Coronavirus Covid-19: our response

We are all living in strange and worrying times. The Coronavirus Covid-19 does not discriminate and globally we are all feeling its effects. Refugee and IDP camps are very densely populated with no parks or public green space. One of our goals is our focus on home gardens and this is now more important than ever.

We do not have any confirmed virus cases in Domiz 1 or in any of the other camps in which we work, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. However, there are confirmed cases in the large cities in the region.

Cities and camps across the Kurdistan region have now been closed – no one can enter or leave and a curfew is in place. The good news is that food deliveries are continuing but many people have lost their jobs and the full effects have not yet been seen.

We are working closely with our team to regularly monitor the situation and are looking for ways we can safely continue to celebrate and encourage home gardening in our communities.

We have changed our working practices in line with government advice, which includes (but is not limited to):

🌿  Practicing social distancing – camp management has declared a “shelter-in-place” policy which means that residents are only allowed to leave their homes to purchase food and medicine. We do have gardeners who are continuing to grow essential food in our community garden in Domiz 1. The garden currently remains open to individuals who are cultivating produce to distribute to vulnerable families so that it does not go to waste.

🌿  Postponing our annual garden competitions until further notice but finding a safe way to gift flower and vegetable seeds so that people can still plant in their home gardens.

🌿  Educating residents about the urgent need to stay home, practice social distancing and good hygiene.

We will continue to monitor activity in the community garden and across our camps and let you know if anything changes. Thank you for your continued support and we welcome any ideas to keep our residents safe and their children occupied while at home.

Love and light to all 💚🍋

Emergency Covid-19 Gardener to Gardener Seed Appeal

Update: October 2021 – For the moment we have enough seeds and are pausing on accepting donations. This is thanks to the incredible response we’ve had to our appeal to date. We’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and are still busy redistributing fruit, flower and vegetable seeds to refugee gardening projects. Instead, if you are able to do so, we welcome a monetary donation to further support our gardening activities. Thank you.

Lemon Tree Trust Seed Appeal graphic

In response to the global Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, we are focused on distributing food and flower seeds to people in refugee and IDP camps who are coping with Government enforced curfews and self-isolation at their shelters. Gardener to gardener, please help families to continue planting in their home gardens by making a donation or by sending us packets of seeds.

Support our Gardener to Gardener Seed Appeal.

نحن جميعا نعيش في أوقات غريبة ومقلقة. لا يميز فيروس كورونا Covid-19 عالمًا اننا جميعًا نشعر بالقلق الشديد. مخيمات اللاجئين والنازحين مكتظة بالسكان حيث لا توجد حدائق أو مساحات خضراء عامة. أحد أهدافنا هو تركيزنا على الحدائق المنزلية وهذا الآن أكثر أهمية من أي وقت مضى.

ليس لدينا أي حالات إصابة مؤكدة بالفيروس في دوميز 1 أو في أي من المخيمات الأخرى التي نعمل فيها، في إقليم كردستان العراق. ومع ذلك، هناك حالات مؤكدة في المدن الكبيرة في المنطقة.

لقد تم إغلاق المدن والمخيمات في جميع أنحاء إقليم كردستان – لا يمكن لأي شخص الدخول أو المغادرة ، كما يوجد حظر للتجوال. الخبر السار هو أن توصيلات الطعام مستمرة ولكن الكثير من الناس فقدوا وظائفهم ولم تظهر الآثار الكاملة بعد.

نحن نعمل عن كثب مع فريقنا لمراقبة الوضع بانتظام ونبحث عن طرق يمكننا من خلالها الاستمرار بأمان للاحتفال وتشجيع الحدائق المنزلية في مجتمعاتنا.

لقد قمنا بتغيير نظام العمل لدينا بما يتماشى مع توصيات الحكومية، والتي تشمل على سبيل المثال التالي:

🌿 ممارسة البعد الاجتماعي – أعلنت إدارة المخيم سياسة جددة بخصوص مغادرة المنازل, مما يعني أنه لا يُسمح للسكان بمغادرة منازلهم إلا لشراء الطعام والأدوية. لدينا مزارعون يواصلون زراعة الطعام الأساسي في حديقتنا المجتمعية في مخيم دوميز 1. تظل الحديقة مفتوحة حاليًا للأفراد الذين يزرعون المنتجات للتوزيع على العائلات الضعيفة لكي لا تهدر.

🌿 تأجيل مسابقاتنا السنوية في الحدائق حتى إشعار آخر ولكن إيجاد طريقة آمنة لإهداء بذور الزهور والخضروات حتى يتمكن الناس من الزراعة في حدائقهم المنزلية.

🌿 تثقيف السكان حول الحاجة الملحة للبقاء في المنزل وممارسة البعد الاجتماعي والنظافة الصحية الجيدة.

سنواصل مراقبة النشاطات في حديقة المجتمع وعبر مخيماتنا و سوف نعلمكم إذا تغير أي شيء. نشكركم على دعمكم المستمر ونرحب بأي أفكار للحفاظ على سلامة سكاننا وأطفالهم أثناء وجودهم في المنزل.


It was our pleasure to join O’s Refugee Aid Team and others on an aid convoy on World Refugee Day in northern France on 20 June. Lemon Tree Trust donated sleeping bags, basketball hoops and balls, phone chargers and seed packets to specialist teams working directly with displaced people living in temporary camps in Calais and Dunkirk. The trip also … Continued

The team behind FLORXLzine – Carmen Sheridan, Hannah Jones and Emma Brown – have raised £1000 for the Lemon Tree Trust through sales of the print publication. The first issue of the zine was launched in November 2021 to celebrate plants, gardens and horticulture and the team have gone on to publish two more. They … Continued

Thank you to Rachael Jefferies for inviting us on to the Centre for Minorities Research Podcast to talk about our work. The Centre for Minorities Research is based at the University of St Andrews, St Andrews in Scotland, UK. And the centre’s student-led podcast provides a space for students to creatively explore their research interests. … Continued