Why The Future of Yemen’s Children Is Slipping Away

 There are two Yemeni children playing in the middle of the stony street, kicking a football between each other.


There’s not a cloud in the sky and the sun is shining gloriously.


One of the children mention how hot it is and tell their friend how they hope they can have an ice-cream when they get back home. They continue kicking the ball to one another as they run past bustling markets, narrowly missing knocking over a stall of fresh fruits, much to the grocer’s relief as they had just finished displaying them. A crisp (and welcome) wind rolls across the air, carrying the smell of freshly baked bread, spiced meat and other flavoursome traditional Yemeni foods from the food stalls to the two children, reminding them of food they weren’t even thinking of; showing off their tricks and skills to one another with the football was their main priority and concern.


They play for hours with the two children having expanded to a group of ten; the other eight children were drawn in by the fun the original two seemed to be having, and ended up playing multiple five-a-side games. A drop in temperature signals the presence of evening, and reminds the two original children how they’d each promised their individual parents that they’d be home in time for dinner. They enthusiastically wave goodbye to their new set of friends and race each other home — they live next door to one another. Both sets of parents are outside, talking and laughing with one another as they wait for their children to return — they immediately know their children are coming due to their loud (but warming) giggles.


None of the children can agree on who won so before there’s a disagreement, each set of parents wish the other goodnight and head into their homes, spending the rest of the evening eating Saltah together. Dessert is pending in one of the households and it suddenly dawns on one of the children that he’d hoped to have ice-cream so he asks his mother if he could have some. To his joy, his mother laid a bowl of Areeka in front of him…with a side of ice-cream.


How beautiful would it be if this was the life that children in Yemen lived?


How beautiful would it be that when those children became adults they would be able to think on their childhood and smile instead of thinking back and crying? 


Wouldn’t it be better to see a scar that they have from a rug burn after challenging their siblings or friend to see who could slide furthest on the carpet, than from stitches to close up a head wound after being hit by a bomb? 


How beautiful it would be, but this is nothing more than a fairy tale for them. 


Social crisis; war crisis; economic crisis; health crisis; food crisis; water, hygiene and sanitation crisis; Covid-19 crisis.


Yemen is still being ravaged by war, cholera and now Covid-19, and is leaving the country on the brink of collapsing. They NEED us, their human brothers and sisters, to support them now more than ever.


According to Islamic Relief and UNICEF.org, more than 24 million Yemenis (more than two-thirds of the population), have to rely on some form of humanitarian aid and protection to survive, while the country itself is folding inwards, and it’s the innocent young children who are most at risk.


War has devastated Yemen, and left children and families in urgent need of food, water and medical supplies. The initial two are expensive to buy in local markets which has plunged numbers of people further into poverty and the medical supplies are scarce, due to the poor economy. This then means that the precious children then suffer from malnutrition or if they unfortunately catch Covid-19, they’re not able to get tested or treated.


As children, the only thing that should be on their minds is playing, not lying on a hospital bed suffering from dehydration from cholera and because of their parents sadly not being able to afford treatment, the child then dies; not lying on a hospital bed with their ribs protruding as they inhale and exhale, suffering from malnutrition as they have no food or money for food to help nourish them; not lying on a hospital bed struggling to breathe from Covid-19 and unable to get treated because of a lack in medical supplies.


They’re being robbed of their childhoods and their futures; they shouldn’t be going through this simply because they were born. They didn’t have a choice in being born but by standing with Yemenis, side by side, we can work together to ensure that they have the choice of having a future as opposed to them having so many ways of suffering from an involuntary early death.


If you are able, please consider donating to the below charities or find other ways (whether that’s on social media, talking to family and friends etc) in which you can assist your brothers and sisters in Yemen so that they have a chance at a fairer life:


  1. Save The Children’s Yemen Crisis Appeal
  2. Islamic Relief’s Yemen Crisis
  3. Oxfam’s Yemen Crisis Appeal
  4. UNICEF’s Yemen Appeal