Lesson 3 – Conclusions and practical hints
Visiting the countryside offers an inside into the European culture, food practices and languages. Therefore, Bio-Farm visits address refugees in all ages, including children, families and adults. There are a lot of incentives to learn new vocabulary that is connected with the countryside, agriculture and food commodities, and the farm offers pedagogical benefits that support the building of social relations, learning and self-confidence.
Many of the successful initiatives on (Bio-)Farms working with refugees have a close cooperation between NGO's, such as the Red Cross, governmental organizations and the farm itself. Due to the difficult situation of the target group the best projects draw on experiences of all parts.
Furthermore, there are several good examples of longer projects that offer sequel events/visits and a chance to work or volunteer over a longer course of time. This has shown to be most effective in reaching the pedagogical benefits described earlier.
Some lessons from farmers’ experience with visits:
- Refugees are hard to reach and best done through support networks or groups.
- Refugees have practical and emotional connections with farms which are positive connection, but can stir up unhappy and strong emotions of loss.
- The farm is best used as a platform for refugee groups to use rather than completely farm led
- It is important is to choose the right size of the visiting group!