On the 8th of June 2023 at the Residence palace Brussels, the FAO will present its report on the Status of Women in Agrifood Systems. In Africa and many developing countries, women are the backbone of the agrifood system yet benefit the least. This FAO Report provides the latest data, lessons learned and recommendations for policy and decision makers in relation to gender in agrifood systems.
Experts and dignitaries that will speak at the event include Máximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist FAO, Caroline Gennez Minister of Development Cooperation Belgium, Carla Montesi Director Green Deal and Digital Agenda, European Commission (DG INTPA). The Founder of the Food Bridge Maureen Duru, will be a speaker in a panel moderated by Camilla Brückner Director, United Nations in Brussels. The other panelists are Lydia Mutyebele Ngoi Alderwoman for Housing, Public Heritage and Equal Opportunities, City of Brussels, Dirk Jacobs Director General, FoodDrink Europe and Lauren Phillips Deputy Director, FAO Division for Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality.
Registration is still open for the event. For more details - https://newsletters.fao.org/q/16vtU8e10aq/wv
As part of it's annual Future Forum, the European Union Diaspora Global Diaspora Facilty has launched a Diaspora Youth Pitch Competition . Youth diaspora-led organisations in Europe are invited to submit development-oriented ideas that takes adavantage of innovative diaspora partnerships, to address SDGs 4 and/or 13.
The selected six finalists will be given one-to-one coaching, to help them refine their pitch and they will also be sponsored to attend the Future Forum in Brussels on October 17-18. This event is also an opportunity for the youth organisation to gain exposure and to network.
The three winning ideas will receive prize money:
- 1st prize: €3000
- 2nd prize: €2000
- 3rd prize: €1000
For more details - https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/diaspora-youth-pitch-competition-apply-now/
Over the past year, the Food Bridge vzw and its partners have been organizing training and seminars for Nigerian farmers. Despite the rising cost of food in the country, the income of majority of the farmers remains the same. Thus we have started a new intitiative that will link farmers directly to consumers. Our aim is to offer farmers trained in our programs an opportunity to sell directly to consumers; many of who are looking for safe and affordable food.
The Food Bridge in collaboration with Sankaa vzw, GC Nekkersdal and other partners, is starting a new project in May 2023. 'Vlaams Smaakverkening' focuses on exploring the Flemish food heritage with women and young children, from underprivileged families and communities.
Many people from underprivileged communities, have limited resources to go on vacation. When some manage to go on vacation, they do not have enough resources to participate in cultural activities focusing on food cultures and heritage. The Food Heritage and culture of a people, can help one understand who they are, their history, beliefs and values.
Since food can be a key tool for creating intercultural knowledge, our aim is to offer these women and children (many of who are of migrant origin), the opportunity to have a better understanding of the Flemish culture, history and tradition through food.
This project is not just for playful activities. There is an important connection between people's food cultures and their sense of identity. Therefore, it is important to help those from diasadvantaged communities, understand and appreciate Flemish food and cultural heritage. The knowledge and social interaction,will also further validate their place as members of the Flemish community.
All the activities of this project will be in Dutch and the project is subsidized by 'De Warmeste Week' funds
The Food Bridge vzw has a new project in Brussels.The 'Food Speaks' project relects food’s ability to demonstrate and mitigate different human circumstances. This initiative will offer a 3-fold program.
- Culinary classes focusing on planning and cooking healthy food on a budget, with input from cuisines from different cultures. Some lessons will also focus on safe and easy ways to store extra food, especially fresh produce, to avoid waste.
- By choosing healthy recipes from different cultural communities in Brussels, it will also be an opportunity for cross-cultural interaction and knowledge sharing.
- It will also provide information on cost-effective or alternative ways to get healthy ingredients and food, including a list of affordable Brussels street markets that sell fresh produce. This will help people feed themselves well on less while supporting local entrepreneurs. There are now many people who, although working, are still struggling because their income has decreased due to the pandemic. This initiative will provide them with assistance and information in a dignified and friendly manner.
Participation is open to the public and during each session we will also serve free meals to people. All recipes will be collected, printed and distributed through various networks and partners.
Funded by the Brussels Flemish government’s ‘ Bruss-it' project. 'Food Speaks' is an initiative of the Food Bridge vzw in collaboration with GC Nekkersdal, Sanka vzw, kwabre ne sekyere Belgium, Mfantseman Association Belgium, Kente FM and other partners.
Contact for inquiries
Food Bridge asbl
Redistration is open now for the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Intergovernmental Food Systems Dialogue co-convened by the FAO. The dialogues theme is "Building Resilient, Inclusive and Secure Food Systems for Members of the OACPS" and will be held on the 6th of July 2021 at 20:00-22:30 (CET).
For more information and registration - http://newsletters.fao.org/q/13W8013Z0rKQWdAwfnPXo/wv
Dr Maureen Duru, Founder / Director of the Food Bridge vzw was the guest speaker at Business Breakfast Podcast an initiative of the Business studies department of Arteveld University Gent. The session focused on the university’s research project on African Diaspora Entrepreneurs in Belgium. The research confirmed again some of the major challenges always highlighted by our organization especially access to resources and support for African Diaspora Entrepreneurship.
A very important point raise by one of the researchers Dr Marie Gildemyn is the lack of African Diasporas on the boards or as staff of organizations supposedly supporting entrepreneurship for Africans. Many of the decision making processes by agencies have little or no input from African Diasporas too. However, the potentials of African Diasporas as development agents and innovators in the African private sector is evident. To read more about the research by Arteveld university , here is the link - https://www.artevelde-uas.be/projecten/african-diaspora-starting-africa-mapping-start-ecosystem-and-needs-among-african-diaspora
As part of the ongoing Agrofood Entrepreneurship Training, in collaboration with PROSI Group Austria we will be organizing a session focusing on African farmers access to the African Diaspora Agrofood market. The aim of this session is to have an importer of African food explain to the farmers their criteria for selecting food products and suppliers.
The guest speakers are Sijimon&Greshma Pallikunnel, Directors at PROSI Austria. They will also share their experience as sellers of African food in Europe including the challenges.
The Zoom link for the session is
Meeting ID: 825 7064 6235
The Food Bridge's Helping Hand Project received an award from the Ghanaian students union Belgium on the 27th of November 2021. According to Mr Erasmus, the student union's outgoing president , the award is in appreciation of the weekly food donations given to African students in Belgium during the covid pandemic lockdown.
In her speech the Ghanaian ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, Her Excellency Mrs Siaw-Boateng, commended the Food Bridge for their work and encouraged them to continue with the good work they are doing supporting the students and community. She also emphasised the embassy's support for Ghanaian students, informing them of available services and encouraged them to adhere to the covid protocols.
In her acceptance speech, Dr Maureen Duru of the Food Bridge vzw, thanked the students for the pleasant surprise. She mentioned that the Helping Hand's campaign which benefitted the students was with the support of dedicated partners, donors and volunteers. She acknowledged the special role of King Baudouin Foundation and Sankaa vzw, in making the campaign a success.
Dr Duru further informed the students that those of them without food during the festive period, can always send a request to the Food Santa campaign, which starts on the 15th of December 2021.
The Joint Call Board from the ERA-NETs SUSFOOD2 (SUStainable FOOD production and consumption) and FOSC (Food Systems and Climate) are pleased to announce the launch of the Joint Call for Proposals on Innovative solutions for resilient, climate-smart and sustainable food systems.
This call for proposals is to fund projects that facilitate the transition from current linear food systems to resilient circular systems, including an optimal use of resources and less vulnerability to shocks under consideration of the interdependencies within the systems and its stakeholders.
It will support projects taking a systems approach considering all relevant aspects in food systems and their potential to increase its sustainability (Topic 1) and resilience (Topic 2).
Proposals should include research on one of the following topics:
- Topic I: Innovations to improve food systems sustainability, with a focus on increasing resource efficiency and reducing waste
- Topic II: Food Systems adaptation and resilience to system shocks
The Joint Call 2021 follows a one-stage procedure with a deadline for the submission of proposals on 16th of August 2021 - 3 p.m. (CEST). A webinar for interested applicants will be organized on June 2, 2021 at 1:20 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (CEST).
For more details visit the websites of SUSFOOD (https://susfood-db-era.net) or FOSC (https://www.foscera.net).