To foster the integration of refugee women, HEKS/EPER leases allotment gardens in Zurich and Schaffhausen and cultivates them together with the refugees. The gardens double up as places of social interaction and work, where participants can converse in German. Working together outdoors boosts their confidence in their own abilities.
Putting down roots in the new homeland
To become successfully integrated in Switzerland, refugees must overcome several hurdles. Many work at it daily and tirelessly. Spending time working in the garden is comforting and salutary for the women. Gardening is a meaningful leisure activity and helps structure the daily routine of people who are often not yet able or permitted to accept paid work. Besides, the garden provides an opportunity for participants to practice what they learn in German classes, as German is spoken there whenever possible. The women's children are also more than welcome at the allotment garden. For them this is a valuable additional space for leisure, play and learning.
Supported by Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinden und Kantonalkirchen Zürich und Schaffhausen [Evangelical Reformed Church Parishes and Cantonal Churches of Zürich and Schaffhausen], Integrationsförderung des Kantons Zürich [Integration Promotion Progra