Since 1975, more than 160,000 Sahrawi have lived in 4 large refugee camps located in the southwestern corner of Algeria. This area of the vast Sahara Desert is one of the most inhospitable places on earth temperatures soar past 135 degrees in the summer and can drop below freezing in the winter.

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Holly Jerrett

920.968.0442
Not Forgotten International Administrative Assistant

Current Conditions in the Camps

  • Basic food is trucked in from humanitarian organizations, and includes rice, flour, pasta, sugar and lentils. These rations are based on what is given people in a crisis situation, not meant to sustain a nation for more than 30 years. 
  • Most families have been split since the invasion. Many men are in the military or working abroad to earn money.  After age 12, children must get their education outside of the camps.
  • Medical help is limited. Malnutrition and anemia are common. Many ailments go unnoticed and untreated. Majority of the elderly suffer from lung problems from so many years in the desert.
  • When students do get college degrees as lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, sociologists, politicians, journalists, their only option is to return to the camps.

Christ The Rock's Involvement in the Camps

  • Short term teams participate in the English center (conversation circles, classes), spend time with families and children and other activities.
  • Peaceful dialogues are held annually between Christians and Muslims to help build relations.
  • Young Women’s seminars are conducted to teach about worth, identity and value and address issues they struggle with.
  • Working alongside Sahrawi to teach 30-50 adults each semester in Essalam English Center. CTR sends teachers every semester for 3-4 months. The Center also helps build relationships through community activities.
  • Support the work of a Sahrawi Agriculturalist to provide families with gardens to grow their own fruits and vegetables year-round.