- Conflicts and Disasters
“40 years of hardship is a considerable number of years. We have been hoping for years to come back to our land. That thought gives us some joy and hope, despite our lives here.”
Ladiba Lehcene Ahmada and her two children, Said, 2, and Sidahmed, 3, are among the thousands of people living in camps in South-West Algeria. They’re Sahrawi refugees. They have been waiting for 40 years for a resolution of the conflict about Western Sahara.
“It’s been 40 years of patience. It isn’t easy to sum up 40 years in a few words. For me, these 40 years are also the synonym of the years of suffering that have gone by. For us, for our parents. I only hope that my kids will get a chance to live in normal conditions, like other children around the world.”
Today, Sahrawi children can get a glimpse of that life: children from the Sahrawi camps benefit from a programme that allows them to spend a summer in a host family in Europe, when they are between 7 and 12.
“With this programme, and rising exchanges with the rest of the world, young people see more and more what’s happening elsewhere. But it widens the gap with what they know and live. It creates incomprehension. Comparing our situation with the outside world only causes suffering and pain. We’re a world apart.”
Photo: Photo: Tineke D’Haese/Oxfam
Find out more!
To learn more about this forgotten crisis, visit this link: http://oxfamsol.be/en/40faces40years
Do you want to know more about our work? Stay in touch with us here: https://act.oxfam.org/international/tell-me-more