Intercultural Garden

Within the concept of the Intercultural Garden, intercultural learning, international understanding and integration are central.

Since the 1990s intercultural gardens have enriched many countries that migrants travel to. Natives and immigrants of distinct social milieus and lifestyles encounter each other in the intercultural gardens. During the joint cultivation of land in the middle of a town new connections and affiliations are developed.

Objectives

The Intercultural Gardens are meant to promote social contacts between refugees, immigrants and natives.

Another aim is to motivate refugees and immigrants to become active and to participate.  Gardens are seen as an ideal location because immigrants and refugees often come from small farming communities and have been unable to exercise their farming knowledge in the immigration country until now.

Often the immigrants plant vegetables and herbs from their countries of origin.  So the participants can gain new knowledge about plant species.

Activities in the gardens are also seen as a foundation for further activities: e.g. vocational orientation and integration in the areas of garden design and environmental protection, through visits and internships in businesses of these sectors. Social integration is promoted through neighbourly help and family care.

Through the collective work the participants get the chance to improve their language skills.  This enables them to participate better in the society and to represent better their interests.

Materials

  • A plot of land with fertile soil
  • Seeds, seedling, plants
  • Irrigation facility
  • Material to build toilets, community houses, benches, oven
  • Gardening tools
  • A stable and high fence around the garden

Implementation

  1. Search for an appropriate plot.
  2. Foundation of an association.
  3. Setting up a structure for the decision-making process.
  4. Introduction of the project in the neighbourhood.
  5. Negotiation with the owner (e.g. the municipal administration) about the rental conditions + conclusion of a contract.
  6. Construction of a fence around the garden (as a protective measure against vandalism).
  7. Setting up the infrastructure (water, waste).
  8. Creation of the beds and cultivation of the plants.
  9. Construction of shared facilities (toilets, community houses, benches, oven).
  10. Offering of workshops.
  11. Cooperation with schools.
  12. Organization of public events.

Evaluation

Because this is a long-term project the evaluation takes place at the regular meetings of the gardening group.

Tips

One possible use of the garden can be to run language classroom during the gardening activities or to use the garden space as classroom. Practical activity can facilitate the learning of the language and create a nice atmosphere among the students.