Domiz refugee camp in Kurdistan, Iraq was originally established to host around 32,000 Syrian refugees spread over 1.2 km² of land, but it did not have a single tree in the camp. Living in a place that has no green space has had a huge negative mental impact on these refugees.
Iraq has hugely been affected by multiple conflicts and has been in a devastating financial situation. Employees of governmental sectors and private companies staff would work for months and not get paid wages due to the financial status of Iraq. Refugees in Iraq are more vulnerable to this economic situation and they already have less access to the job market. Refugees are working around 10 hours a day for which they are getting around £8 a day.
In the last few decades, human activities have hugely affected the land of Iraq. The region has lost most of its woodlands. Furthermore, it has broken the food chain and damaged the whole ecosystem. The majority of national animals lost their habitats and became extremely vulnerable. Some species increased in numbers at the expense of others. Diseases have spread, in addition to agricultural problems related to this environmental imbalance, such as the extinction of some species.
Land where Judy Garden was established
Rojava school, adjacent to Judy Garden has over 700 students aged between 6 to 15 years old. Trees Against Poverty are creating the first green space at the school for students to enjoy and interact with. The Domiz Refugee camp opened in 2012 and is currently overcrowded and home to about 70,000 Syrian refugees, twice the original estimate. This new green space will help to address climate change by creating shade, reducing temperatures and increasing biodiversity. In addition, the lives of the camp residents will improve due to increased mental well-being from the greenery. The trees will be the basis for educational support for the students.