The Duchess, the City Farm and the Palestinian




The Duchess, the City Farm and the Palestinian …

HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited Walworth Garden Farm in Southwark on 06/09/2011.  This Horticultural project provides employment training and starter jobs for under-qualified jobseekers. HRH met its’ staff, trainees, children from Keyworth local Primary School, and Southwark  councillors and  -staff. But WGF  does much more than just creating gardeners and gardeners jobs: it  teaches schools about growing food and making school gardens, runs  community bee keeping- and gardening day courses, and does Council park-  and commercial gardening contracts.  It also  provides gardening  for many elderly local residents unable to do their own.‘In-house’ woodcarver Arthur  has just completed a butterfly shaped bench, and  WGF’s education worker designed  a splendid wrought iron entrance gate.

This project, now two decades old,  creates the Good Society….where Small is Beautiful…. 


Mohamed Barakat, a Palestinian asylum seeker, volunteers as  an intern with the WGF services company, where he learns British working skills and improves his  English,  whilst waiting for UKBA to grant  him final Leave to Remain in Britain.

Mohamed fled  the West Bank in 2003 soon after the Israeli army  killed his family in a bombing raid on Jenin refugee camp. Israel does not permit any Palestinians to return to the Occupied Territories. Despite UN- and EU treaties  stating that  such displaced Palestinians should be granted permanent Leave to Remain in any EU country receiving them, Mohamed after eight years still has no status and is often downcast about ever living a normal life. Immigration law does not  allow him  to work, study, earn any money, or receive any welfare  beyond some supermarket gift card food shopping .  Mohamed told HRH  how much he liked volunteering on Walworth Garden Farm…’When I am in this place I feel happy; it reminds me of working on the land with my father, back home in Jenin’.

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Tags: Asylum, City, Cornwall, Duchess, Employment, Farm, Farms, Garden, Palestinians, Walworth, More…of, seekers, training

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