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.
The Azadi Community Garden in Domiz 1 camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is run by a small team of gardeners headed up Aveen, our Operations Manager. We asked team members Ismail and Shalal (pictured below) some questions about their work in the garden and their favourite plants. Ismail “I’m Ismail, a Syrian refugee. … Continued
Huge gratitude and thanks go to Erin Benzakein, Becky Crowley and all the team at Floret Flowers. As well as a generous donation of Floret seeds to our emergency ‘Gardener to Gardener’ Seed Appeal, Erin has published a lovely interview feature with our founder Stephanie Hunt on the Floret website. In the feature, Stephanie chats … Continued
Our heartfelt thanks go to Bridget and Henrietta at The Land Gardeners for donating profits from the first issue of their new pop-up magazine to Lemon Tree Trust. In this beautiful digital magazine, The Land Gardeners share what to plant and how to grow in lockdown. Plus, read about Erin Benzakein’s favourite pink flowers, Paul Bangay’s most-loved garden book, Kay … Continued