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22 February 2024 - Story




"I can now pronounce the letters and make words. I love learning, and I don't feel like a failure anymore."  - Noor 


Noor, a 14-year-old girl from a small village in Hadramout, Yemenis one of the 17,803 children provided with learning support by Save the Children through the REAL project, supported by the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education, representing a very much needed hope in this challenging landscape. 

Her words resonate with a profound sense of achievement and renewed self-confidence, marking a significant departure from the isolation and defeat she once felt due to her educational struggles. 

Noor's journey is an important illustration of the broader challenges facing Yemen's education system, exacerbated by years of conflict, economic decline, and natural disasters. These factors have contributed to over 4.5 million school-age children –39%of all in Yemenbeing out of school, with many like Noor facing the daunting prospect of falling behind without the means to catch up.  

"My family doesn't have much money...I had a hard time learning how to read and write."  

The situation is dire for many children across Yemen, who face not only the absence of educational opportunities but also the psychological impact of feeling left behind. Noor's story underscores this very narrative, as she recalls the pain of watching her peers advance while she remained stuck, unable to progress beyond the fifth grade.  

"I felt so down and defeated. Seeing my friends move on to middle school while I stayed behind hurt me deeply."  

By targeting schools in need and providing remedial education, the project aims to bridge the gap for students like Noor, offering them a second chance at success. Noor's progress is a clear indicator of the project's impact: 

At first, I was shy and didn't want to participate. But after a few weeksI started to join in and do things like writing on the board, saying the letters, and putting them together to make words. My teachers were so surprised by how much I improved and how active I became in class.”  

Witnessing Noor's journey, her mother, Amena,shares a mix of relief and pride and reflects the broader aspirations of many Yemeni parents yearning for a stable and promising future for their children amidst ongoing adversity. She told us how Noor "became happy and proud of her ability to read, write, and return to school."  

The REAL project's inclusive approach reassured Noor, addressing her concerns about reintegration into school despite being older than her classmates.I was also worried about being older than the other students in my class. I was afraid they would make fun of me. But the principal reassured me and encouraged me to come back to school, so I decided to give it a try.This support system is crucial in fostering a sense of belonging and motivation for students who may feel out of place or intimidated by their return to the classroom. 

Noor's story offers a vivid snapshot of the transformative power of targeted educational interventions. Through the REAL project, Noor has not only overcome her academic hurdles but has also reignited her passion for learning, setting her sights on a future filled with possibilities. "I passed the fifth grade, and now I want to keep studying until I become a doctor one day." she ambitiously declares, symbolizing the resilience and potential of Yemen's youth when given the opportunity to thrive. 

The REAL project's achievements extend beyond individual stories, touching the lives of countless children across Yemen. With initiatives like remedial classes, capacity building for teachers, and infrastructure rehabilitation, the project is making strides toward restoring Yemen's education system. 

As we share Noor's journey, we recognize that her story is one of many. Countless children across Yemen harbor dreams and possess the potential to achieve great things, much like Noor's aspiration to become a doctor. However, realizing these dreams requires more than just individual resilience; it calls for collective action and a global commitment to supporting education in crisis-affected regions. 

We invite you to join us in advocating for the rights of Yemeni children to receive a quality education. By spreading the word about the challenges and successes in Yemen, engaging in dialogues, and supporting initiatives aimed at rebuilding the education system, we can contribute to creating a world where every child, regardless of their circumstances, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and fulfill their dreams. 



  • Names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals