Yemen – Saeed Alahmari :

As part of the humanitarian role of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) at the global level and in Yemen, in particular; and given the Goals of the Center which focuses on children and most vulnerable groups, the idea of this project emerged to rehabilitate child soldiers and those affected by war in Yemen. In isolation from political and military interferences, the goal of this project is to rehabilitate child soldiers and to protect them regardless of the party they are affiliated to or any other considerations. 

This project was implemented with full funding and oversight from KSrelief through the local implementing partner, Wethaq Civic Foundation. 

Goal of the Project: 

The project aims at psychologically and educationallyrehabilitate recruited and war-affected children in Yemen in a manner to reintegrate them with the society and to enroll them in schools which they left as a result of being engaged in hostilities. 

The project aims also at raising the awareness of the society and parents of children about the hazards of the recruitment of children and the legal responsibility that lies on those who contribute to their recruitment as well as the consequences of child recruitment at the level of the child, the family and the society. 

The idea of the project is based on the rehabilitation of recruited and war-affected children and to reintegrate them into the society. It is also about discovering their talents and raising the awareness of their parents about the hazards of child recruitment through conducting various events. A rehabilitation course for children is organized in every province for one month where the child is psychologically rehabilitated on the hands of competent sociologists. In addition, skill development training is conducted where their talents are discovered and fostered. Sport events are also organized for those children and they are mixed with other normal children. Joint entertaining trips are also organized so they are fully integrated with their peers. During the training courses, awareness raising courses are also organized for parents of those children to spread the culture of child rights and protection. The crime of child recruitment is discussed along with the risks children may face during recruitment or displacement. Children who dropped school are re-enrolled and school supplies are provided to them. 

Children are then followed up for up to four months after the end of the course. KSrelief, through the local implementing partner Wethaq Civic Foundation, works with the child family and school management in this process. The child activities and progress in school is monitored. 

The development and implementation of this project was informed by the international standards for the rehabilitation of child soldiers. The project was carried out by academic experts in the psychological and social fields. 

Taking into account the special conditions of child soldiers, and in order not to miss schooling during training courses, specialized teachers were provided to teach them in coordination with Education Offices in targeted provinces. Those teachers teach children the class subjects their peers in public schools are learning so they can enroll easily in schools after the rehabilitation course.

This project is the first of its kind to rehabilitate child soldiers and war-affected children in Yemen through a long rehabilitation process for children and their parents. 

Project outputs will also include an analytical study about the causes of child recruitment from the perspective of the child, family and the society as well as the recruiting party. The study also provides recommendations on how to address this phenomenon to put an end to child recruitment and to provide rehabilitation services in all provinces of Yemen. 

In coordination with the Relief Section of KSrelief, food rations were distributed to the families of recruited children as part of the solution to combating child recruitment as it was found that the majority of families who send their children to recruitment do so in order to cover food expenses. 

Targeted provinces: 

Four provinces were targeted in phase one; MarebAlJawfTaiz and Amran

Phase two targets five provinces; Mareb, Al JawfTaiz, Sana’a and Amran. In this phase, girls affected by the war will also be rehabilitated. 

The project benefits 2000 people including child soldiers, their parents and family members. 

The duration of the project is four months (phase one). 

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