Atta* is a 15 year old boy from Al Mrawah district of Hodeida. He is one of the many kids affected by the Yemen conflict, which has left more than 80% of the population in need of humanitarian aid, including nearly 10 million children. Like him, thousands of children have been forced to flee their homes and communities and many have lost their access to basic services including healthcare and education.
But what is really surprising and strengthens Save the Children’s commitment to reach every last child is the power of Atta words during the launch of the new global campaign in Yemen. As participant of the initiative called Happy Children designed by girls and boys in Hodeida district, he was invited to the launch event. This is what he had to say -
“It was a great opportunity when Tawasal team (a local partner working with Save the Children) invited us to participate in the launch of Save the Children’s Every Last Child campaign. My team and I were so excited to do our best to raise children’s voices in Yemen and to be heard throughout the world. Today, we have a good opportunity to do that and tell the world to stop the war in Yemen. We are glad to receive such support that empowers us to be the voice of children. Children in Yemen face lots of difficulties and we as children know best what we should focus on to raise awareness and what we need to improve our lives.”
Save the Children Yemen launched the Every Last Child campaign with more than 300 participants, including government officials, local partners, media representatives, community members and of course children, many of whom have been internally displaced because of the conflict. During the event, 50 children were invited to draw pictures describing their lives in Yemen and how they see their futures. All the pictures highlighted the impact of war, the lack of basic services like education and the trauma of living in the conflict zone. All the children agreed that “the war should stop and they deserve to live in peace”.
In Yemen, Save the Children is working directly with children who are being denied the opportunity to survive and learn. We want to be their voice, but also empower them to speak up and campaign with us as agents of change.
*Name changed to protect identity.