I wanted to share with you the story of a teacher in Yemen, my friend W. (I am not going to give her name because I don’t know if it can get her in trouble).
Last year I was looking for teachers who wanted to set up student collaborations and I found someone from Yemen on the British Council partner schools platform. I thought that would be an amazing learning opportunity for my kids and I got in touch with her.
Unfortunately, our partnership didn’t work out because the war reached W’s town, school, students and family. We then started exchanging daily messages. W described the horror of the war, how they first feared the bombs but now are fearing starvation.
Her messages always brought me to tears. The war that I read about in the news became so personal. I would get a message about someone going hungry while I was in the kitchen making dinner. The unfairness of this world is sometimes to hard to bare.
Last month we managed to collect some donations and send W some relief. The money goes straight to her. (we can transfer it to her thanks to Western Union). But now her mother is sick and in desperate need of medicine they cannot afford. I need help to help her. We can make a difference in someone’s life.
Read some of W’s words to understand what is going on in Yemen:
“I don't know how I can tell you that but many things happened here, the circumstances become more worse and dangerous ... This War will destroy everything...
Please pray for us.”
“Many students left school because they are suffering from hunger and disease.. I can only go to school one day a week, we built many hopes on the Peace Talks that happened in Sweden to end this war and everything returns as was in the past... We hope to win these talks to end our suffering and our salaries return to us.. Our salaries which we didn't receive them from about four years... But everything is destroyed...
We struggled alot to keep the school open and tried to do new things to make students stay in school... But it sounds that all of our efforts lose in vain...many families forced their daughters to get married because they didn't be able to bear their requirements because this crisis... Many of my students left school, my heart is broken when I see this thing happened in front of my eyes... Even I don't know to when I can resist because my family can't bear my fees of transportation of going to school...I got this money difficultly to go to school in the time my family suffering as my students from hunger and diseases...
We were afraid only to die either by airstrikes or clashes but now there a new ghost which is threatening our life, the death either by starving of hunger or by disease..
So please, please pray for us to survive from this trouble…”
I am a teacher and I always try to teach my students to live in harmony, unity, peace and love...
I try to make them realizing that the voice of mind is the best solution of our problems whereas the war destroys everything... I realize that I have a noble and great job..
I wish if I have the ability to help those people who are starving of hunger and suffering from diseases...every day passes, we lose many persons because this big humanitarian catastrophe ..So my heart is broken when I see myself powerless, I'm building the minds of students and helping them to follow their dreams but now I can't even help my family who is also suffering from hunger and disease which its dream becomes only to be safe and alive...
So please can I build my hopes on you? Because I become totally destroyed and depressed from everything, I am drowning in depression and sadness....”