dajla.jpgDajla is one of the four main refugee camps of Sahrawi population in the southwest of Algeria. People from Western Sahara fled our country in 1975, following the withdrawal of the Spanish colonizers from what was then called Spanish Sahara and the invasion of our homeland by Moroccan troops. Dajla camp is the farthest of all Sahrawi refugee camps around the Algerian city of Tindouf (167 Km).

escuela.jpgUntil 1999, women from the Dajla camp had to go to the February 27th school (160 Km) to take their classes, and even farther to Algeria and other countries in order to keep studying after 7th degree. Quite often women do not have the chance to move to other places due to some specific reasons related to their gender: many of them have to stay home to take care of elder relatives and some mothers are reluctant to allow their daughters travel alone and live abroad for several years.

Our schoool’s main purpose is to make Sahrawi women (and thus, people in the camps) not so dependant on humanitarian aid. Besides that, as women use to say, “wealth in the women’s hands is wealth that reaches the whole family”. By making them self-sufficient, we are preparing them for the day they’ll go back to their homeland. In order to facilitate the improve their self-organization, we are organizing workshops and women’s cooperatives. So far, they have organized a pastry store, a pizza store, a hairdressing salon…

Among the courses we offer here are computer usage, English language, Spanish language, carpet making workshop, agriculture, audio-video edition, knitting…

You can get an overall view on the Sahrawi issue by watching a couple of short videos below. The first one is a short report on the Sahara issue made by organizers of the Sahara Marathon:

The second one is a short introduction to the Sandblast project, which is using the arts as peaceful tool to raise awareness in the UK:

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