Greening brings positive feelings, nothing negative

“We were living in Syria where I worked as a construction contractor. Because of security problems, there was less work in 2011 – all the government contracts stopped. I decided to leave because of the violence, and brought my whole family.

“In the beginning I worked out of the camp here, doing tiling, but after Daesh started fighting in Iraq, that work stopped. I decided to create work for myself inside the camp. The nursery doesn’t require large capital to start up, that’s why I chose it. But it was difficult to promote the business. Then when the Lemon Tree Trust came with the project for planting trees and vegetables and improving gardening opportunities, you helped me to promote my business. People came here to collect seeds and plants and this has really helped me.

“It also helps sick people to get better. And people here would like more agriculture. The Lemon Tree Trust’s garden competition has encouraged people to plant. Once people heard about it, lots more – maybe two or three times as many – came to ask for plants. Many hesitate though, because of lack of space, but also because of the economic situation. People are cutting back a lot, and a reduced income makes people think twice. Or they decide they need the money for food.

“So, first of all, if there is a chance to get plants cheaper, this will really help people to plant. Secondly, we need job opportunities. Thirdly, if we have larger plots we could build greenhouses and encourage people to grow their own food, or something that’s useful for them.

“As for the future, the big problem is limited land to plant. I can’t employ more people because my plot is small. So to develop the project we need bigger land or spaces, and to make bigger greenhouses. We need to create more productive spaces so that people can get food from their own labour. People will grow vegetables if there is an income for them from it.”

Sayed, Domiz Camp