Gardener stories: Meet Hajar

Hajar Eido Khadida standing in her home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Hajar Eido Khadida is a 23-year-old student living in Khanki IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We chatted to her about her garden and life in general during the Covid-19 pandemic.

🌿 How much time do you spend in your garden and why is it important to you?
I spend 30 minutes every day in my garden. The garden is important because it softens the environment and gives my tent a more beautiful view. I enjoy spending time in it as I love to plant and grow.

🌿 What are your favourite plants?
Many different types of flowers. In terms of fruit, I love grapes, peaches, pomegranate and sumac. Vegetables include onions, garlic and other types.

🌿 When and why did you start building your garden?
I initially created my garden in 2017 to grow food but then it developed into a place of beauty as well.

Hajar Eido Khadida's home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

🌿 Did you participate in our gardening competitions?
Yes, last year I was awarded third position in the competition. I took part both for the enjoyment of it, but also for the financial incentive because our financial situation is very difficult.

🌿 In what way has the coronavirus crisis made life in the camp more difficult?
Economically, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the lives of people in the camp in general, and on those who were dependent on daily work. There has also been a psychological impact on people having to stay at home and feeling trapped in their tents.

🌿 How does your garden help you and your family to live in the camp, especially during the Coronavirus crisis?
Being in the garden with family has been beneficial from a psychological point of view. We feel better mentally when we spend time in our garden.

Close up of plants in Hajar Eido Khadida's home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Close up of a tree and plants in Hajar Eido Khadida's home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Want to support gardeners like Hajar?

The Lemon Tree Trust welcomes one-off and regular donations. 

To make a donation, please go to:

Our core infrastructure costs are fully funded so 100% of your donation directly supports gardening projects and initiatives in refugee communities.

  • $1 / £1 can give a family a packet of vegetable seeds 
  • $5 / £5 can provide a family a basket of nutritious produce 
  • $25 / £25 can fund a Home Garden Starter Kit for a new family arriving in the camp, containing a Home Garden Manual, seeds, tools, a grow-bag and a children’s gardening activity

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