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In collaboration with Lycée Technique Nic Biever (LTNB), we launched a 72 hour workshop for two 9th Grade classes.

Create your own camp, build a tent for 26 students and teachers out of a tarp and some strings, dig a fire pit and keep the fire burning were just the essential needs to cover for the own comfort. While sleeping outside (we had frosty april nights!), the brave students got a basic overview of the effort and resources it takes to be surrounded by a warm home and a meal on the table.

Apart from running their daily life, the individual groups rotated through various workshops: Build your own stool and plate to eat on by the fire, design and build a wood fired brick oven and make your own bread and pizza at the end of the workshop, create an imaginary musical instrument that makes a sound (and play a concert by the campfire at night).

Besides being exhausted and happy at the end of the day, this workshop aimed to educate on the basic needs - keep warm and dry, build an oven and prepare food, exchange and discover interpersonal skills. Whereas a school classroom and playground only challenges kids in a limited manner and promotes bullying, this environemnt took these school children out of contecxt, where they could shine.

One of the boys, who generally is a trouble maker, hyperactive and has poor grades, excelled at leadership, building and thinking with his hands. He's a maker. Not a math genius. Teachers came to the realization that the classroom is an environment focusing on specific skills, but not human interaction and skill implementation. 

Apart from this psychological exploration and rediscovery of one another in a new context these kids all shared together for 72 hours, it created a different kind of bonds, as well as an awareness of most people around the world having to go though this kind of process without any resources at hand - live with nothing but ingenuity and improvisational skills to survive day in, day out.

The realization that there is a difference between throwing a frozen pizza in the microwave and having to build your own oven from scratch and prepare the dough and ingredients for your own pizza was also quite the eye opener, since our preliminary survey with these kids showed that the favourite dishes were Döner kebabs and pizza. 

You kids rock! Congratulations, and thank you for an amazing effort. 

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