The war’s toll on the children five years on
Life before the civil war started in Yemen was very different, father of three Ismail* says. “In our childhood, there was no war. Believe me, we lived a peaceful childhood, no war, no destruction, no missiles. Nowadays, the children are just waiting for the missiles to launch and for the airstrikes to start. Childhood becomes meaningless.”
Ismail knows all too well the toll the senseless tragedy that this war has had on his own family. His daughter Alia* suffered a hand injury when an airstrike near her left pieces of glass embedded in her arm. His son Yousuf* was struck in the leg after a shell exploded where he was playing.
The fear remains
Before the war, fifteen-year-old Alia and thirteen-year-old Yousuf had happy childhoods. Then it was all blown away. “I used to go out and play with my friends safely before my hand was injured by shrapnel,” says Alia. “When the warplane launched the airstrike, the missile exploded, then the glass from the window fell down onto my arm. I fainted. They took me to the hospital and I woke up once at the hospital. I looked around and then came around. I neither felt myself nor could I feel anything.”
“I could not use my right hand to eat. I used my left hand to eat or my mother or any of my sisters would feed me. I was also unable to write, so I stopped my studies.”
A light in the dark
Ismail lost his job due to the conflict and had to scrounge and beg for money just to survive. Ismail is the kind of father that would do anything for his children. But without money, he was helpless to get his children the medical care they needed.
But thanks to generous Save the Children supporters, the children were able to be treated by doctor and be operated on to save their limbs.
“The organisation (Save the Children) came and we told them the story. They helped us, paid for the surgery and bought the medicines.”
They all harbor hope for the future
Despite it all, the family still has hope for a better life and peace in Yemen. Alia dreams of being a journalist.