This is Asma. She was born in Smara refugee camp. So was her mother Fatimatu. Her grandparents were born in Western Sahara, a disputed territory in North West Africa. They fled to the Sahrawi refugee camps in 1976 during the war between Morocco and the Polisario when Western Sahara stopped being a Spanish colony.
They have lived in Smara for 44 years waiting for a referendum to decide who should govern their homeland.
There are nearly 200,000 people living in the camps in a very inhospitable corner of the Sahara desert. They run the camps on a very democratic basis and have set up schools and hospitals. They have one of the highest literacy rates in Africa and many people have university degrees.
The Sahrawi people are well known for their resourcefulness and determination but for food and water they are dependent on handouts from the World Food Programme. With the current refugee crisis across the world the amount of food each family receives is getting less. One of the main things missing from the diet is fresh vegetables which we all need to stay healthy. Because of a lack of fresh food 44% of the women and 39% of the children suffer from anaemia. (UNHCR)
Asma’s mum Fatimatu has set up a group who want to start a community project to grow their own vegetables for the people in the camp. They have done a lot of research and planned and costed everything. Please read their full project plan on our Facebook page here .
Because of the harsh conditions, extreme temperatures and lack of water in the desert it is very hard to grow vegetables. However, in the nearby town vegetables are grown successfully in greenhouses but this is expensive to set up.
We need your help.
Help the Sahrawi to help themselves.
We need money to get the project started, money to dig a well, money for the greenhouse and money for the initial running costs until the project starts to pay for itself and hopefully expand.