2014 Projects for Peace: “Going Organic for Western Sahara”

Four Westminster students—Sandra Nivyabandi from Burundi, Martín Roa from Paraguay, Mulay Smara from Western Sahara, and Brianna Mormann from Eugene, Missouri—have received a $10,000 grant from Davis Projects for Peace to create a sustainable source of nutrition and income for Saharawi refugees in the harsh and remote Saharan desert region of western Algeria.

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Standing left to right: Brianna Mormann, Martin Roa, and Sandra Nivyabandi. Seated: Mulay Smara.

Sandra, Martín, Mulay, and Brianna will travel to Tindouf, Algeria this summer and help the refugees in the Smara camp create a garden that can grow in the harsh climate where water is scarce and temperatures can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Mulay spent his childhood in the Smara refugee camp, and he is dedicated to raising awareness about Saharawi refugees and improving conditions in his community.

Approximately 160,000 Saharawi people have been living in refugee camps near Tindouf since 1975. Conditions in the camps are severe; the people rely on humanitarian donations, and most don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables needed for a healthy diet.

The team’s goal for this project is to create a garden that will regulate diets, improve quality of life, and also provide the Saharawi people in the Smara camp with a means of income.

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1 Response

  1. Kat. Barden says:

    This country is one of the last vestiges of colonial rule in Africa. Here is an opportunity to learn about the Western Sahara refugees and to be part of feeding multiple families in a refugee camp. Instead of giving them food, give them a sustainable food source. (See documentary Sons of the Clouds to learn about the history of these brave people.)