In the last months of 2023, the Kharkiv FUSILLI team had a lot of significant activities that we want to tell you about. 

So, let’s start with the most important event: in early December, our team organized and successfully held the first Kharkiv Food Forum “Kharkiv on the Way to Food Security: Food Practices and 5R Principles”. It was a major city event that brought together city authorities, the military administration, the volunteer corps, scientists, interested citizens, and students of Karazin University. Among the speakers of the Forum were representatives of the: Department of Agro-Industrial Development of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Humanitarian Coordination Center, FSLC in Kharkiv Region, Main Department of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Kharkiv Region, Charity Foundation Source of Revival, Corus International, Kharkiv Zero Waste, Green for you – Microgreens, Food for you – delicious food in bags.

We organized this forum with one main goalto share experiences and discuss issues related to the transformation of Kharkiv’s food systems in the context of the war. Thus, the representatives of the departments raised the topic of transformation of food systems in Kharkiv region in the conditions of war:

  • impact on food quality and assessment of its quality; 
  • volunteer activities and humanitarian support for the de-occupied territories of Kharkiv region – the forum participants learned about the practices of assistance from international humanitarian organizations like food aid and seed distribution to increase community resilience;
  • social entrepreneurship and local food initiatives – our partners spoke about restoring businesses during the war and even creating new ones;
  • responsible consumption and waste circulation – Zero Waste Kharkiv is currently engaged in unique projects of ecological restoration of communities and does not leave its Kharkiv hub, which consists of five zones for recycling, restoration and reuse of things;
  • food practices and sustainable development goals – the deputy mayor spoke about hot lunches for citizens in need, the reopening of the city’s children’s kitchen, and the work of social workers to ensure food security among vulnerable populations;
  • prospects for the development of food policy in the city and region.

At the Forum, our team also presented the first results of a sociological research on the food practices of citizens during the war, which we have been conducting over the past few months.

Image gallery: Snapshots from Kharkiv’s First Food Forum. Credits: Karazin Mediastudia

After the successful Forum, FUSILLI Kharkiv Project Manager Olena Muradyan and project researcher Dmytro Boiko were invited to a meeting at the Center for Civil Society Development with the subnational and regional coordinators of the Food Security and Livelihood Cluster (FSLC). As a result of this working meeting, it was agreed to hold the Second Kharkiv Food Forum in the spring, taking into account all the current challenges and the developments and proposals of actors interested in a broad, comprehensive solution to food security and livelihoods of those in need.

Another good news in 2023 was the publication of a journal dedicated to our project. At the end of December, a special issue of the scientific journal “SocioPROSTIR” was published, dedicated to our project, where we cover the main aspects of the project: food policy and security, green festivals and festival culture, a network of food initiatives in Kharkiv and the region, 5R practices and responsible consumption (https://periodicals.karazin.ua/socioprostir )

In addition, an active information policy was carried out, including analytical and research activities.

Image gallery: Snapshots from the meeting with the Food Security and Livelihood Cluster (FSLC). Photo credits: Olena Muradyan

 

Author: Olena Muradyan, FUSILLI Kharkiv Project Manager