In honour of #BAD11 and World Food Day
The study of home economics encompasses the broad subject areas such as food and nutrition (food and nuts as some call it), handicrafts, domestic science, child development, food production and financial management on a micro scale. For many years this course, dominated mainly by female students, has been overlooked in the value it adds to a community.
In recent years however, the culture of conducting ethical business and fair trade has created a growing market for producers to return to an artisan way of life as opposed to mechanised industrialism. In principle, home economics gives young people the skills to be enterprising individuals from the get go. Why, a basic foundation in the home economics area of food n’ nuts gives a young person the spring-board into the hospitality industry, equips them with skills needed in basic food production and provides them with the core tools needed to drive forward any entrepreneurial aspirations. With that in mind, I would like to discuss the achievements of a food n’ nuts teacher who established a course equivalent to an NVQ, equipping refugees in Botswana with core skills that lead them to the production and marketing of bakery products for the supply of local bakeries.
She is none other than my Mama, a woman whose passion for home economics, particularly food and nuts, has inspired me to do what I am doing today with myburntorange. With over 30 years experience as a home economics practitioner and teacher, she single-handedly established a 2 year course in record time, which enable refugees located in the north-east district of Botswana to engage in enterprising activities. This is one classic example of how the importance of home economics and a subject for community development has regained traction around the world.
Mama is now resident in the city of Accra, Ghana, and is actively involved in raising the standard of secondary schools. She also actively engages with young women, who she has identified have no one to look up to and very low opportunities for further education. She recently completed a talk on sexual education and reported that the kids could not stop asking questions. It would be great to meet other people who are carrying out similar work and who could join forces to establish a higher education course for young high school leavers and adults so please do get in touch and send an email to myburntorange[at]gmail.com. The vision is to offer courses in food, nutrition, and health; personal finance; family resource management; textiles and clothing; household management; food science and hospitality; human development and family studies; education and community services, among others. I hope to share more stories about what Mama is doing in her home economics duties.
Until the next installment, I will share what we often did together cooking up a storm in my burnt orange kitchen.