Yemen: We can only do our best

Fatimah, a mother of 5 children, explains how she struggles to feed her family because of the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

By Khailieh Hassan, a CARE Field Officer in Yemen

Whenever I speak about my country I feel pain and sadness. The place I lived in my entire life which carries so many beautiful memories is being destroyed in front of my eyes. And with each story we see or hear in the news we feel like nothing will ever be the same for us again.

We continuously try to hope that things will be better, but it is getting worse day after day. Seeing children and women starve is heart breaking. Seeing a mother not eating for two days to keep whatever food she receives for her children and starving herself is devastating.

Every day the hope gets less and less and I am scared that one day it will disappear completely.

“Every night I wish the sun would never rise again”

We live in constant fear of whether the future will be darker than the past. This war has affected everyone.

I am a humanitarian worker and I am not able to provide my children with everything they need, so imagine how the situation is for more vulnerable people: people living in the villages who lost their jobs, and those who lost their homes and everything they own.

In one of our projects in Al-Maglaf district of Hodeidah we are serving 28,000 people – half the population of the district. Each one of them has a story of pain. Each one of them struggles daily to feed their children. One of the mothers in the village told me:

Every night I wish that the sun would never rise again because I am not able to face this situation. I am not able to feed my children. When my children wake up they ask me for food, and how can I feed them when I have nothing?

People can’t feed their children – how will they educate them?

In the past if there was a child who didn’t go to school it was a crime. Now there are thousands of children without education.

They are hungry, without homes, without care. Families are not able to feed their children – how will they be able to send them to school?

You see children working on the farms feeling they have a responsibility to feed themselves and other children in the family. But in the end they are still children who deserve to be treated as children and not yet as adults.

I feel what they are feeling

I used to work with displaced people in Hajjah governorate. But I never thought that I would be facing the same situation, being displaced from my hometown of Hodeidah.

The stories of displacement used to hit me hard and stay with me for a long time. They motivated me to do my job and showed me why I need to work.

But now it is completely different because I feel exactly what they are feeling – an unpredictable future, hunger, the feeling of not being able to send your children to school. This pushes me with all my heart and with all my energy to serve the community and the people in need.

Today was the end of one of CARE’s projects in Al-Maglaf district in Hodeidah. In this project we were providing food and cash for work. I was completely speechless when an old man approached me and gently said:

Are you leaving us? Don’t leave us. We gained hope when you came to our village. If you go, we will be alone again.

Tears ran down my cheeks and I wasn’t able to respond to him. The need here is so great and it is very difficult to reach everyone. We can only do our best.

Peace is the only solution

This war has affected each and every one in Yemen whether directly or indirectly. The impact may vary from one person to another, but in the end everyone is a victim and their suffering deserves to be known.

Enough devastation, enough starvation. Peace is the only solution.

Peace is the only thing that will bring brightness and happiness to each and every person in Yemen.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.