Desert schools bloom in Sahrawi refugee camps – in pictures


The UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, puts the number of people at the camps at 90,000, although unofficial figures are at least double that. The schools in the camps are almost entirely dependent on international aid, much of it from Spanish organisations. There are centres for blind students and, here, a student learns to read in braille

Forty years after Morocco annexed the Western Sahara following the withdrawal of Spain’s forces, tens of thousands of Sahrawi refugees live in camps around Tindouf in Algeria, still waiting for a referendum to determine their status. But that has not dimmed their dedication to learning

Photographs: Javi Julio/Nervio Foto


Fatimetu, 18, goes to the special education centre in Aousserd camp. More than 200 students with special educational needs are enrolled in dedicated schools here. Students also receive a daily meal, thanks to a Basque NGO. The special needs centres help children with a range of disabilities including cerebral palsy and degenerative diseases

See further photos here. (Original published in the Guardian)