At the risk of sounding political, the content of this blog post encompasses walls, former refugees, students from South & Central America, an Immigrant from England and a good dose of local Nova Scotia hospitality and welcoming.

Our Diversity Liaison, Phill Craik decided to set up a new twist on the Annapolis Valley’s now regular after school rock climbing clubs. Hearing of the International Student exchange group at Horton High School, alongside the recent and much publicized introduction of several former refugee families in the area, it seemed like a Multicultural Climbing & Conversation Club might be a good way to connect youth in ways outside of the classroom in a fun, friendly and safe environment.

With the help of Student Ambassador and talented young rock climber Chloe Symons, many of the international students at Horton were invited to attend the Club, which was hosted by Adventure Climbing Gym in Greenwich and paid for by the Municipality of Kings County.

Former refugee youth from Kenya & Syria were also able to take part, and enjoy participating in a new sport and made some new friends along the way. Aside from Phill, Chloe and a handful of the local Horton students, English was predominantly the second language for most of the group. This gave way to a very relaxing and inclusive atmosphere as we all took the time to listen, learn and talk about or varying experiences in coming to Canada.

There is hope to renew the project in the coming months, and it’s safe to say that using walls to break down cultural barriers is much easier than building them.