Seeking Families Worldwide to Answer 6 Questions on Facebook in 2020

This post was last updated on May 29, 2020. 

Learning Life is now recruiting families worldwide to participate in inaugural learning exchanges via Facebook this year.  These exchanges are part of the next phase in the development of Learning Life’s Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI).

Family Diplomacy InitiativeLearning Life launched FDI in 2016 to advance a family form of citizen diplomacy given families are (a) widely valued across cultures, (b) deeply impacted by world events, from climate change to immigration to disease transmission, yet (c) have little voice, as families, in international affairs (click here for five reasons why families should be involved in diplomacy).  FDI began in summer 2016 with test live internet dialogues between lower-income families in Washington DC, Dakar, Senegal, and Porto de la Libertad, El Salvador.  From 2017 to 2019, we completed a community photo project then a food culture and nutrition project, each engaging ten lower-income families in the USA, El Salvador, Senegal and Jordan.  In so doing, FDI leveraged the internet to engage families that don’t have the luxury to travel abroad in world learning.  Since summer 2019, we have more than tripled the number of families connected to our FDI Facebook Group as we enter into a new, scaled-up phase of the Family Diplomacy Initiative.

In this new phase, many more families worldwide have the opportunity to share and learn from each other about the world via Facebook.  In 2020, Learning Life is focusing the sharing and learning on food culture (i.e., how people in different cultures shop for, cook and eat food), posing six questions to the Facebook group about the foods people eat worldwide.  The six food culture questions we are asking, and the months we are asking them are:

  1. April: What does a typical breakfast look like in your family?
  2. May: What does a typical dinner look like in your family?
  3. July: What is a holiday your family celebrates, and what is a dish your family likes to make or buy for that holiday?
  4. August: What is a “comfort food” (food that your family finds comforting to eat) that your family often eats?
  5. September: What is a food people eat in your country that you think foreigners may consider odd or unusual?
  6. October: What is a food trend happening in your country?  A food trend is any new and popular food, restaurant, or way of eating.

Any family in the Facebook group can answer the questions with one or more photos plus a brief explanation of the photo(s) in English or their own language.  A selected panel of 50+ families in 30+ countries across the world has been asked to answer all six questions from April to October to ensure we get a variety of answers reflecting some of the world’s diversity of food cultures.  In future years, we plan to pose new questions on new themes that invite family-to-family learning about family life, country cultures, world trends, and international issues.

In addition, Learning Life is now posting other content to the FDI Facebook Group:

  1. “Eye on the World” posts with cultural content of interest to families
  2. “Internet Resources” posts offering free or low-cost online information, education, and work opportunities
  3. Profiles of some of the families participating in the food culture project

“How do we build a more caring and connected world?  We at Learning Life believe that connecting and highlighting the perspectives and experiences of families worldwide is one underdeveloped yet potentially powerful pathway to building that world.  Our Family Diplomacy Initiative Facebook Group is an important next step on that path,” says Learning Life’s Director, Paul Lachelier.

Families interested in being one of the Panel Families that share their answers to the six food culture questions in 2020 should contact Learning Life at email@learninglife.info.   In your email, please indicate what city and country your family lives in, and who will represent your family — whether a parent, grandparent, older/mature child — in answering the six questions we pose this year.  Please also attach a photo of your family.

Family eligibility criteria: Learning Life defines “family” broadly as two or more people who love each other, or one or more people and one or more pets who love each other (and preferably live with each other).  Thus, same-sex couples, unmarried couples, couples with or without children, single parents with one or more kids, single persons with one or more pets, siblings or cousins living together, grandparents living with grandchildren, and others are welcome.  Each family should have one “family representative” — a parent, grandparent, older child, or other mature family member — who will be responsible for answering the six project questions + survey and family profile questions (see “project work and time commitment” below).  Family representatives must live with one or more of their family members, have internet access, and be on Facebook. They are not obliged to speak, read or write English since Facebook gives people the ability to translate Facebook posts in many world languages.  However, ability to speak and read English, Spanish, Arabic or French is preferred strictly for purposes of communication with Learning Life staff.

Project work and time commitment: The project requires each family representative to answer (1) a short survey before and after the project, (2) a question-answer profile + photo of your family to share to our Family Diplomacy Initiative Facebook group, (3) the six food culture questions noted above.  In total, we estimate no more than six hours of your time for the project spread between March and October.  Families must understand and be comfortable with the fact that what they share will be public, on Facebook, and will be publicized via Learning Life’s website and social media pages (primarily Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin).

Questions?  Contact us at email@learninglife.info.  Thank you for your interest!