Their story, in their words….
We chose to do a cooking workshop as it provided a new challenge, requiring us to learn to cook Syrian food and teaching others in a safe environment. This required us to quickly develop our leadership and time management skills, ensuring the event ran smoothly and on time. We were also able to inform students on an ongoing issue in our community, the perception of Syrian refugees. Thus ensuring students understood the importance of appreciating other cultures through our engaging and fun workshop.
Planning the project allowed us to develop teamwork skills as we allocated different tasks and responsibilities to members of the group. For example, one member would confirm that the schools insurance would cover us, whilst another member ensures the food tech rooms are free to use for the correct dates. This allowed us to become more independent whilst also working in a team. We then had to practice making the recipes our self, which was in itself a very enjoyable and challenging experience, as we too learnt a lot about Syrian culture and its rich history. It was also where we were able to tweak certain aspects of the recipe making it more suitable for a school environment. For example switching the sugar syrup, which can be dangerous to handle, with a honey and water syrup instead.
On the day of our workshop, a lot of preparation was needed to be done to ensure that we had all the necessary ingredients and equipment. This further improved our teamwork skills. Taking the students through the recipes required patience and leadership, ensuring each student understood their task and how to carry it out. This also meant that we had to go over certain steps multiple times ensuring everyone is on the same page. This provided a challenge as at times students strayed from the recipe, requiring us to use our initiative to find a quick solution.
It was refreshing to see the students enjoy cooking a new style of food whilst also showing a great interest in a prevalent cause. Overall this project was a character building experience giving as an opportunity to develop new skills through spreading awareness for a cause dear to us.