August has been a very busy month for the FHF in providing capacity building training as part of the foundation’s women empowerment activities.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and the National Federation of Lebanese Cooperatives, FHF team is delivering a series of training on Mouneh production to individual small-scale producers and cooperative members from the Bekaa and South.
Twenty-four ladies are participating in the sessions that are held in Al-Baraka Association’s in Ghobeiry with hands-on sessions in the association’s kitchen. Sessions on food safety, packaging and labeling, kitchen management, sun-drying and food presentation are delivered, among many other topics.
On July 16, 17 and 23, the Food Heritage Foundation (FHF) delivered three training sessions and workshops on Sirdeleh and soft goat cheese making in Deir al Qamar. These sessions were commissioned by the Secours Islamique France (SIF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chouf Biosphere Reserve. FHF supports the SIF objectives in enhancing the preservation of authentic food in the Chouf region.
Doing so, Eng. Nadim Rawda began the first session with a general introduction workshop in dairy products and white cheese making. Local farmers, cooperatives and cheese makers where taught the extensive knowledge of Baladi Cheese making with a focus on the production of goat soft cheeses flavored with sun-dried ingredients such as herbs and tomatoes.
On the second day, a participatory workshop facilitated by Eng. Mabelle Chedid and Mrs. Marwa Soubra gathered Sirdeleh producers from the Chouf area and aimed at identifying the Sirdeleh production method while pointing out the challenges that the producers face at different levels of the production process. The participants were motivated to share their experience and talk about challenges which they are facing mainly related to the lack of good quality clay jars and lack of marketing. The negative aspects of using plastic jars were addressed in the Food Safety session that was followed by a presentation on Occupational Health.
In an attempt to promote and preserve the traditional method of Sirdeleh making, SIF will distribute to the participants, later this summer, clay jars produced by a local potter.
Finally on the third day of training, the basic training on Sirdeleh making was delivered: participants learned how to prepare the clay jar prior to use and how to safely fill in the jar with goat milk. At the end of the training they all tasted freshly made Sirdeleh cheese prepared by a local farmer from Baaqlin.
Sirdaleh is a climate-smart product which makes use of the seasonal goat milk production and is preserved for use during winter when goat milk is not available. Similarly to Ambarees, Sirdeleh is made exclusively with raw goat milk. During the production process, Sirdeleh cheese is removed from the vessel and used to make kishk, but the bulk of the production is left to ferment in the jar to gain its acidic taste and conserved in glass jars covered with olive oil.
The preservation and documentation of the Sirdeleh cheese by passing on traditional production methods and expertise is a major concern to FHF who has previously teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahle and the Bekaa (CCIAZ ) to survey producers of Ambarees, another iconic dairy product prepared with raw goat milk, and which is facing similar threats such as lack of good clay jars and absence of marketing. The collaboration between FHF and CCIAZ also included a workshop and distribution of jars.
The Food Heritage Foundation (FHF) in collaboration with Mercy USA is providing a set of interactive workshops for Palestinian ladies in the Women Program Association (WPA) in Nahr El-Barid Camp. The workshop sessions cover different topics related to food service and provide practical information to guide the ladies on the food service chain from the purchasing of raw ingredients all the way to marketing of products. Some of the topics that are being covered during the training sessions are: food safety and hygiene practices, food purchasing, kitchen management, packaging and labeling etc.
Before starting the training sessions, a situational assessment of WPA kitchen was done by the FHF team in order to upgrade the kitchen to meet the food safety standards and to tailor the training workshops based on the needs.
The project which started in February 2018, aims to support the ladies by improving their access to the local market in order to ameliorate their socio-economic status. Women are encouraged to build up their own businesses in several fields such as mouneh making, pastries or sweets preparation.
The women participating in the workshops are enjoying the sessions and are being very enthusiastic about learning new information and techniques that will help them in starting their small businesses.
During the months of June and July 2017, the foundation was pleased to collaborate with the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (iecd) and introduce gardening classes in the summer school program held in the educational center Janah in Sabtieh.
Around 90 students from Syrian refugee communities benefited from these classes which aimed at introducing the basics of agriculture and teach the young students the production of healthy food.
The students were eager to start their own vegetable garden which included seasonal veggies, aromatic plants and ornamental flowers as well.
They learned how to identify pests, beneficial insects and weeds and how to make their own compost!
FHF team was very happy to know that many of the students planted small gardens at home and implemented what they have been taught!
Over the past two weeks, FHF has delivered sessions on gardening to unprivileged Lebanese and Syrian children, as part of the summer camp activities organized at the educational center in Aley managed by Yalla! Pour Les Enfants.
Students, teachers and parents attended the training sessions that were given by FHF experts, and participated in the practicum that was organized in the small garden of the school.
The project partners hope to raise enough funds to rehabilitate the school garden, hence enabling the kids to produce healthy and organic food starting October, when they are back to school.
For more info on how you can help or donate, please contact us.
On May 16, the hosts of Darb el Karam – food heritage trail in the Higher Shouf and West Bekaa gathered in Maasser el-Shouf and participated in a two-session training prepared and delivered by Dr. Jad Abou Arrage, expert in rural tourism and Ms. Zeinab Jeambey, food heritage management specialist.
While the part given by Dr. Abou Arrage focused on familiarizing the hosts of the food trail with the proposed touristic packages, the second part of the training aimed at highlighting the importance of locality and seasonality of the suggested menus.
This training is the last one in the preparatory phase of the project; it is expected to launch Darb el Karam packages this summer and give the visitors the opportunity of experiencing a new type of tourism.
Darb el Karam is developed through the collaboration between the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit at the American University of Beirut, the Food Heritage Foundation and the Shouf Biosphere Reserve with support of USAID through Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development – LIVCD Project.
On Feb 17, ANERA’s Diafhee program launched its series of training for Bed and Breakfasts (B&B) on standards of service provisions for visitors, a project funded by USAID through LIVCD program. The first introductory session took place in Kherbet Qanafar in West Bekaa and was attended by seven ladies operating B&B and tables d’hôte from Aana to Aitanit.
Noha Abi Rashed, owner of the B&B of Ein Zebde, Bert Mansour and Nada Abdel Nour from the B&B of Aitanit, as well as Lina Haddad who operates a table d’hôte in Kherbet Qanafar, all participants on the Food Heritage Foundation’s “darb el karam”, attended the introductory session and met the other ladies involving in similar activities in West Bekaa.
Three more introductory sessions will be given in Maasser el Shouf, Deir el Ahmar and Batroun. The training sessions are planned from March – December 2015 and and will cover topics such as B&B management, service provisions, menu development and safe food handling and hygiene.
On January 24 2015, a training session on “Food Safety and Hygiene” was organized in Ein Zebde B&B in West Bekaa .
The training was given by Ms. Dima Faour-Klingbeil and covered the basic concepts of food safety and hygiene tailored to home cooking and moune making practices.
This interactive and participatory training targeted Mouneh producers, hosts of “Tables d’Hote” and owners of small family restaurants on the West Bekaa Food Trail. Attendees expressed their satisfaction with the training and the need for continuous lectures of the sort, especially in the wake of recent food safety issues.
Another training will be held in Maasser el Shouf, targeting participants on the Shouf Food Trail.
This workshop is part of the USAID funded project entitled “Establishing A Food Trail in Higher Shouf and West Beqaa” in the framework of the Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) Project. The food trail is being implemented by the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at the American University of Beirut and the Food Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the Shouf Biosphere Reserve (SCBR).
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