Fact-Finding Missions to Sahrawi Refugee Camps
Since 1993, DFF has organized 48 trips for hundreds of American citizens to visit the Sahrawi refugee camps. These missions have been composed of key Congressional staff members, journalists, leaders of Christian humanitarian organizations and other non-governmental organizations.
DFF's US-Western Sahara Foundation Promotes Awareness, Action:
DFF established the US-Western Sahara Foundation with Suzanne Scholte as Chairman and Carlos Wilson as Executive Director with a distinguished Board of Advisors including Congressman Donald Payne, Congressman Joseph Pitts and Ambassador Frank Ruddy. The purpose of the U.S. Western Sahara Foundation is to raise awareness of the issue and support self-determination.
Congressional Briefings, Forums and Special Events on Capital Hill
DFF has also helped organize Congressional hearings on the Western Sahara and seven Capitol Hill forums. Speakers have included Sahrawi President Mohamed Abdelaziz and Ambassador Moulud Said, Ambassador John Bolton, former MINURSO Deputy Chairman and DFF Board Member Ambassador Frank Ruddy, and Congressman Donald Payne. DFF has also organized four Congressional Receptions to focus attention on the Western Sahara issue including one honoring the Noble Peace Prize nomination of Sahrawi Republic President Mohamed Abdelaziz.
Testimony Before the United Nations' IV Committee
DFF has testified and regularly organized others to testify before the United Nations IV Committee (Decolonization Committee) on Western Sahara self determination.
Sahrawi Human Rights Advocate Aminatou Haidar
Wins Civil Courage Prize and Robert F. Kennedy
Human Rights Awards
As a result of the nomination by Suzanne Scholte of the Defense Forum Foundation, Aminatou Haidar won two prestigious international awards: the Train Foundation's Civil Courage Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Haidar is known as the Sahrawi Ghandi for her peaceful efforts advocating for Western Sahara self-determination in occupied Western Sahara. She was one of the "disappeared" Sahrawis jailed in Morocco's black prisons.