By Rebekah Warren 

For refugee children, fleeing from war and destruction, Trevecca’s urban farm camp can bring the comfort of home.

“Many of the refugees come from agricultural backgrounds,” said Karen Shaw, coordinator for the urban farm. “They come with skills they can use to make ends meet, and that’s the connection we want to make.”

During May and June, high school and middle school students living in the Nashville area will have the opportunity to learn how to care for farm animals, build a garden and learn about healthy cooking and eating.

The goal is that the kids attending the camps will develop a basic understanding of the importance of environmental justice for their local communities as well as the world.

“We want to educate and equip the broader global community,” said Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice.

This involves understanding the way the health of the environment is directly correlated to the health of entire populations and the potential of humans to alter the course of environmental destruction and injustice.

“We are hoping children will make the connection between the food they grow and equity for people,” said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator.

In addition to the opportunity to use the skills they already have, refugee kids find the program to be healing, helping them recover from the trauma of leaving war-torn regions.

“They have all experienced displacement,” said Adkins.” We are convinced that the emotional and mental health of children is improved by being in the created world…it can be therapeutic.”
Shaw recalled the students from last summer who brought growing practices with them from their home countries, many of which were in the Middle East and Africa. They were often able to share the knowledge they had grown up practicing.

“Jason always asks, ‘how do you do this where you’re from?’ ” said Shaw. “We want refugees, especially those that come from agricultural backgrounds because we can learn from them.”

To learn more about the farm camps and register online, visit trevecca.edu/urbanfarm


08/20/2016 10:38pm

Trauma especially Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can really impair the daily activities of a child. They are easily startled, often have nightmares, and they usually avoid social situations/interactions. Sometimes they are emotionally numb and it can hinder their relationship with their loved ones. Joining camps like this will definitely help people with traumatic experience cope up with their feelings. They will feel that they belong and engage more in activities with other people. One of the important thing to do for them is to make them feel that they are safe and teach them to be more open with their feelings, while making them learn other useful skills.

06/22/2017 9:36pm

I've always wondered what life must have been for refugees. I always tear up whenever I try and think of it because I know how horrible their life experiences are. I watched a movie by Reese Witherspoon called “The Good Lie” which is all about the struggles of refugees and it was heartbreaking to watch. Soldiers were targeting to kill them and they were hunting them too. They were stripped away from their families and they never got to see each other again. They travel from one place to another only to be rejected by governments. I hope many more people will volunteer at your organizations so that you can help more refugees.


I am happy to see that these refugees are doing something for the community. Even though they are doing agricultural works like this, still they are fortunate that they were welcomed. This is the way they will pay back to the community that welcomed them. This can also serve as a therapy for the trauma that they have been through. They are mostly discriminated, and rejected by the community so this service can help them, in a way that they will be accepted by people.

09/15/2016 8:21pm

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Amazing camp! you're are making great things with it)

02/15/2017 1:48am

it s good practice


At least they have some work to do. a little money would be good.

05/23/2017 7:04am

It so cool that you're doing this for children! It's very cool! They need this feel of home so much!

06/22/2017 9:30pm

pay for essays written

07/12/2017 6:16pm

Refugees can not deny this fact that they are from camps


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