Intergenerational Skill Exchange
Phase 1: The Cookbook Project
In 2007, Makai Aref created a cookbook of Afghani recipes oriented towards people afflicted with diabetes, as Afghani cuisine contains various beneficial ingredients. It was originally published in English and was later translated into French. The cook book was developed initially with Devon Rice and Aref, a diabetes researcher in 2007. It was later on expanded by McGill University volunteers & Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) & AWCM members.
In 2016-2017 AWC was able to continue the project thanks to funds from New Horizons, in collaboration with students from the Community Engagement program at McGill University and Midnight Kitchen. Students met with AWC community elders twice a month for 3 months using the recipes to learn Afghani cooking and embroidery. Together with the students, the original cookbook was also updated.
Students also offered basic computer training and an orientation on life in the city, and exchanged with the elders on subjects such as intergenerational values. These activities directed by and for the community built confidence and leadership skills, on top of breaking isolation.