Engaging your cohort in Global Health related events can be pretty challenging. One thing Global Health events often don’t have as an incentive for attendance is the “selfish factor”: that little buzz (ie. suturing skills at surgical nights) that makes people more likely to attend an event because they get something out of it. Most information is freely available to people, so what will they really gain from your event that they wouldn’t be able to gain alone?
In 2017, Interhealth at UWA addressed this issue by drawing in a crowd with food! They ran a non-profit event designed to educate students on sustainable cooking. This follow-on from a year-long promotion of Meat Free Monday through social media. The event had 20 guests who took part in a cooking demonstration, dinner and “climate change conversation”. Guests took a recipe home for further sustainable cooking!
The guests get the food, the cooking class, and a nice dinner but the important bit is that they actually learn something about climate change, food production, water cycles, phosphorus – whatever you’re trying to teach them!
“We wanted to take this further and allow people an opportunity to have hands on experience making their own vegetarian dish. The Raw Kitchen’ chef ran the demonstration in their restaurant and 20 guests made raw zucchini pasta with a delicious tomato and capsicum sauce, and a nut “meat” mix, as well as vegan chocolate for dessert. As our guests sat down to dinner, we had a member of DEA, Dr. George Crisp, discuss climate change, health, sustainability, and what we can do to address these issues. We received plenty of positive feedback and guests were particularly impressed with how great a vego meal could taste and how eloquently Dr. Crisp answered everyone’s questions.”
A sustainable cooking event is a relaxed way of getting people to sit down and talk about issues that matter, whilst giving them that “selfish factor” which prompts attendance. The guests get the food, the cooking class, and a nice dinner but the important bit is that they actually learn something about climate change, food production, water cycles, phosphorus – whatever you’re trying to teach them! It’s a great way of getting people on board with an issue by bribing them with yummy food!
All the Global Health Love,
AMSA Global Health National Co-Coordinator