Save the Children starts a Mobile team for Child protection activities in Sana’a

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Save the Children starts a Mobile team for Child protection activities in Sana’a

Children in Yemen have gone through all sorts of terrible experiences since the start of the airstrikes led by the Saudi military coalition at the end of March 2015. This is leading to the development of psychological problems, particularly for those who were forced to leave their homes in the conflict.

On 20 April 2015, an airstrike set off a huge explosion in the middle of the day near a residential area called Faj Attan south of Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a. A few days later another explosion happened in an area called Noqam, causing the deaths of a number of children and their family members. Out of those that survived, many lost their homes and were forced to move into school buildings in other areas that were less affected than theirs.

Save the Children has set up a mobile team which has started carrying out activities for children who were forced to leave their homes as a result of these explosions and are now living in Adhbaan School, Sana’a governorate. The purpose of these activities is to provide psychosocial support and case management for children who are psychologically affected due to the traumatic experiences they have been through.

The mobile team activities are targeting 75 children who live in this school, where they participate for two hours daily in the different activities that allow them to try to get back to their normal life. According to Adeeba Zulail, Save the Children’s Child Protection Officer “We are reaching out to the children who fled from Faj Attan and Noqam areas who are faced with extremely difficult circumstances because they have lost their homes and friends. One of the activities is drawing. Most of the children taking part in this activity have been drawing their homes, friends, and the beautiful views they had from their homes before being forced to leave them. When we ask them about the drawings they say this is their house and they want to go back. Some of them draw planes and missiles and explosions, which they said make them feel afraid and sad that they are losing people they love.”

Focus group discussions are also being conducted in the school, which provide a space for children to express their feelings and how they were afraid and worried because of the war.  “Every day when we leave the school, children ask us if we will back tomorrow, as they enjoy the activities so much and want to participate in them every day,” Adeeba said.

There are also children who initially refuse to participate in the activities and are isolating themselves from others. Save the Children’s team is encouraging them to participate with the support of their parents, so that they can try to get back to leading a normal life in very difficult circumstances.

 

In June 2015 Save the Children established six Mobile Team at Child Friendly Spaces to implement Child Protection activities in six districts in Sana’a, Yemen. The Spaces will target 1200 IDPs children with psychosocial support and activities, a referral system, community mobilization activities and infants’ beds kits. Disabled children will also be provided with wheelchairs.  Photo by Fawsziah AlHaj, Yemen, June 2015.