A Bag of Hope: How One Bag Transformed Two Children’s Futures

Fatima Albeedh, The Country Office in Sanaa, Yemen 
February 9th, 2024

The harsh realities of poverty and debt have compelled numerous families to make a heart-wrenching decision – withdrawing their children from school. Among these children were Ibrahim Muhammad Dahbash and Donia Al-Namr, who found themselves burdened with the relentless tasks of fetching water, collecting firewood, and grazing animals. Ibrahim, a fourth-grade student at Othman bin Affan School in Nubia, Bani Al Shadid subdistrict, Bani Saad District, Al-Mahweet Governorate, had to abandon his education. Instead of experiencing the classroom, Ibrahim and Donia faced days filled with strenuous labor, with education becoming a distant dream. This is the narrative of two children robbed of their future. Fortunately, hope was not beyond reach. 

Vision Hope International e.V. (VHI) intervened in the district, targeting three schools in the Bani Saad district for their education project, supported by the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF). The project’s objectives included alleviating child suffering, reducing the financial burden on impoverished families for educational supplies, and establishing parent councils to monitor school personnel and encourage student re-enrollment.

Upon reaching Othman Bin Affan School, VHI’s team found Ibrahim and Donia deviating from their usual task of fetching water from the well. Meeting their classmates, Hamza and Muhammad, Ibrahim and Donia were surprised by the new school bags they carried. Curious, Ibrahim asked, “Where did you get these bags?” Hamza explained that VHI distributed them to students
actively engaged in studying. Without hesitation, Ibrahim and Donia abandoned their water containers and rushed back to the school, where they found the project team still distributing bags. Their relief was palpable as they received their bags alongside other students.

Returning home with their new bags, Ibrahim and Donia brought joy to their families. This marked a transformative shift from the cycle of suffering to a school routine. Encouraged by this change, parents actively urged other children in the community who had dropped out of school to return. 

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