This summer, talented illustrator Katherine Soutar Caddick contacted the Vilostrada Foundation to suggest a collaboration. We were thrilled to have found common ground and here is part of her story: 
Her portrait of Najwa, her charity card cost £3, supports the Vilostrada Foundation with 25% of sales
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Share the story of the girl on the card?

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Katherine: “The little girl on the card is called Najwa and she is the youngest member of the Saharawi family, the Laghfiri’s, that I stay with on my visits to M’hamid, she is a bright, bold and curious child and I am very fond of her, in the picture she is being unusually quiet and reflective as she is dressed for her aunt Rabat’s wedding and so on her best behaviour. She loves to draw and paint and I have taken gifts of art materials for her on all my visits. Children like her are the future and anything that we can do to improve their prospects is worthwhile. Her family’s generosity and warmth in sharing their home with me and teaching me so much about the desert, their traditions, and even the right way to cook couscous make me feel very lucky and utterly at home when I am there.Their endless patience while trying to tutor me in Darija deserves some sort of award too! (I am improving, slowly.)”

Why Sahara for you?

Katherine: “I have always felt most at peace with myself and the world in wild places, I live next to a woodland and spend a lot of time walking and watching the seasons turn with my dog there, I love the sea and mountains too and have been also been a keen amateur naturalist all my life. I first visited the Sahara in 2015 and was completely captivated by both the environment and the people. To be in a place that makes you so utterly aware of your insignificance to the planet can be a humbling and freeing experience, it takes a special sort of human to live there. And I have met many of them now. As an Artist, the landscape, wildlife and people of Morocco and the Sahara in particular are a wonderful inspiration and this portrait is part of a series of works I am doing, all of which will be used to benefit the desert and its people.”

Your hope for the future for the Nomads?

Katherine“I hope that the people of the Sahara can retain the traditions, the culture and the outlook that gives them their sense of community, continuity and resilience whilst embracing those elements of 21st century technology, education and resource that can benefit them and give them the opportunity to make choices about their future that will empower them. I also hope that the world leaders who make decisions about climate change legislation will make wise choices as it is the people who live on the environmental fringes of our planet that suffer most from climate change and have the least power to influence.”

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Email Katherine at kcaddick@aol.com marked with “Najwa” to order!