'I am happy' - locals come together to re-build Syrian refugee's plant nursery destroyed by vandals




Charitable Kiwis have pitched in to help a Syrian refugee whose newly formed plant nursery business was destroyed by vandals in Lower Hutt last week.

The Lower Hutt community turned out in their hundreds today help the family put their plant business back together.
Source: 1 NEWS

Khaled Al Jouja was a specialist gardener in now war-torn Syria but resettled in Lower Hutt last year, and he had just created a pop-up nursery so he could be self-employed.

He also helps out at the charity, The Common Unity Project Aotearoa, where he produces food to be turned into meals "for those who need it most," says founder Julia Milne.

But on Tuesday morning, Mr Al Jouja came home to find his new livelihood decimated, with only an eighth of the 2000 plants salvageable.

However, people from across the nation have come together to "right the wrong".

In just three days over $12,000 has been raised via a GiveaLittle page, and plenty of locals have come to help re-plant the nursery.

"We literally just asked for some potting mix and it kind of morphed into this global response," Ms Milne said.

Mr Al Jouja certainly appreciates the outpouring of support from his local community as well, telling a crowd of people who came to help him re-build: "Thank you everybody for coming today. I am happy."

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