August 18, 2017

"I lost my dreams when war in Yemen broke out but now I foster hopes in the minds of my students"

Amal looks at her destroyed home in Sana’a, Yemen, after it was hit by an airstrike

Photo credit: UNICEF / Jahaf

Amani Abdulrahman

Global Youth Ambassador from Yemen

As part of a series to mark World Humanitarian Day on August 19, one of our Global Youth Ambassadors tells about the challenge of helping children get education.

Three years of civil war has deprived many Yemeni children of an education and up to 4.5 million children may not receive or finish their education. 

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been either bombing or blocking the most vitally needed humanitarian aid, killing thousands of innocent Yemeni civilians and impacting many more. 

Yemen’s infrastructure has been devastated, including schools, houses, hospitals, historical sites and bridges. Moreover, months of unpaid salaries have increased the suffering of both parents and children alike.

Years of civil war have kept many children out of the classroom

Photo credit: Amani Abdulrahman

In 2015 I was happy because I was about to travel to Lebanon to be a trainer for an American organisation. Suddenly my home was destroyed by the bombs of the anti-Houthis as war raged through my country. 

I felt as if someone had slapped me across the face. I had to leave my dreams in Taiz and move to a safer area. 

It was in this new village that I noticed the lack of access to and provision of education. My sisters and I felt impelled to do something useful for our country. 

It was here that I found a new purpose. My sisters and I founded a project to sustain the comprehensive rehabilitation of students by opening a new institution for teaching secondary school students and students who want to join the university.

We chose a government building as the home for the new institution as it is in the centre of many villages. We have faced many challenges in setting up the project and getting it off the ground but we overcame every obstacle.

We are now teaching many children and young students different courses to rehabilitate them.

I may have lost my dreams when war broke out but I now foster hopes and dreams in the minds of my students. 

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