By Abdulhakim Al- Ansi, CARE Yemen.
It was seven in the morning when Maryam hears the loud sound of the school bell. Maryam, 15, and her sisters wake up, quickly put on some clothes and rushed out of the house. On their way out they see girls with their books rushing to make it in time. Maryam and her sisters, however, just wave their friends and then walk into the opposite direction. "The school is right next to our home and I see the students going to school every morning. I cannot go to school, I have to collect water", says Maryam. Every day she walks one hour to go down to the water point in the valley and another hour to reach home while carrying the heavy water."
I carry one of the jerry cans on my head and the other one I hold with my hands", she explains. Once she comes back home she helped her mother in the kitchen, cooks and prepares the dough for her mom to make the bread. During this time, Maryam dreams about becoming a teacher. ”I wanted to spend as much time as possible in school."
One day Maryam went to school. She was curious to see how the kids are studying inside. "I wish that one day I'll join my friends and be able to write my name. Writing my name is the biggest dream I have", Maryam's expresses her sadness of not being able to study.
“I would love to see my kids go to school but I am barely able to find them food to eat", Saadah, Maryam’s mother, says. The40 year old is mother of two boys and five girls. "Schools needs books, stationaries, clothes. How can I afford this? " Saadah became a widow ten years ago when her husband passed away in a car accident with her brother. "Ten years ago he told me he will come back. He did, but in a white coffin", Saadah’s eyes are filled with tears "This is my destiny, he went away and put a heavy burden on my shoulders. I would love for my kids to go to school and give them better chances in life. But, the hardships of life after my husband died and the conflict-related challenges make it even more difficult for me to even think about it”, says Saadah. Although their house is right next to the school, they are very far away from education. Maryam is one of two million children out of school as a result of violence and difficult living conditions people are going through. According to the UN about 1,600 schools can no longer be used because they were damaged, destroyed, displaced families live in them or are occupied by warring parties.
But the situation in Maryam’s village is changing for the better. CARE International has helped the residents of the village by fixing the road through cash for work programs. CARE also installed a water tank for the village and chlorination. Through hygiene awareness to all the residents of the village CARE helps them avoid diseases such as cholera.«All Stories and Blogs