Category Archives: Moira’s Garden

Moira’s Garden – The Beginning by Beatrice Imbert

‘Moira’s Garden’ also referred to as ‘The Garden of Hope’ or ‘The Amal Garden’ (Amal meaning Hope in Arabic) started life as a thought provoking idea from Moira Kelly AO, International humanitarian during a medical rescue mission to Gaza in February 2004.

Moira had the opportunity to visit several families in the refugee camps, in their destroyed homes. She witnessed first hand the images never revealed to the rest of the world and this affected her tremendously. She had lived through the atrocities of the Bosnian War and had hugely contributed to the plight of the children and their parents there and understood better than most the daily struggles that they faced.

In the midst of this bleak picture, the children were still being children. They could be seen on the war torn streets playing with the rubble left over from bombed buildings, with make shift toys constructed from broken pieces of metal and other rubbish that they gathered to play with either on the street or on the beach. No matter what situation a child finds itself, a child is still a child and play is a vital part of their existence.

Her first hand experience of Gaza and the children had moved her to take action. She boldly expressed to the Director of the UHWC and political associates that she intended to create a place where the children of Gaza and their families could come and play in a happy, serene, clean environment that would provide them with a break from their daily troubles. She had observed that there was nowhere for the children to go.

In July 2007, Moira received a visit from an Ittihad representative who was bringing a sick child for treatment. He also brought with him a letter entitled ‘Moira’s garden’ and that after the 2005 Israeli evacuation of Gaza strip, most of the removed settlement land had become available. His first words were ‘We have your land’.  To her amazement, she was advised that 12,000 sqm of land had been put aside for a creation of master plan of which 5000 sqm was set aside for a ‘Children’s Garden’ for Moira and the Australian people to create and build.

And so Moira’s Garden began.

We expect the project to take approximately 3-4 years to complete on the ground. An initial plan is being prepared by Ian Potter’s Children’s Garden’s designer Andrew Laidlaw and we anticipate a cost of around $5 million that we will start fund raising for shortly… stay tuned.

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First steps of bringing Moira’s garden to fruition is the establishment of a logo, website, facebook page and a trust fund. Beatrice Imbert, author and all round amazing energizer has joined the working group bringing with her a wealth of knowledge an unquantifiable list of contacts and a can do attitude that will keep things moving.

Beatrice Imbert, Fran holding Trishna, Moira and Julie Edmonds

 

From a seed a beautiful garden will grow

The beginnings of a beautiful garden for the people of Gaza, a long term dream of Moira Kelly’s.

Moira Kelly known for her amazing humanitarian works has long held a dream of building a garden for the children of Gaza. This is a longterm project and we have only just begun on bringing this dream to a reality. We have a plot of land! No small feat in a small area of 1.5 million people. This is a garden of hope and will be a gift of the Australian people. Landscaping Victoria with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Andrew Laidlaw are working with Moira to bring this garden to reality.

Children’s Garden for Gaza Strip

Landscaping Victoria has joined with Moira Kelly to help realise her dream for creating a children’s garden for the children of Palestine. This has been a project ten years in the making and is now one step closer with a large plot of land being set aside by the people of Gaza for such a garden. Andrew Laidlaw, designer of the fabulous Ian Potter Children’s Garden in Melbourne is developing the brief that will see a beautiful natural garden being created that families can visit and spend time together in and will act as a garden of hope for all people of Gaza. Turning Moira’s dream into reality will be a logistical challenge. Team member Philip Sacca is currently in Gaza  and while there will be gathering information for Andrew’s brief and appointing a local project manager for the garden.