For Holocaust Memorial Day 2019, East Finchley residents organised a community bulb planting day, as part of a Barnet Council initiative to remember every one of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust.
The event brought together people from multiple faiths and those of non-religious beliefs to plant a memorial garden, dedicated to those who have lost their lives as a result of senseless persecution.
One young woman, Amina Qadi, from the Somali Bravenese community is an activist and advocate for multi-faith dialogue in the area around East Finchley.
In 2013, the Somali Bravenese community centre was burnt down through an act of hate crime. The local Jewish community responded by inviting them to pray at the local synagogue. In an act of solidarity, Amina also wanted to dedicate the bulb planting to the 11 people who lost their lives in the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on 27th October 2018.
The garden will provide local residents a space to enjoy and come together to appreciate nature and it’s slowly coming together with the help of active residents and with the support of Barnet Green Spaces and the Community Engagement team. The land was gifted to local residents around 20 years ago but was left unattended until now.
The local residents wanted to revive the space and utilise it to benefit the community who lack the luxury of green space. It is a symbol of unity and peace amongst the diverse population in this area of East Finchley.
This garden symbolises the antithesis to hate and division. It also helps celebrates the diversity we see in Barnet that enriches the community, and brings a sense of belonging to all who live in the area.