In November 2018, Tatiana Blatnik joined Lemon Tree Trust to head partnerships and business development. As Vice President of Business Development, Tatiana will play an integral role in making Lemon Tree Trust’s vision possible: to expose every refugee community in the world to gardens and agriculture. Through this simple act, Lemon Tree aims to help restore a sense of purpose, belonging and dignity to those who have been forcibly displaced.

Tatiana recently visited Domiz Refugee Camp in Iraq where she met with the team on the ground.

I saw first hand the power of gardening as a therapeutic tool, as a source of new enterprise ideas, and as a means to bring people together when they have been pulled apart.”

One garden at a time, Lemon Tree Trust hopes to replicate its model for greening refugee communites, which started by running garden competitions across families living in refugee camps. A hybrid of philanthropic and social business objectives, all of Lemon Tree Trust’s activities impart financial and environmental sustainability to refugee communities.

I am honoured to work with such an amazing team driven by passion and purpose, who have created a model, which through its simplicity – growing gardens – helps to address mental health, and provide community, opportunity and cultural identity to those affected by forced migration” Tatiana added, “I cannot wait to begin working together with our partners towards implementing the Lemon Tree Trust’s vision”.


Gardening is a powerful and therapeutic tool that positively addresses issues of isolation and mental health. For displace people globally, the simple act of gardening produces beauty, engenders belonging, brings food security and promises valuable and unique economic opportunities.

Since 2015, working mainly in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the Lemon Tree Trust has supported refugees to create home and community gardens, garden competitions and refugee-led social enterprises. Through strategic partnerships, Lemon Tree Trust empowers refugee gardeners to bring social and economic change.