The Patio de Luces of the Provincial Council received part of the delegation of Saharawi children from the refugee camp of Tindouf (southern Algeria), who come to the province of Almeria to spend the summer thanks to the ‘Holidays in Peace’ programme organised by the Friends of the Sahara Association. The event was attended by the vice-president of the Provincial Council, Ángeles Martínez and the president of the association, María Ramírez, as well as the host families of some of the children.
The 38 children who belong to the programme, and who have returned after the break generated by the pandemic, have received backpacks with towels, Frisbees, pens, water bottles and music headphones with the aim of brightening up the summer in the province. During these two months, the children will establish new bonds and create socio-cultural exchanges between the children themselves and the host families. They will also receive medical attention, enjoy a balanced diet, learn Spanish and take part in all kinds of activities in the province such as excursions, visits to the beach or to MiniHollywood, among others.
The vice-president of the Provincial Council, Ángeles Martínez, emphasised that “the Provincial Council and the association have a close relationship, which is demonstrated by the effort and commitment we have all put into continuing to work with this programme. Hopefully this year’s return will be the turning point to attract more children so that they can enjoy the summer, their friends, our beaches and all the charms that the province of Almería has to offer”.
For her part, the president of the Association of Friends of the Sahara said that “it has been difficult to get the children back here, but the important thing is that they are going to spend their holidays with 38 families from all over the province of Almería. We have many small municipalities such as Huécija, Íllar or Tabernas and other larger ones such as Adra, El Ejido or Roquetas de Mar. We are very excited about this summer and hope that next year we will be able to bring many more”.
This programme has been running for 22 years and a total of 2,423 children have been able to get to know the excellences of the province of Almeria, as well as enjoy all the basic services available to them. It is another example of how the people of Almeria give a lesson in solidarity every year with this pioneering initiative in international cooperation promoted by ‘Amigos del Sáhara’ and in collaboration with the Provincial Council, the Andalusian Government, the Almeria City Council and the Roquetas de Mar City Council.