The Village Pot (TVP) was a joint 6-week summer cooking program carried out by the African Women’s Alliance (AWA). AWA partnered with the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre (KDCHC), who provided the community room with kitchen, child care, and guest speakers, and the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research (MCCHR), who provided funding and administrative resources. TVP ran from August 15th – September 30th, 2019. It was a community based cooking program that focused on recipe sharing and collaborative cooking of modified African cuisine to show-case some of African culture and food.
It opened up channels to discuss various societal and health issues that were inspired by talks from local wellness advocates from KDCHC and Carizon. It was also designed in such a way to remove barriers to social inclusion and mental wellness in the community through shared cooking. It brought women from all backgrounds into a safe common space to socialize and build friendships across cultures. It also encouraged open discussions on stereotypes and stigmas associated with issues of ageing and menopause in women following the focus group interview by the research team from MCCHR.