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 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.”
Stephanie Hunt, Founder & CEO, The Lemon Tree Trust
Urban agriculture, greening innovation and forced displacement are important concepts which underpin our work.
We are regularly asked by people around the world about how they can support our activities. We are incredibly grateful for your support! 💚 Here are nine ways you can help spark and change conversations around forcibly displaced people. 1. Make a donation This helps us maintain our existing projects and plan new ones. Regular … Continued
Our team has created an area of green space at the SEED Foundation community centre in Bersive 1 camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The centre is where women, men and families recovering from trauma can spend time tending a garden, planting seeds and re-connecting with nature. The SEED Foundation addresses the mental health … Continued
Salih Yosuf, 45, is married with five children and lives in Domiz 2 camp. He shares what gardening means to him and has built an ingenious water feature in his home garden. “I spend most of my time in my garden that I established two years ago. Roses are my favourite plant of all because … Continued