08.05.2024 Press release

Hyundai, 20 years of solidarity with The Children’s Desert

  • 20th anniversary edition.
  • Solidarity action consisting of setting up two libraries in two desert villages, carried out thanks to the Hyundai dealer network.
  • The Hyundai IONIQ 5 was once again the leader of the caravan, reaching places in the desert never reached by an all-electric car.
  • All Hyundai vehicles were fitted with HANKOOK tyres.
  • 370 people have their eyesight checked by the six volunteer opticians from the ALAIN AFFLELOU Foundation who have travelled to Morocco.
  • As every year, all the school supplies transported by the BUJARKAY solidarity truck were purchased in Morocco.
  • Delivery of road safety education material produced by CiFAL Madrid-RACE.

Press material

The small town of Ouzina, former ‘gateway to the desert’ for the caravans heading south to the cities of Central Africa, on the other side of the Sahara, was one of the main protagonists of the 2024 edition of The Children's Desert. On its twentieth anniversary, the great children's caravan wanted to pay tribute to this small village where, in 2005, the first delivery of school materials in the history of the trip took place.

With a caravan made up of a total of 39 vehicles, with 132 people on board, the 20th anniversary edition of The Children’s Desert has been marked by weather conditions that have not made things easy at all. Stormy weather in the Strait of Gibraltar, both on the way there and on the way back, or strong sandstorms, in which you could hardly see the front of your own car, complicated the caravan's progress, which, even so, managed to achieve all of its set objectives in terms of solidarity actions. However, the location of the night's camp was changed on three occasions, due to the wind blowing the tents repeatedly. The good work of the Xaluca hotel chain ensured that everything remained an anecdote.

The route began and ended in Tangiers, the caravan's embarkation, and disembarkation point. Almost 2,000 km were covered, through mountainous areas (where snow could even be seen), the narrow roads of the north (very green on this occasion) and the sandy tracks of the south, which were a little more difficult than usual. The sandstorms made the sandy tracks difficult to drive on, as they formed small dunes that made it more difficult for the vehicles to pass through.

Despite these complications, the vehicles had no trouble reaching the town of Ouzina. There, 20 years after the arrival of the Hyundai TERRACAN that led the expedition in 2005, children and adults helped to set up one of the two libraries that The Children’s Desert has set up this year. The funding for these libraries has been raised thanks to an action by Hyundai dealers. Furniture, books, school material, computers... everything was ready to be used in the hands of Spanish and Moroccan children, with the supervision of their elders.

As an anecdote of the day, the inhabitants of Ouzina were very attentive to the vehicle at the head of the caravan: the Hyundai IONIQ 5. Never had an all-electric vehicle reached this remote desert location, which attracted a lot of attention and gave rise to all kinds of questions.

The Hyundai IONIQ5 once again successfully led The Children's Desert caravan, in which the brand's entire 4x4 range was represented. A highlight was the desert debut of the new KONA, Spanish Car of the Year 2024, a model in which several units took part, together with the rest of Hyundai's 4x4 vehicles, the STARIA, the TUCSON and the SANTA FE, which moved like fish in water along the roads and tracks of southern Morocco.

We are proud to celebrate 20 years with a solidarity project that has evolved so much. Since we started with SUVs like the TERRACAN to the all-electric IONIQ 5, every year Hyundai feels that we can help more and for this reason we improve with each edition. In this time, 2,500 children have passed through the desert, where we have built schools, wells, libraries, distributed school materials... but above all we have promoted education in these disadvantaged areas of Morocco. At Hyundai we are convinced that education is fundamental for the progress of society. We look forward to another 20 years of collaboration with The Children's Desert, together with the ALAIN AFFLELOU Foundation, Bujarkay and Hankook, to contribute to the development of the most disadvantaged people in Morocco.

Leopoldo Satrustegui President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Spain

All Hyundai vehicles were fitted with Hankook Dynapro HP2 tyres, which are specially designed for SUVs and perfectly matched to the needs of the trip. The Dynapro HP2s once again showed sensational performance, with excellent traction in sandy areas and very good puncture resistance. In addition, due to the difficult conditions of this edition, with areas much softer than expected, the HP2s had to pass the difficult test of riding many kilometres with low pressure, without showing any signs of fatigue. 

ALAIN AFFLELOU Foundation's opticians have been carrying out a remarkable action every year. For four days, the six ALAIN AFFLELOU opticians checked the eyesight of 370 people living in Tisserdimine, Begga, Merzane and Labrouj. The inhabitants of these small villages in the Moroccan desert live with a high level of daily exposure to the sun and therefore suffer from visual ailments throughout their lives.

It has been a very gratifying experience for all of us to be able to help so many people to improve their visual health and, therefore, their quality of life, as we have done in the 14 editions in which we have participated.

Susana Ortega Director of the ALAIN AFFLELOU Foundation

As a result, 348 prescription glasses and 116 sunglasses will be delivered. And once again this year, Indo Optical will collaborate with the ALAIN AFFLELOU Foundation by donating the lenses for the glasses and with the assembly of the glasses, which will be carried out at its facilities in Tangiers.

In terms of solidarity, the highlight of the 2024 edition was the setting up of the two libraries donated by the Hyundai dealer network. One was set up in the small village of Tisserdimine, and the second in the village of Ouzina, a vital point in the history of the trip as it was the first village where The Children's Desert delivered school materials 20 years ago.

In Ouzina, Cifal Madrid RACE also handed out road safety education material, as one of the access roads to the village has recently been turned into a highway. The posters, which will be distributed to schools and local associations, give road safety tips so that children learn to live with the new road and avoid, as far as possible, road accidents. 

All the material delivered by The Children’s Desert was once again transported in Bujarkay's truck, which is now an inseparable part of the caravan of the trip. A large part of this solidarity material was delivered to the association for the disabled in Erfoud, with which the Asociación Desierto Niños has been collaborating for several years. It should also be noted that all the material distributed by The Children’s Desert is bought in Morocco.

In a year in which sandy track conditions have become particularly difficult, the equipment provided by one of the trip's longest-standing partners, Promyges 4x4, has been particularly important. Its unblocking elements were used as never before, including its new ARB Soft Connect synthetic shackles, which provide extra safety when carrying out unblocking manoeuvres.

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