W Sahara



NEW OPPORTUNITIES: This exchange program is being made possible with the encouragement and funding of Fredskorpset Go to: www.rcnuwc.org/sahanor-project


Refugee camps under the auspices of the Polisario Front and various international aid agencies and NGOs. Close to 200,000 people live in four camps.


South western Algeria near the border with Mauritania. The nearest large town is Tindouf with a large military and aid presence.

Number of volunteers required?

2 or 3 usually, but possibly more in the coming months.

Other requirements?

Conditions in the camps are very basic. Temperatures can be extreme. Physical fitness and general good health. Some knowledge of Spanish and / or French, if not Arabic, would aid communication and settling in. Volunteers must arrange and pay for travel to and from the camps, visas, insurance and the cost of the stay. Advice is available from Peter and current and recent volunteers.


Volunteers will live with host families, thus experiencing at first hand the Saharawi culture and lifestyle. This is an opportunity to meet and learn from a people living in extreme, marginalised conditions, relatively forgotten by the international community. Payment to the families is around 4 Euros per person per day.

Minimum length of stay?

A visa limited to three months means a longer stay in the camps is almost impossible, and certainly highly impractical.


Volunteer tasks?

Teaching English in the camps to people of different ages. There may also be opportunities to assist in development work as well as to help to organize a UWC National Committee. Interest in learning Arabic is necessary, as well as ability to live in extreme climatic conditions (plus-40-degree temperatures) and desert environment. Independence, self-motivation and maturity.


See the LINK to Western Sahara for detailed background to the politics of this crisis.

Current volunteers?

See new programme arrangements.

Former volunteers?

Endre Hudy, Hungary, MUWCI 05-07 (superhudy@gmail.com)

Mariam Carlsson Kanyama, Sweden / Tanzania, MUWCI 05-07(maryam_andthen@hotmail.com)

Mia Eskelund Pedersen, Denmark, MUWCI 05-07 (miaeskelund@gmail.com)

Nikhil Ranadive, India, MUWCI 05-07 (naranadive@gmail.com)

2006: Mathias Poulsen, Denmark, RCNUWC 2006 (mathias.esmann@gmail.com)

Stephanie Joyce, USA, RCNUWC 2006 (stephani_joyce@hotmail.com)

Simon Bergman, Finland, RCNUWC 2006 (mailsimonb@gmail.com)

2005: Alissa Hitzemann, Germany/Niger, Mahindra 2005 (alissa_uwc@yahoo.com)
Mads Frederiksen, Denmark, RCNUWC 2005 (madsfred@hotmail.com)
Max Märtensson, Sweden, RCNUWC 2005 (maccaroni20@hotmail.com)