The London-based human rights charity Sandblast calls for high UK participation in international sporting event in support of the Saharawi. “Running the Sahara 2010” is facilitated by Sandblast in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the Western Sahara dispute and its refugees. Aiming to recruit 100 participants before the registration deadline on October 15, Sandblast will host several events this September to inform the public and facilitate the registration process. Top rebel athlete and political refugee Salah Ameidane will join the events to share his experiences after having trained with Paula Radcliffe in May.
Sandblast works to give the Saharawis a voice through the arts and will be acting as the official UK facilitator for the Saharamarathon in 2010, with the support of the Polisario Front office in London, the diplomatic representation of the Saharawis in the UK.
Organised by the Saharawi government-in-exile and international volunteers, “Running the Sahara” aims to raise awareness and money for projects to improve the lives of the long-term refugees. The sporting event takes place in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Algerian Sahara. Participants live with individual refugee families during their week stay in the camps.
Over 400 people from Europe and the US participated in “Running the Sahara 2009”. The UK contingent of 24 participants raised over £10,000 for the Saharawi Artist Fund to finance art workshops and training in the camps for cultural and economic empowerment. Among the British participants were 14 young professional actors from Caravanserai Acting Studios who led workshops in the camp and developed a British-Saharawi play, “The Other Side of the Wall” (premiering on July 23, 2009).