We are so happy to feature Yu Mei who presented the project titled, Kitchen Stories, at our event on September 1, 2019! Read more about the project below:
The vision behind Kitchen Stories is to create a social and cultural meeting space where people can interact with each other across gender/race/cultures and generations. The goal is to encourage integration and break barriers between people. Oslo has become a culture rich, multicultural city and offers locals an abundance of places to explore and meet others. However, some groups in society are at risk of being excluded from the warmth of the community. My idea is to promote integration by creating a business that contributes to inclusion of groups that are in danger of exclusion. The groups that I have in mind are refugees and the elderly/retired. Kitchen stories offers tourists or locals a guided walking tour in a neighbourhood of Oslo, exploring local food and drink culture, ending the tour in the heart of a local retired person’s kitchen. They are given a heartwarming traditional Norwegian meal and given the chance to connect with a local-experiences the real lives and stories of locals in Oslo. This project will provide jobs for our new countrymen and women while at the same time, encouraging integration through interacting with the retired locals. Moreover, this project will tap into the resources of the retired, enabling them to feel that they still can contribute to society while giving them the chance to create a bond to the refugees. This type of tour can offer tourists a memorable exploration of Norwegian culture and history-through a local’s perspective.
Why does this idea matter to you?
I’ve always been passionate about creating an equal society for everyone and I see it as my duty in life to promote integration and battle against exclusion of individuals in our society. In my perspective, every individual is a resource, but everyone has to be given the chance to fulfill their potential. I want to contribute in preventing the exclusion of individuals-and I focus on the elderly because I feel that they are a neglected group in society. Moreover, the media is filled with debate about the challenges of integration. In my opinion, integration is a two way effort-Both sides need to interact with eachother. When people in society are segregated from eachother-the risk of fearing one another grows. That’s why I think it’s so valuable to encourage people to interact with each other-disregarding social/ethnic/cultural differences. Kitchen stories can become an arena where people can connect and include each other in their lives which is the key to solidarity in a society.
How will you idea make Oslo a better place?
The social value of creating a cultural and social meeting space like “Kitchen stories” is enormous. We can’t keep growing apart, becoming a segregated city. We need to give people an opportunity to interact with each other or our society will fail.
How will you use the micro-grant funding to realize your concept?
I will use the funding to create an app so I can easily promote and sell my guiding service. Moreover, i plan to collaborate with hotels, tourist offices, so I will need funding in order to print flyers and other promotional material.
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