Community Development

Funding level: $50,000 to $100,000


This project will deliver combined food literacy, digital literacy, and emancipatory programming for seniors and pre-seniors (students). The purpose of this project is two-fold. First, the programming will address seniors' and pre-seniors' fear of new and changing technology, poor food habits and Lacks of nutritional knowledge, and social isolation resulting from intergenerational and cultural gaps. These three issues are prevalent amongst seniors that often begin to develop at the pre-senior stage. The second purpose is to promote leadership, architecting cultural bridges, and community-building skills amongst participants. This will be achieved through the individual sessions using a participatory emancipatory approach and transformative learning framework. Our goal is not only to assist participants to establish new social supports and acquire new knowledge and skills, but also to build their leadership capacity and promote community-building so that they can develop and lead future community activities and initiatives for seniors and pre-seniors.
This project will involve 24-weeks of theoretical and practical learning sessions for 12 seniors (aged 65+) and 12 pre-seniors (age 18-64) in the Edmonton region, with a specific focus on those who are immigrants, indigenous, and otherwise part of a vulnerable population. The majority of participants will be recruited by the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative, as well as from elder family members of NorQuest College's students. It will also be open to the public. By bringing together the two age groups and participants from a range of diverse cultural backgrounds, it will build a relevant and reciprocal network for socio-economic-emotional support through intergenerational collaboration and co-teaching/co-learning.
The learning sessions will focus on improving quality of life, health outcomes, and leadership capacity through theoretical and experiential learning about food and technology and the ongoing interactions. They will also adopt a student-driven programming approach, recognizing and valuing participants' lived experience, knowledge and wisdom they bring to the group and the community at large. Through encouraging ownership of the course content, active participation, and valuing of experience, along with community engagement and teamwork activities, the program will enhance the capacity building and leadership skills of participants.
There will be12 teams and each team are assigned to prepare and present an ethnic cuisine using the Food Mindfulness Framework. This provides the learners to understand alternative food choices, visit local businesses, engage with cultural communities while working in team and learning new approaches to food consumption and preparation with a focus on affordable real food.
Digital literacy is not just learning to use technology but also is about navigation, communication, and cultural connection. It provides social and support network. It is both educational and entertaining. It is a fast growing platform and essential skill for pursuing education, seeking employment and making communication. Digital literacy is becoming a universal new language and new culture that without it is a new ignorance.
There will be evaluation throughout the project to identify the effectiveness of the emancipatory and transformative learning approach, and to collect ongoing feedback from participants. Moreover, the program and its facilitators will help participants to identify, develop, lead, and implement further programming focused on improving quality of life among seniors and preparing pre-seniors for their senior’s years. This project is considered the first step in establishing a seniors-driven, seniors-led programming and support center for seniors and pre-seniors, and will be repeated multiple times as capacity within the programming and support center grows and participants’ activities take over.

Broker supported

NorQuest College

Location: Edmonton