On the road again: Amanar

Amanar is the latest project by GalileoMobile in collaboration with the Canary Association of Friendship with the Sahrawi People (ACAPS). It is conceived to inspire the Sahrawi community from the refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, through the wonders of our Universe. The project also intends to promote peace and mutual understanding using Astronomy, fostering a sense of global citizenship “under the same sky”. 

 

Specifically, we want to support the youth and teachers from local schools by organizing hands-on activities and donating educational materials and telescopes. We hope these activities will contribute to enhance the resilience and engagement in the community of the youngsters and help them to develop scientific skills which may be useful for their future.

 

On the long term, we hope to raise awareness on the harsh conditions of the Sahrawi refugees, that have been in refugee situation for more than 40 years. The refugee camps are located at the Hamada, sometimes described as “the desert of the desert”. Temperatures there are always very high, but in summer can be unbearable.

 

That is why thousands of children between 8 and 12 years-old spend the summer in Spain to escape the tough environment of the camps for a few months. Through the program “Holidays in Peace”, that covers the expenses and assists with the logistics, these children can have a fun and fresh summer together with Spanish host families.

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The first phase of the Amanar project starts this Saturday and continues for two more weeks, with astronomy outreach activities and visits to professional observatories for the children staying in the Canary Islands. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), one of the sponsors of the project, is opening its facilities so the children can access one of the most advanced observatories in the world and have a magical night looking at the stars, the moon and the planets through a telescope.

 

The team for the Canary Island activities is already in the field, preparing all the materials and very excited about Amanar finally happen!

 

The second phase of the project will be in October when a team of astrophysicists, science communicators and filmmakers will travel to the refugee camps to visit 6 primary and secondary schools as well as a centre for the youth and for women. Special attention will be given to teachers for whom full-day workshop about Science Education using Astronomy will be organized.

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The project is primarily funded by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) through its Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the IAU100 program, within which it has been selected as Special Project.

 

Stay tuned and follow us in

 

https://www.facebook.com/galileomobile.org/

 

https://www.galileomobile.org/amanar

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CAMINO DE LAS ESTRELLAS!

During November GalileoMobile participated on the astronomical activities of Astroclub, in Chile. All the activities were carried out in conjunction with the Gemini Observatory, the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and PAR Explora Coquimbo.

We meet awesome people, travel throught breathtaking landscapes and had an incredible experience with students and teachers.

This region is known for it’s starry sky and also by it’s huge telescopes: “El Camino de las Estrellas” or The Path of the Stars. The name of our short documentary about our expedition could not be more appropried.

Hope you like it:

Starry skies to all of us!

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

by Pati F. Spinelli

Exactly four years ago, I read this African proverb on a wall at the Johannesburg airport when waiting for a connecting flight to Uganda. “Very wise”, I thought at that time.  A few hours later, I met my GalileoMobile friends and we started the project “In the Land of Beauty” (2013) in that country.

A long time has passed since I first read the proverb and another project is currently running. However, this time, in the island of Cyprus. The Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace” (2017) is a joint astronomy outreach project run by GalileoMobile and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research. On 23-26 of November, the team will promote a second round of astronomy activities with students and teachers of both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities of the island to transmit a message of peace and mutual understanding.

In this upcoming visit, we will be able to deliver the GalileoMobile handbook of activities in the two languages spoken in the country, so that teachers and local collaborators can keep running their own events and activities once we leave the island.

The translations of the activities from English were only possible because of the work of several dedicated volunteers who have joined us in this endeavor. Having a Greek and Turkish version of this handbook is a reason to celebrate!

We owe a huge thank you to Berk Calli, Ozlem Unver, Yenal Ogmen, Ahmet Talat Saygac, Zeynep Karul, Andreas Gregoriou, Francesca Fragkoudi and Eva Ntormousi for that!

Many thanks for having worked together with us, allowing GalileoMobile to go very, very far. Now, more than ever, the African proverb makes sense to me.
And for those who want to know more about our adventures in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, stay tuned for the updates of the project in the upcoming days!