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AIW launches its Culinary Training Program!

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

The Association for the Integration of Women will train four women from Nigeria and Ghana who are passionate about food and want to share their flavors with the Modenese community

Credits Lavinia Nitu

Modena, 27 Aprile, 2021- The Association for the Integration of Women, non-profit organization founded one year ago by 27-year old American-Italian Caroline Caporossi, will be expanding its programming this May, launching its first culinary training program to benefit four women from Nigeria and Ghana, who have the skills, ambition, and dreams to work as cooks in Modenese restaurants.

Our culinary program was originally slated for opening last Spring, but due to COVID-19 we had to change our plans, which ultimately led to the birth of our Seamstress program “Cucire Insieme." The change of plans was a blessing in disguise, allowing us to work closely with our partners and the women to make something truly special opening this Spring” -Caporossi

The training program, developed by Jessica Rosval, Culinary Director of AIW and head chef of Massimo Bottura’s Casa Maria Luigia, is a completely unique offering, using the pillars of AIW, capacity, opportunity, and motivation, and providing a holistic training that empowers women with both the technical and nontechnical skills and self-confidence that will make them successful in future jobs. Culinary courses will be taught by Chefs instructors including the local chef Alessia Morabito as well as Chef volunteers from the Association of MOdena Chef (Associazione MOdena Cuochi), while transferrable skills will be taught by women, some of them migrants, as part of the partnership with the International Women’s Association Modena.

After spending roughly 30 hours getting to know these women last fall, AIW together with Social Services of the City of Modena selected the first 4 trainees based on their skills, ambitions, and aptitude for the program. The partnership with Social Services dates back to the ideation of the AIW, when founder Caroline Caporossi met social assistant Polo 2 and the two of them began developing the AIW program together with a group of Nigerian mothers, one of which remains in the program. Social Services sees this project as a unique opportunity to value the skills and competencies of migrant women for their integration to the workforce, but also into our Modenese social fabric, creating an inclusive future for future generations as well. They state: “We believe that the inclusion of migrant women can create for our city a heightened sense of awareness around diversity and what other cultures can teach all of us.”

This course is additionally made possible by the strong involvement of Caritas Modenese, who have served as an “incubator” for many of the AIW’s programs, providing experience, funding, and space to help this young, grassroots nonprofit launch its activities. Thanks to our Bishop Don Erio Castellucci, who has show generosity and attention to AIW’s mission.

Over the next four months, the women will train in Caritas’ community center “Papa Francesco” on Via Servi in the heart of Modena, as well in the location of Caritas’ latest project “Fiducia nella Citta,” called Laboratio Crocetta. Thanks to this collaboration, meals produced by the trainees can be distributed to those in need living in our community.

This program is just the beginning of a larger plan, each step along the way building network, competencies, and experience for the young and ambitious organization that plans on opening Roots, Modena’s first social restaurant and training hub later this year. Roots will train 20 women per year and additionally give Modenese residents the opportunity to meet their new neighbors through food.

#weareaiw #culinarytrainingprogram #roots #diversity #integration

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