Every summer, the project known as Holidays in Peace has flown thousands of Sahrawi children between the ages of eight and twelve from the refugee camps near Tindouf (Algeria) to Spain, where they are hosted by Spanish families for two months. As with many other activities, this year it was canceled due to the Covid-19 crisis.
These thousands of kids must now spend the summer in the camps, in the Algerian hammada or desert of deserts, with temperatures soaring to over 50º Celsius in the shade. The project not only provides homes, summer activities and a respite from the harsh summer temperatures for the children — they also undergo medical checkups and receive treatment whenever needed, and the bonds they forge with their Spanish host families last a lifetime.
But Sahrawis are resilient and inventive, so the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi government-in-exile and the Spanish network of solidarity associations have migrated Holidays in Peace this summer to the Sahara Desert. The main objective is to improve the quality of life for these children in the camps, stimulating their creativity and their full potential. It is also an opportunity for the kids to have a full immersion into the history, traditions and rich cultural identity of their people. The medical checkups in Spain will be replaced with wellness checks by camp-based medical teams.
FiSahara has jumped on board to support this initiative, and we have prepared a series of film screenings that we hope will embark the children on an imaginary journey to forests, to the depths of the ocean and to the Olympics at a zoo.
The short animations are made by students from film schools in France, Croatia, Denmark, Canada and Belgium and represent a show of pan-European solidarity with the Sahrawi people.
FiSahara is joining forces with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the Polisario Front delegation in Spain as well as the many other ministries involved in implementing Holidays in Peace.
This FiSahara film programming for kids is made possible through the collaboration between the Ministry of Culture through the EFA Abidin Kaid Saleh Audiovisual School and the support of Mundubat. We want to give a special thanks to Miyu Distribution for the 24 short films that we hope will light up the imagination of the Sahrawi children.