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.


Cortney Ascher

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Reach 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 Schools (conversation circles, classes), spend time with families and children and other activities.
  • Christ The Rock supports two long-term workers in the Saharawi camps. Our long-term team connects with families and adults through our English Schools in two of the five camps, offering classes and community-building activities.