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Run the Sahara 2018

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Run the Sahara is Sandblast’s annual awareness and fund-raising event. It promotes the SaharaMarathon, the world’s most prestigious solidarity race organized in a refugee camp, a unique and inspiring international race that takes place in the Algerian desert in aid of the Saharawi refugees living there.

As the official UK promoter of the SaharaMarathon, Sandblast’s role is to take the headache out of organizing the week- long trip for people to participate in the SaharaMarathon. Along with providing logistical support, we organize a special educational cultural programme to enrich everybody's experience during their stay in the refugee camps.


Our fundraising goal in 2018 will aim to continue and expand the support we are providing for our projects in the Saharawi refugee camps in 2016-2017.  We aim to raise £20,000, which will be divided as follows to help us to carry on with:


1.             SAF (the Saharawi Artivism Fund) - £5,000. This fund was launched in 2016 to support the strengthening of Saharawi civil society and to encourage small-scale volunteer initiatives that engage the community to bring about positive change in the cultural, social, environmental lives of the Saharawi refugees. Projects receive up to €500 for expenses and must be completed within the year.


Sandblast is working in close partnership with the local Saharawi grassroots volunteer group SCAP, a campaign movement protesting the illegal exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara. They are our on-the-ground coordinators for SAF, ensuring its promotion, providing support for the awarded projects and overseeing monitoring.


In April 2017 Sandblast and SCAP awarded continuation SAF funding to THREE projects for:

a.      Afterschool sports and recreation club for small kids and teenagers in Smara camp

b.     Mental and physical development activities in Al-Auin camp with Saharawi kindergarden kids

c.      “Caring for and keeping your environment clean” activities with children in the camp of Boujdour


Funds raised last year and this year are also being used for the building of a SCAP centre in Rabouni camp, and for the organisation of training workshops on project management for SAF project volunteers.


2.             Salaries of 3 Saharawi “Stave House in the Sahara” teachers for 6 months - £4,000. This project is providing Music and English language education in primary schools in the Saharawi refugee camps following the early music teaching method Stave House. Led by ethnomusicologist and educator Violeta Ruano (a long-standing Sandblast friend) in collaboration with three Saharawi teaching trainees, “Stave House in the Sahara” successfully piloted in the school Lal Andala (camp of Boujdour) in the spring of 2016 with a group of 30 year 1 and year 2 children. During the 2016-2017 academic year, these children continued their classes through the project, and over 25 now have taken and passed their Stave House Level 1 Music Awards, each of them certified by the London College of Music. The project will be continuing in September 2017 with the teaching of Level 2 to the group, and a new group of Level 1 students.


3.             Training workshops for young people - £5000. These will develop and improve skills in communication, project management and sound engineering, reinforcing our current project activities in the camps. 


4.             Artistic and audio-visual projects to enhance visibility of Saharawi cause - £6000. In the pipeline: a) 15-20min doc building on Music in Exile trailer, about the role of first Saharawi resistance band Shaheed El Wali in the independence struggle, and b) 'Putting the Saharawis on the map' - not revealing much yet but it potentially involves painting lots of peace rocks.

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Raised: 11%

Team target: £20,000.00

Raised so far: £2,294.43

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Ellis Brooks

Ellis runs Sahara Marathon 2018

80 donations



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Miss Danielle Smith

Danielle is running the Sahara

1 donation



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