Zimbabwean asylum seeker: Gardening saved my life

A Zimbabwean who sought asylum in the UK after fleeing his home country nearly two decades ago says gardening has helped him deal with his problems.

Joel Chitsa said he was depressed and it was only when he got an allotment for a parcel of land to grow food that things started to change for him.

The charity Leicester City of Sanctuary, which assists refugees and asylum seekers, helped cover the allotment costs.

Mr Chitsa, who is a vegan, was now able to grow plants that he found difficult to buy in the market.

“I was concentrating on plants; I would shift my thinking from that of my problems to the love that I’m sharing with the plants,” he says.

He was granted leave to remain in the UK last year – and his gardening has continued to flourish.

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