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 organizations 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
This International Tea Day, our operations manager, Aveen, shares her delicious and refreshing recipe for herbal tea. It blends rose, lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, santolina and mint. Before Covid-19, Aveen and our group of gardeners enjoyed taking tea together in the Azadi Community Garden in Domiz. After a busy session tending to the plants, it … Continued
Mr Fothergill’s and the Lemon Tree Trust are working together to provide 100,000 packets of quality seed to people living in refugee and IDP (internally displaced people) camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Mr Fothergill’s is supporting our Emergency ‘Gardener to Gardener’ Seed Appeal with a week-long promotion to its UK customers. For every … Continued
The global spread of Coronavirus Covid-19 means it is not possible to run our garden competitions in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) this spring. However, we will continue to encourage people to sow seeds and enjoy gardening by celebrating refugee and IDP camp home gardens with a ‘virtual’ home garden exhibition this year. Residents … Continued