20.11.2017 Campaign newsPEOPLEPOLICY

Cooking classes offering language skills for prison inmates

EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2017. Ricette ristrette teaches prison inmates Italian language skills through cooking.

The article series shares good practices on engaging new learners by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2017.

With several nationalities and several different social backgrounds, all the students had a variety of reasons for being in prison. The Ricette ristrette project offers inmates Italian classes while cooking together and sharing information about food and traditional dishes. The name of the project, Ricette ristrette, which means restricted recipes in English, echoes the fact that inmates had to adapt to living conditions in prison in order to cook, as, for example, they did not have access to a large selection of kitchen equipment.

Wide benefits

Inmates gained many benefits from these classes. Some of them never had the opportunity to cook by themselves before going to prison. These classes, besides providing Italian skills and new vocabulary to inmates, enabled them to learn cooking techniques and exchange opinions about Italian food.

During the courses, for many inmates, memories of their families emerged, as well as anecdotes about their childhood. This project enables inmates to socialize, to learn new skills and to empower themselves. At the end of every class, the food was eaten together in a very relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, rather unusual in prison.

The project: Ricette ristrette
  • Award category: National projects (Italy)
  • Learner target group: Prison inmates
  • Innovative practice: Using learner stories and social media for advocacy

Project coordinator

Text: Lou-Andréa Pinson
Photo: Jakob Owens / Unsplash