Family gardens have a long tradition in Switzerland. They are not only an area for the production of vegetables, herbs and flowers, but also a place for social contact and structured leisure time. By working in the garden the immigrants are given a useful occupation, access to healthy exercise and support with social issues.
Before they fled their countries, working in gardens and fields was an everyday activity for many of the women. The project builds on their resources and their knowledge. The garden helps those involved, who were forced to leave much behind in their home countries, to feel the earth beneath their feet again. Whenever possible, German is spoken in the garden and, if required, the participants are assisted with organic gardening and composting at the same time. They complete any resulting work independently. There is a lively exchange about life in Switzerland and project workers ensure that information is passed on about opportunities for integration and legal and healthcare provision. The children of participants are welcome in the gardens, are included in the project and spend some of their leisure time playing outside.