Earth Day, falling on April 22nd is celebrated all over the world and it is dedicated to the protection of the environment and the ground we live in. Food Revolution Albania movement, in collaboration with Slow Food Albania and many other food communities, such as pupils, teachers, farmers and cattlemen gather together in order in expressing their daily work and dedication towards the Earth and the environment in which we live. With simple, but very important actions; planting fruits and vegetables, harvesting, familiarising with animals and above all the profession of the farmer and shepherding, they make possible so many things for us.
Reducing the gap between the urban / virtual people and the rural / villager in the world of today – where the virtual is dominating our lives and the lives of our children – is a very important mission. Therefor taking children out of their daily context and introducing them with nature is crucial for their education and their future. Moreover, teaching children about the land and how to work on it with direct practices gives them a better understanding of the environment, learn to protect it and know better all the benefits of not just taking but also giving back to the earth – with actions such as planting the land, refusing use of pesticides and chemical inputs, consuming seasonal productions according to the territory we live in (“0 kilometre” concept).
This year we (Food Revolution Albania and Slow Food Albania) decided to take children of 4th and 5th classes of “Niket Dardani” school and celebrate the Earth Day with them at “Mrizi i Zanave”. During the bus trip we had a talk on the Earth Day and how it is important to keep the earth clean. The children were excited about this experience. Once the destination was reached, they had a fun ride on Mrizi’s “children`s train”, followed by a tour with Silvana Pinari, Sokol Prenga, Përparim Babalijen, Altin Prengën and me, along the olive trees where we explained the importance and benefits of the olive oil, the difference between different types of olive oils.
We passed in the land planted with rye, and between our talks, the children shared their experiences and their diets (how they consumed rye). Of course our trip was accompanied by amazing food from the Mrizi`s kitchen and the children tasted many healthy dishes. The cherry on top was the game organised by Altin Prenga (the master of the house) – the table filled with fruits and vegetables, where children had to guess the names of each product. It was a joyful moment, realising that children had a good understanding of different products and they were eager to learn more on the earth and its benefits.
After the activity, the children went to visit the grave of Scanderbeg and then we all headed back to Tirana.
On the way back it was very exciting to watch and hear the children while they discussed about the day and everything new they had learned.
I wish to thank all the staff of Food Revolution Albania who could not be with us during this activity: Dhurata Thanasi-n (founder of FRA), Orana Sinani, Ejona Varangu, Jona Gjini, Mondi Kikino, Eldisa Lloshi, Ilir Fama.
Photography by me