Gastromotiva: social transformation in the favelas

Gastromotiva is a people-oriented project. Its main goal is to train young people from low-income families who have a culinary vocation, work potential and initiative, through a free programme that develops professional skills, they then go on internships at one of the associated establishments.  In ten years of work, Gastromotiva has consolidated the empowering of communities in order to build bridges between different social classes and promote change.

The organisation also has three other key projects. The first promotes the culinary vocation among convicts of Brazilian prisons. The second is in charge of supporting gastronomic entrepreneurs in communities, with an 80-hour course in baking and pastry techniques, which also includes personal development and empowerment classes. And the third, promotes dietary education for children, families and schools.

In 2004, David Hertz started to take his first steps with a project called Cocinero Ciudadano, which operated in the Jaguaré neighbourhood of São Paulo and had similar characteristics. One of the students, Uridéia Andrade da Costa, became his partner two years later to consolidate the idea and create a Public Interest Civil Society Organisation. This way, Gastromotiva starts to instruct young people with an interest in gastronomy with the premise of professional quality and at the same time, it gives them a trade that includes them in the labour market and provides them with resources to improve their lives.

The organisation has formed a network not only spreading and consolidating in three cities in Brazil but also partnering and collaborating with institutions in other countries, such as: Stop Spild Af Mad (Denmark), Jamie Oliver Foundation (UK), Slow Food (Italy), Instituto Culinario Pachacútec (Peru), Gustu (Bolivia), The Edible Schoolyard Project (USA), The Yangon Bakehouse (Myanmar), Koto’s Kitchen (Vietnam) and Lentil as anything (Australia).

They also organise cultural events like Cook for the future and a culinary film festival in partnership with KitchenAid.