Human Rights

Charitable initiatives help struggling Yemeni families

By Faisal Darem in Sanaa

Displaced Yemeni children receive a food package in their tent in Marib province. [Photo courtesy of Yemeni Development Network for NGOs]

Displaced Yemeni children receive a food package in their tent in Marib province. [Photo courtesy of Yemeni Development Network for NGOs]

Yemenis across the country who are facing financial difficulties due to the war found some solace on Eid al-Fitr thanks to civil society organisations and individual donors who distributed food, cash and clothing.

"I never thought of buying holiday clothes for my children because I am struggling to provide food for them by working intermittent daily wage jobs," said Issa al-Hajari, 32, an unemployed father of four.

"But the clothes and food aid they received on the eve of the Eid from charitable people made them and me very happy and brought the joy of the Eid to them."

Al-Hajari told Al-Shorfa his children "went out during the days of the holiday wearing their new clothes" but opted to go barefoot as they did not want to mar their appearance with their old shoes.

The aid al-Hajari received came from initiatives started by individual citizens, who manage the collection of clothes and food from merchants and donors and their distribution to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the poor.

Sanaa resident Naji Saleh, 43, launched a local initiative to help IDPs and the poor after losing his own private sector job.

"The underlying idea of my initiative is to collect money from those in the neighbourhood who are able to pay -- merchants and some expatriates, who have contributed well -- and through it we distribute what we collect to the needy, the poor and IDPs in the neighbourhood," he told Al-Shorfa.

"The concept of my initiative was borne of my struggles after losing my job, despite the fact that I had money, as I had held a key position in a company whose operations were temporarily halted because of the war," he said.

"It is catastrophic for anyone to lose his livelihood."

Saleh said the initiative is constantly evolving and the number of those making contributions increases every day.

Helping children and orphans

The Yemen Organisation for Humanitarian Relief and Development (MONA) launched a campaign to distribute Eid clothes to displaced children, families affected by the war and those living below the poverty line.

The campaign, conducted with the support of individual donors, sought to serve 1,000 boys and girls in Sanaa city and province, at a total estimated cost of four million riyals ($16,000), MONA director Fatek al-Radini told Al-Shorfa.

It targeted "children of IDPs and affected, vulnerable and most needy families, in addition to a large number of orphans whose families cannot provide them with Eid clothes because of the deteriorating economic situation in Yemen".

The organisation carried out field visits to needy families identified through its staff, he said, adding that specialised female staff survey the families and submit a list of their names and needs, including food and medical care.

Supporting the war wounded

The Yemen Development Network for NGOs distributed 50,000 food baskets in al-Jawf and Marib provinces, in addition to financial aid and clothing to the war wounded in Marib hospitals.

"The network has distributed 30,000 food baskets in Marib and 20,000 baskets in al-Jawf" to low-income families and IDPs, said executive director Hani Mubarak.

The Youth Development and Social Foundation, a network member, distributed clothing on the eve of Eid al-Fitr to 700 war wounded in Marib hospitals.

In Hadramaut province, al-Ghad Foundation for Development undertook various charitable activities with support from other groups and individual donors.

"The organisation distributed food to 120 families and Eid clothes to 35 families in al-Mukalla," foundation president Faiza Bani told Al-Shorfa.

The recipients are low-income families, orphans and widows, she said, adding that the foundation also provided financial and in-kind support to a number of youth who are about to be married and have come into difficult circumstances.

Bani stressed the importance of charitable activities, saying it helps "alleviate the hardships and difficulties of living conditions brought on by the war and bring joy to the hearts of Yemenis".

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4 Comment(s)

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I would like to implement a similar initiative in my country. I need the plan. Together, we may reach the peak of the world. [unintelligible] al-Jaud, from Libya of resilience.


God’s peace be upon you! We need help. Our father is dead. We need help pay the rent and electricity bill. We need clothes as we don’t have any. We’re orphans and our situation is very tough. We don’t have even new clothes. If you can help us, please do.


I'm a widowed woman from Yemen. Please, my generous brothers, rescue my children from hunger and disease. For communication, please use. May God reward you!


We hope that the charitable "We Won't Forget You" initiative will provide support to the poor.