Subsidized by the Equal opportunity unit of the Belgian ministry of Justice, the Humanitas project is an initiative of the food bridge vzw in collaboration with Sankaa vzw, Centrum voor Agrarische Geschiedenis, Photoresk, Heritage centre Antwerp, Red star line museum, Nollywood Europe and other partners. This project embodies everything that the Latin word Humanitas represents in the thoughts of the philosopher Cicero. The importance of man as a cultivated being, in control of his moral universe. A person who lives according to the ideal of humanitas is aware of his self-worth, respectful of others, correct in social interaction and active in his political role.
There are many issues today that encourage polarization of the different racial groups and leave no room for dialogue on a human level, with no exchanges on experiences that people value. Dialogue which if entered into, without prejudice and condemnation of the other, shows that we all share similar values and want to pursue a meaningful life. The Humanitas project brings together women and young people from different racial and cultural backgrounds to discuss the important circles of life through food (such as marriage, child birth, funerals). Women play a very important role in families and communities. They mold the lives of young children, influence the type of adults they become. Thus engaging with them, will help create a positive reaction to the diversity of ‘differences’ and ‘otherness’ we find in our society today.
The sessions are held in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Leuven. Each group of participants presents food from their culture relevant to the theme being discussed. The aim is to show that we as humanity share the same values and can start meaningful dialogues, to create synergies needed to initiate small changes that can lead to major changes in interracial relationships.
The sessions are filmed and photographs taken will be part of an exhibition later, at the closing event and in different cities, working in cooperation with the Flemish heritage centres. There will also be an illustrated booklet for children featuring themes from the project.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have made changes to the sessions. It is no longer accessible to everyone because we have to limit the number of participants. However, more people will be able to experience the sessions and follow the objectives of the project through the film, the exhibition and the booklet.
The Helping Hand Project