The Naturkultur association was founded in 2010 in Solothurn. The focus of the organization is on offering intercultural and personality-enhancing outdoor activities. The association is politically and religiously neutral. It is a member of the Swiss umbrella organization for youth organizations SAJV and the Swiss association of dry stone masons SVTSM .
The association consists out of experts for youth work, coaching, agriculture, cultural and social work and environmental education. The association has a large network in these areas and guarantees high quality offers and professional leadership. The association is closely linked with national and international partner organizations.
The association promotes awareness of fellow human beings and nature through intercultural and experience-driven projects in natural environment. People should have the opportunity to get involved and represent themselves as responsible and attentive members of our society. The projects are designed to offer young people opportunities to broaden their horizons, develop themselves and encourage them to work for their concerns/interests. With the implementation of their projects, the association promotes and supports voluntary commitment to nature and intercultural work.
What's important to us
It is important to the association that young people not only participate in the projects, but also shape and influence them. This is why half of the association's board consists out of young adults who have been involved in projects themselves and are now volunteering. Each location has one of these youngsters, who's responsible for project coordination or group management. This ensures that the needs of young people will be addressed and as well that voluntary engagement is practiced directly.
By working in and with nature, we promote people's awareness for their natural environment and ask them to work together for our cultural landscape. We want to show that nature and cultural landscape are valuable and worth protecting and as well as we all have a responsibility for it's sustainable maintenance.
With our projects we bring people from different cultural and religious backgrounds together. Through the respectful treatment and efforts to break down stereotypes between cultures, we meet on a level where everyone is free to be as he / she is as a person. We want to make a contribution to peaceful understanding between people from different cultures and we work together against exclusion, prejudices and racism.
The participants in our projects are made familiar with voluntary work. You will learn to give something back to the natural environment and local population, living nearby the project area. For example, dry stone walls are being renovated on the basis of voluntary work, while young people will learn the importance and valuables of this work. You are encouraged to get involved in your own country's causes.
What we do
Several times a year, the association Naturkultur organizes intercultural project weeks in a natural environment with the participation of its youthful members. We ask the participants to leave their familiar surroundings and gain new experiences with which they can broaden their horizons and use them to grow. We always give the participants opportunities to realize certain responsibilities and help shape the activities. In this way, we promote self-confidence in young people and show them that they can make a difference. The best case after the project would be, having encouraged the young participants to volunteer in causes that are close to their heart, back in their home countries.
Our main project is called “Building Walls - Breaking Walls”, an intercultural encounter week for young adults. Participants from Israel, Palestine, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the various parts of Switzerland renovate a traditional dry stone wall and overcome the mental walls between cultures through workshops and discussions.
In addition to intercultural project weeks for young people, we create spaces and possibilities for people from our surroundings to get involved in voluntary and meaningful engagement for nature and culture projects in rural areas.
We pay attention to respectful and transparent communication with all participants in the association and in the projects. We take sustainability into account, while designing our projects and strive to implement our activities in an environmentally friendly manner.