I have been collaborating with non-profit organisation Escritores por el Sahara-Bubisher for almost 10 years now. Their main goal is to make the Spanish language, culture and eventually freedom, accessible to everyone in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria.
The project was launched back in 2008, the same year I first travelled to the refugee camps to set up a mobile library, which supplies books for schools across five settlements. After two years of progress, the project was growing with local people becoming increasingly engaged and taking ownership.
I travelled there again in 2010 and spent some time in the refugee camps building the first library in the biggest settlement, Smara. You can find some drawings, photos and videos here.
Since then, we have been working closely with the government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and have been able to set up smaller libraries in three other settlements within existing buildings.
During one of my trips, we did a workshop with kids where they wrote a short tale guided by Gonzalo Moure, one of the most acclaimed authors of children's literature in Spain. I had the honour and pleasure of illustrating the book, and we launched it last weekend. Thanks to the selfless collaboration of many people, including the editors, the selling of the books will fund the construction of another library in the farther settlement, Dajla. To find out more, click here.