Lemon Tree Trust brings its vision to the Vatican as Tatiana Blatnik joins as Head of Business Development

Lemon Tree Trust presents in Vatican City

Vatican

In recognition of our efforts to improve the lives of refugees through gardening initiatives, we will present our vision in Vatican City this week. We have been announced as a recipient of the 2018 Laudato Sí Challenge, an initiative inspired by Pope Francis to address the global refugee crisis, and the event in Rome completes a year of unprecedented growth for us.

Gardening has a profound impact on the mental health and lives of refugees. Founded in 2015, we support refugee gardening initiatives, including garden competitions and refugee-led small business enterprises, to help refugees restore their sense of dignity, purpose, and hope for the future. The Laudato Sí Challenge offers us global recognition for our efforts to impact the short term health and the long term opportunities for people living in refugee communities.

Tatiana Blatnik joins the team

Community gardeners meet Tatiana Blatnik

Since bringing the first refugee-inspired show garden to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2018, we have further developed our gardening projects in Domiz camp in Northern Iraq, and are now targeting to expand to every refugee camp in the world. To help us achieve our ambitious program of development, the Lemon Tree Trust welcomes Tatiana Blatnik to the team. As Vice President of Business Development, Tatiana will play an integral role in securing strategic partnerships to enable us to realise our vision.

Having  visited Domiz, camp where she met the Lemon Tree Trust team (who are all existing or former camp residents), Tatiana said,

“I saw first hand the power of gardening as a therapeutic force for good, as a source of new enterprise ideas, and as a means to bring people together when they have been pulled apart. I am honored to help the Lemon Tree Trust secure partnerships to ensure that our projects reach many more refugee communities. The profound positive effects of gardening cannot be overstated in the context of forced displacement.”

Tatiana joins a team headed by Founder and Executive Chair Stephanie Hunt, and Lemon Tree Trust CEO Alfonso Montiel. Stephanie said,

“Tatiana’s appointment comes at an exciting time of development for us. This year we ran garden competitions across five camps, started a global conversation about the importance of gardening to refugees at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, and were named a recipient of the Vatican-backed Laudato Sí Challenge. We move into 2019 by expanding our efforts into creating refugee-led small business enterprises, andI look forward to working with Tatiana and our team to realise our vision for refugee communities everywhere.”


NOTES

Tatiana Blatnik was born in Caracas, Venezuela. After graduating from Aiglon College in Switzerland, she received her BA in Sociology from Georgetown University (2003). She has lived and worked in New York, London, Washington D.C. and currently resides in Athens, Greece, with her husband, HRH Prince Nikolaos of Greece. She recently co-authored  “A Taste of Greece” a cookbook in support of a local community organisation.  She is a long-tenured consultant to Diane von Furstenberg’s fashion house. Blatnik also has an extensive record of working with women and children, supporting a wide range of local causes in her adopted home, Greece.


Find out more

For more information about the work of the Lemon Tree Trust or to find out about partnership opportunities please contact us.

 

We have awarded prizes to 72 winning gardens in our 2021 Lemon Tree Trust (LTT) annual garden competitions. LTT competitions took place in a record nine camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Winners have received cash prizes and gifts of seeds and plants, and all participants have received certificates.  … Continued

Land restoration in refugee camps and wider communities has enormous potential to enhance the living conditions of forcibly displaced people and the ecosystems of war-torn regions. To coincide with the official launch of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and World Environment Day on 5 June 2021, we were delighted to take part in a ‘Refugees and Restoration’ roundtable … Continued

Ahmed Ibrahim Ismail lives in the Azar neighbourhood of Domiz 2 camp. “I have a humble garden in my house, and I started working on it with my children two years ago. We have spent many good times in it, especially during the curfew for the coronavirus.⁣  ⁣“My garden contains 20 different types of roses and … Continued