Building Walls Breaking Walls
“Building Walls Breaking Walls” is a Youth Exchange Program
Overcoming stereotypes and promoting mutual understanding
“Building Walls Breaking Walls” is an exchange program for people (20-25 years old) from Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine.
The participants spend an intensive week living, learning and building together, breaking down stereotypes and cultural barriers.
At the same time the program contributes to the hosting community by renovating or building walls, using:
- local materials;
- natural and traditional methods.
The exchanges currently take place in five different locations each year:
- three sites in the Alps of Switzerland;
- on Cape Clear Island just off Ireland’s southern Atlantic coast;
- in the southern Arava desert in Israel at Kibbutz Lotan.
The program thus takes young people on an experience close to nature in three very different environments:
“Building Walls – Breaking Walls” is funded by the European Union
“Building Walls – Breaking Walls” is an ERASMUS + Youth Exchange program.
The program is for people from the Euro-Mediterranean and Middle East region towards the development of civil society and democracy.
The primary goal is to stimulate mutual understanding between young people to fight against stereotypes and prejudices.
Another goal is to promote active citizenship among young people and enhance their sense of solidarity.
At the sites in Switzerland and Ireland, participants learn the traditional method of building drystone walls with expert craftspeople.
People contribute to the local communities by rebuilding the walls that have fallen
In Israel, participants utilize earth plaster and recycled materials to build structures, using methods developed by Kibbutz Lotan.
The walls thus constitute a long-lasting symbol for intercultural cooperation and ecological restoration.
It is also a tool for reflection and exchange on the topic of walls and borders between the different cultures.
In October 2019, Kibbutz Lotan’s Center for Creative Ecology is once again partnering with:
- the NGOs Amutat Tzell HaTamar (Israel);
- Yad B’Yad (Israel/ Palestine);
- Verein Naturkultur (Switzerland);
- Mahon Community Development Project (Ireland)
The goal is to bring people from different countries for a learning and fun experience
People will build mud walls while breaking down cultural stereotypes.
The group will spend the week residing in Lotan’s unique Eco Campus.
This is a prototype for sustainable communal living.
It also serve for exploring conflicts and challenges around borders and walls in the different countries.
People cook together and experiment the desert, Kibbutz life and Israeli culture.
It promises to be a jam-packed week that will remain with the participants for years to come.