In Aden’s al-Kraytar residential neighbourhood, 11-year-old Yihab al-Tayeb stood motionless in front of his house, which now lies in a pile of rubble. “There were four of us,” he explained before scampering away. “My two-year-old brother died with my father and mother.”
Residents say they heard planes approaching in the early morning of 27th April, and then the air strike took place. There were no investigations afterwards. In fact, nobody came except the medics.
With no access to orphanages in Aden, al-Tayeb has moved in with relatives.
Over the past six months, the NGO “The Right to Live Foundation” (RTLF) has launched a “war emergency unit” made up of six employees who provide essential food and clothing kits to children, such as al-Tayeb, now living in remote villages.
RTLF originally housed 220 children in the heart of Sanaa, but Safa Mohsen Ali, a project manager with the foundation, said the location is now unsafe because of the daily bombing, and the children have been sent to relatives’ homes in their villages.
Mohsen Ali emphasised that the centre faces significant challenges in continuing its operations. Since the start of the coalition air strikes in March, funding has dried up, forcing several orphanages in Yemen to close.
According to the Charitable Society for Social Welfare, a non-governmental organisation in Sanaa, the increase in numbers of orphans is a countrywide phenomenon, not only due to air strikes and shelling, but as a result of disease, malnutrition, and an acute shortage of medicine.
Meanwhile, back in Aden, although four months have passed since al-Tayeb’s house was destroyed, the area still looks as though it was hit just yesterday. Children’s school notebooks are strewn amidst the rubble, and soft toys hang from the front-rooms of the fragmented walls, an ever present reminder of the tragic human cost of this war.
- Pray for Yemen, for an end to the conflict that has killed thousands of civilians and left many more thousands of children as orphans.
- Pray for all parties in the power struggle in Yemen to have a desire for peace and to work together to that end.
- Pray for organisations working with orphans, for funding, resources and staff to continue their work in bringing hope to these children.
- Pray for Yemen’s orphans, and the many families struggling to survive day to day. Pray that they will come to know Jesus, His healing, is hope, and His love.
Psalm 64 vs 5: “Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.“