Gardening has the power to positively address issues of isolation and mental health.
For displaced people globally, the simple act of gardening produces beauty, restores dignity, creates community and offers opportunity.
Transforming refugee camps and communities, one garden at a time
Since 2015, the Lemon Tree Trust has supported refugees and communities of forced migrants, to create home and community gardens, garden competitions and education projects.
Working with like-minded organisations and partners, we empower people from the ground up to improve their wellbeing and their environment, with a particular focus on women coming together as a community to affect change.
“I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard I could have a garden here… We’ve all been displaced and are suddenly living in a desert without trees… I see life in this garden. It cleans the air and gives people hope.”
Ahmed Tamo, Domiz 1 camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Our long-term vision is to bring gardens and gardening initiatives to every refugee camp and community of forced migrants in the world.
Our activities are focused on four main impact areas:
Improving mental health and wellbeing
Community building and women’s empowerment
Improving local environments
Independent access to fresh food
We do this by supporting people to build home gardens, supporting communities to build community gardens (both ornamental and productive) and supporting women-led agriculture and horticulture initiatives and small businesses.
“For the people we work with in refugee communities, gardens are an essential part of their lives. They bring beauty, restore dignity and reignite hope in the future. But importantly, we know that gardens offer an incredible opportunity for profitable enterprise and we are committed, personally and professionally, to helping drive a new refugee economy through horticulture.”
We have awarded prizes to 72 winning gardens in our 2021 Lemon Tree Trust (LTT) annual garden competitions. LTT competitions took place in a record nine camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Winners have received cash prizes and gifts of seeds and plants, and all participants have received certificates. … Continued
Land restoration in refugee camps and wider communities has enormous potential to enhance the living conditions of forcibly displaced people and the ecosystems of war-torn regions. To coincide with the official launch of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and World Environment Day on 5 June 2021, we were delighted to take part in a ‘Refugees and Restoration’ roundtable … Continued
Ahmed Ibrahim Ismail lives in the Azar neighbourhood of Domiz 2 camp. “I have a humble garden in my house, and I started working on it with my children two years ago. We have spent many good times in it, especially during the curfew for the coronavirus. “My garden contains 20 different types of roses and … Continued