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Viche, cuisine and sport – ways to build a better society

Will brewing Viche, a traditional alcoholic drink, help young Colombians avoid violence and fighting in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)? Viche is a sugarcane-based drink produced by African-Colombian communities. In 2021, the Colombian Senate recognized it as part of “cultural and ancestral heritage” and agreed to its commercial production. The African-Colombian community leaders focus on producing Viche and strengthening native traditions to create jobs for adults and development opportunities for the youth.

“Food is a tool for change,” says Turkish chef Ebru Baybara Demir, whose menu includes cultural exchange and humanitarian aid, empowering women and supporting refugees. The Turkish woman runs a community catering service that helps tens of thousands of victims of natural disasters and refugees from Syria. She has also opened an agricultural development cooperative employing Turks and migrants in food production, mushroom cultivation, beekeeping and sorghum cultivation. In 2023, Demir won the Basque Culinary World 2023 award for her work in women’s empowerment.

Young Palestinian athletes in the Gaza Strip are turning battle-ravaged neighbourhoods into arenas where they can practice parkour. “When the war broke out, we started training in the ruins of bombed districts. It is a message to the world that our determination to live is stronger than ever,” says Najem Ammar from the Spiders Parkour Gaza team. Five members of his team were killed in the conflict with Israel.

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