The Mayor of Huelva, Gabriel Cruz, accompanied by the Councilor for Social Policies and Equality, María José Pulido, received this morning in the courtyard of the Consistory some of the Saharawi minors who, thanks to the solidarity program ‘Holidays in Peace‘ Driven by the Federation of Associations of Friends of the Saharawi People in Huelva, they spend the summer in the capital hosted by families from Huelva. An act that has been attended by the president of the Federation of Associations of Friends of the Saharawi people in Huelva, Luis Cruz; and Mercedes Diéguez, coordinator of the program, as well as the host families.
With this welcome at the Town Hall -Gabriel Cruz highlighted- “we want to express the enormous affection and solidarity of the people of Huelva, which is added to the invaluable work that the Federation of Associations of Friends of the Saharawi People has been carrying out for many years”.
Likewise, the mayor has shown his “gratitude and pride for the generosity of the Huelva host families towards these boys and girls who are visiting our city for the first time, offering them all the possibilities of care, attention and fun, clearing them of a very complicated day-to-day situation and establishing very close ties with them”.
Finally, Gabriel Cruz, who has given a gift to the minors, has reaffirmed the support and collaboration of the City Council with the work of the Federation of Associations of Friends of the Saharawi People, “for the good of these children, for the good of a people and for the dignity of people”.
On the other hand, Luis Cruz explained that the ‘Holidays in Peace’ program, with a national dimension, “is the star project of solidarity in Spain that welcomes 2,500 minors this summer”. And he has asked not to forget that “behind these boys and girls there is a family and a people that is fighting for their dignity and that does not lose hope”.
The coordinator of the program has emphasized the advantages for these little ones of a program that “gets them away from the high temperatures of the desert, that guarantees them a good diet, and that makes them enjoy a holiday in peace in our city.” And she has thanked the commitment and patience of families with very young children on this occasion and who for the first time are separated from their families.
‘Holiday in Peace’
After two years of absence due to the pandemic, the province of Huelva has once again welcomed a group of Saharawi minors from the Tindouf camps (Algeria) this summer. In total, 75 minors, 15 of them in the capital, who will enjoy a ‘Vacation in Peace’, thanks to the Federation of Solidarity Associations with the Sahara, as well as the solidarity of the host families spread throughout the province, without whom this project would not be possible. As a novelty, all the boys and girls in this edition of the program are coming for the first time and, with the exception of those who have a disability or illness, they are 8 years old.
The goal is to get them out of the refugee camps in Algeria at least during the summer, when living conditions there are harsh with temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees. During these two months they are welcomed by Huelva families, participating in their daily life, living together and exchanging experiences with other minors in the city.
Since 1999, the Huelva Provincial Federation of Associations in Solidarity with the Sahara has been leading two important projects in the province of Huelva aimed at palliating and improving the situation in which the refugee population lives: the ‘Vacaciones en Paz’ project and the ‘Caravana por la Paz’, thanks to which tons of non-perishable food, drugs and medicine are sent each year to the camps of Tindouf (Algeria), to alleviate the situation of food deficiency of refugee families.