Described by the UN as the “world’s worst” humanitarian crisis, the on-going conflict in Yemen has left an estimated 80% of the country’s men, women and children in desperate need of assistance. With many Yemenis fleeing their homes, there are now more than 1,000 unaccompanied children in internally displaced people settlements in Yemen. Bringing this to light on World Refugee Day, IWM’s Twitter channels will be taken over with the stories of three young Yemeni children – Akram*, Bushra* and Noura* – who have all experienced the consequences of the country’s war and man-made humanitarian crisis. Through powerful quotes and images, sourced from Yemen by Save the Children, the experiences of Akram, Bushra and Noura highlight the harsh realities faced by children in Yemen every day.
“I did not enjoy my childhood as other children,” said 12-year-old Akram, “my family did not allow me to go outside to play. The priority for us was to survive and we did not think of furniture and belongings so we left many things in Haradh, including my clothes, my bike and football… I had never begged before; I remember the first day was difficult for me.”
“Despite the air, the airstrikes and everything else, we continue to study,” said student Bushra. “When I see war, blood, destruction everywhere, I absolutely get affected. But we will resist… We will rebuild Yemen.”
Exploring the physical and psychological effects that the conflict and crisis are having on Yemen’s children, stories shared draw on themes explored in IWM North’s free season, Yemen: Inside a Crisis.
Laura MacDonald, Head of Digital Content at IWM, said: “Akram, Bushra and Noura’s stories really demonstrate the ways in which children have been caught-up in Yemen’s conflict and crisis. By highlighting the very real experiences faced by these, and other, children living in Yemen, we hope that this digital activity changes people’s perspective on the war in Yemen and sparks conversation amongst our global audiences.”
Helena Wiltshire, Head of PR at Save the Children, said:
“Everyday, Save the Children is fighting for the children of Yemen, doing whatever it takes to make sure they survive, get protection and have the chance to learn. Through this collaboration with IWM, we are giving these children a voice, not only allowing the children of Yemen to communicate to a global audience their urgent humanitarian needs, but by giving them a platform, we are also empowering them to be advocates of change, enabling them to lead brighter futures and fight to fulfil their own potential.”