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Research article2021Peer reviewed

Exploring migrant’s sense of belonging through participation in an urban agricultural vocational training program in Sweden

Pálsdóttir, Anna María; O'Brien, Liz; Poulsen, Dorthe Varning; Dolling, Ann


This study focused on migrants taking part in a urban agricultural vocational program called Växtplats Rosengård at Botildenborg in Malmö, Sweden. A semi-structured interview study was  conducted with 14 trainees to explore whether a sense of belonging could be experienced during the 10-week vocational training program. Two main themes of “environmental and organizational context” and “cultivation and nurture” emerged, which illustrated that a sense of belonging and place attachment could be experienced. The sense of belonging was created by an inclusive and supportive environment that allowed for creativity through the planting, growing, and nurturing of plants. The program provided a connection to migrants’ home countries by allowing planting of recognized vegetation; and by enabling and supporting the practicing of the language of the new country in which the migrants had arrived. Based on the findings, five key mechanisms related to fostering a sense of belonging in newly arrived migrants are discussed and proposed as potentially transferrable to similar contexts.

Published in

Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
2021, Volume: XXXI, number: 1, pages: 10-24