Volunteer Western Sahara

The Western Sahara isn't technically a country rather a territory and a disputed one at that. However here at the African Volunteer Network we don't get involved politically; the Western Sahara is a recognised term for a defined area and we'll go with that.

We won't go into too much detail about the history and the causes of the tensions in the Western Sahara save to state that, as is so often the case, they are a legacy of the end of colonial rule in Africa with both Morocco and Mauritania eyeing up the territory that they saw as naturally theirs whilst neighbouring Algeria took the line that the indigenous and nomadic Saharawis people of the Western Sahara had the right to self determination,

a view the International Court of Justice upheld in 1975.  Whilst internal events in Mauritania led them out of the dispute, Morocco ignored the court ruling and moved in. There has been conflict ever since including the building of a 1677 mile defensive sand and stone wall structure laced with mines between Moroccan control areas of Western Sahara and areas controlled by the Polisario Front, a group that was set up in 1973 to represent the interests of the Saharawis.

Today there are around 165,000 Saharawis living in semi autonomous refugee camps in Algeria, completely dependent on foreign aid and that is where the limited volunteer work is available, not actually volunteering in the West Sahara but carrying out volunteer work with those who have fled the country. If you run or know of a volunteer work project in Western Sahara let us know by contacting us here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Volunteer Work in the Western Sahara: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Volunteer Western Sahara

Volunteer Western Sahara

Volunteer Western Sahara

Volunteer Western Sahara



Volunteer Work Western Sahara: Sahanor

A Norwegian volunteer work project in the Western Sahara Polisario refugee camps in Algeria.
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Volunteer Western Sahara

Volunteer Western Sahara

If you are considering undertaking a period of volunteer work in Western Sahara check out our profile pages to explore the territory before you visit and learn how to make the most of your volunteer work there.

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