this from Estonian Environmental Board and was a great help to find answers where do bananas, cocoa, coffee and cotton come from. 

* Food films with discussions. Some classes were shown different movies about food and how does it get to their plates. „Banana split“ was everybodies favourite.

* Photo competition – not many photos came in but which did were really mouth watering. The aim was to show how much of our everyday food origins from ohter (far away) countries.borš

* Traditional exhibition of what can be found from our gardens. There was colourful selection of pumpkins, big mushrooms, weird looking potatoes and so much more.

* Traditional bread day. Smaller pupils had a chance to taste bread from different places of the world and compare these to Estonian bread. Some classes made funny but healthy sandwiches.Tasting the world%27s different breads

* Ghanian cusine. Some lucky classes prepared Ghanian drinks and of course tasted their masterpieces. „Too much chilli…“ they thouht.

* Also many groupworks, discussions and even math exercises about food took place in diferent lessons.

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I think we can be sure that every pupil learned something new or had a new experience. And there is over 700 of them. Thanks to all of the teachers who saw this as a oppourtunity and brought some food related ideas in their classrooms. And thanks to Mondo for materials to make it happen.

Sugarcane or maize? A challenge for kenyan farmers

Kenya’s economy is dominated by agriculture which is also the largest contributor to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP). But at the same time only around 15-17% of the land has sufficient fertility and rainfall to be farmed and only 7-8% can be considered to be first-class land. Kenya is a leading producer of tea and coffee, one of the biggest producer of sugarcane as well as the third-leading exporter of fresh produce, such as cabbages, onions and mangoes. Small farms grow most of the corn and also produce potatoes, bananas, beans and peas.

Farming sugarcane has been an essential activity in Kenya, especially in Western part of Kenya and also in Shianda village as there is a local sugar factory in Mumias. Sugarcane is mainly planted by farmers who deliver it to the processing factory after maturity. For farmers it has been convenient to grow sugarcane because the factory has been providing seeds, harvesting with transport and even incentives. But nowadays the factory is struggling with payments and because of increased costs of input, lack of incentives from the factory, farmers are withdrawing from growing sugarcane replacing it with maize and vegetables. Which is a good development as sugarcane’s growing cycle is around one year and people don’t use it for their own consumption. Now sugarcane farmers are facing a serious problem as they need to invest into inputs and fertilizers but have to wait a year before harvesting benefits and in addition the factory is delaying with payments resulting often with negative returns. As most of the farmers are small-scale, this kind of situation is increasing poverty and food insecurity in the area. So replacing sugarcane with maize is rather recommended. Maize can be harvested twice a year and people are using it for their own consumption. But even growing maize has its own disadvantages. When there is a dependable marketplace for sugarcane in the face of Mumias Sugarfactory, there is none for maize. Small-scale farmers in Shianda have two options when selling their maize, whether to sell it during the harvesting season, when the price is often below the net value or store their maize to even out fluctuations in market supply by taking produce off the market in surplus season and releasing it back onto the market in lean season, receiving higher price but suffer heavy losses, both of which are detrimental to the farmers. Furthermore small-scale farmers in Shianda village are lacking dependable marketplace and have no bargaining power over the price on selling their products. At the same time due to low job opportunities and lack of education in the area, for most people farming is the only option to earn some income. Farmers are facing many challenges to ensure food security for their families.

maize
maize
sugarcane

Like many other African countries Kenya is also struggling with desertification. The majority of local farmers use chemical fertilizers. Natural fertilizers such as compost are often preferred to chemical fertilizers. Also, the overuse of chemical fertilizers can have negative effects on the land. For the past twenty years the rains have not been very reliable. The prevailing dry periods have created food supply problems. The rains have been unfavourable to basic crops such as corn, potatoes and beans and food insecurity has resulted. Many local farmers are obliged to buy food to meet the needs of their family because the soil has become completely sterile.

Drought has eroded the country’s natural resources to an extent that they are inadequate for production and support for livelihoods. Droughts have accelerated soil degradation and reduced per-capita food production. In the last decade alone, four major food crises have all been triggered by desertification. Desertification processes have led to massive internal migrations, forcing communities to flee their localities to already-overcrowded areas thereby causing disputes over scarce resources use. Although the government has put in place National Food Security and Nutrition Policy, the quantity and quality of food available, accessible and affordable to all Kenyans, achieve good nutrition for optimum health has remained a challenge.

Text by Kaie Laaneväli

Materials:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Kenya

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/lifestyle/article/2000086318/rapid-desertification-in-kenya-threatening-livelihood