Islamic Relief continues its push to improve school attendance in Yemen, by providing food to poor students and their families.
Children living in the rural areas of Taiz Governate, in the country’s southwest, often struggle to access the life-changing opportunities that education can bring. Many face poverty, or even child marriage, as well as a lack of well-resourced schools in their area.
Now, in five Taiz schools, Islamic Relief’s latest project has provided food parcels to 1,200 of the most vulnerable students in the Mawia and Shara’ab districts. The packages contain essential staples designed to nourish the children and their families for one month. Flour, rice, powdered milk and sugar, as well as cooking oil, are all included.
As part of the programme – which is was carried out last week – we engaged students in awareness sessions about the importance of education. The children also learned about issues around early marriage, as well as smoking and chewing qat, a widely-used stimulant.
Mother-of-two Fatoom Ghalib, 37, saw an information brochure that was provided to her son.
“My son explained to me what is in the brochure. I felt hurt when I saw the picture representing the effects of smoking: I felt scared that this may happen to my children. This encouraged me to take care of their health.
“This the first time I received food from an organisation like Islamic Relief. Now I feel equal to others. I want my son to complete his schooling and go overseas to study. Then I will be very proud of him.”
This is the latest project under our orphans and child welfare programme in Yemen, which was established in 2006. To date, it has sponsored over 1,400 orphans in Sana’a, Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Sa’ada and Taiz. The programme promotes child protection and child development – working to protect children from violence, abuse, neglect and all forms of exploitation.