Reading – UNICEF Newsline: In Yemen, a mother’s determination keeps her children in school

Al Hussein primary school, partially damaged due to the ongoing conflict. Approximately 2 million Yemeni children are out of school, oftentimes because of major damage to school buildings.
Al Hussein primary school, partially damaged due to the ongoing conflict. Approximately 2 million Yemeni children are out of school, oftentimes because of major damage to school buildings.

     In a post on unicef.org, Rajat Madhok reports on how one Yemeni mother’s perseverance has kept her sons enroled in classes, citing a quote from that mother that describing her situation “Absolutely, I am scared, very scared that my children might get caught or hurt in the conflict,” she said. “But I am more concerned about them missing out on their crucial years of education.”

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In Yemen, a mother’s determination keeps her children in school

By Rajat Madhok

In Yemen, approximately 2 million children are currently out of school, due in large part to the ongoing conflict in the country. Hear how one mother’s perseverance has kept her sons enroled in classes.

SANA’A, Yemen, 3 October 2016 – Meet Um Osama, a fighter in Yemen but with a different kind of cause. Armed with nothing but hope for a brighter and safer future for her children, the mother of two is determined that her children continue their education in spite of the ongoing fighting. 

“My sons were studying in a private school, all was well but now because of the fighting, we have had to make severe financial cuts. I can’t afford to send my children to the private school anymore,” she says. “So here I am at this government school to enrol my sons in grade 2 and 7.” She herself only studied until grade 6. 

Um Osama is not alone in this fight – hundreds of thousands of parents are worried about their children’s education. UNICEF estimates that presently at least 350,000 children are unable to go to schools across Yemen, either because the schools have been damaged by the fighting, are occupied by fighters, or are doubling as shelters for the millions who have been displaced. This is in addition to more than 1.6 million children who were already out of school during the 2015–2016 school year. 

Even the school where Um Osama wants to admit her sons has been scarred by the conflict. It was partially damaged when three bombs hit one of the buildings last year. Luckily no students were in the school at that time. The airstrikes destroyed parts of the roof and the science laboratory, making some of the classrooms unsafe for children and teachers to use. But that didn’t deter the gritty mother from enroling her children. 

“Absolutely, I am scared, very scared that my children might get caught or hurt in the conflict,” she said. “But I am more concerned about them missing out on their crucial years of education.” ~ continue reading on unicef.org.

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