FiSahara For Kids

A “Mini FiSahara” for kids in the refugee camps consisting of outdoor evening screenings, conducted during July and August 2020 to replace their usual Vacations in Peace summer program in Spain.

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 were forced to 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 in Spain 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, and the Sahrawi government-in-exile and the Spanish network of solidarity associations moved Holidays in Peace to the Sahara Desert. The main objective was to improve the quality of life for these children in the camps, stimulating their creativity and their full potential. It also provided 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 were replaced with wellness checks by camp-based medical teams.

FiSahara jumped on board to support this initiative and prepared a series of film screenings that helped to transport the children on an imaginary journey to forests, to the depths of the ocean and to the Olympics at a zoo.

The short animations were 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.

Partners: Ministry of Culture through the EFA Abidin Kaid Saleh Audiovisual School, 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 Vacations in Peace.

Supported by: Lush Cosmetics Inc., Bertha Foundation, Dimes Foundation, Mundubat, Movies That Matter, Solar Cinema Western Sahara, Miyu Distributions provided the short films.

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