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Teaching is my passion

A building with a flag pole outside

Fatima* is a 38-year-old teacher from Sana’a who has been teaching for years. She says: “Like many others, I have thought of leaving teaching to find other work. I haven’t received a proper salary in a long time. It is really hard to find money to pay for the basics we need to survive.”

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has caused the collapse of the educational system, leading many teachers to seek alternatives and negative coping mechanisms. Some students have even been forced to drop out of school to work, or – in the case of girls – to get married. Yemeni teachers and students alike face a bleak future.

“I used to be able to pay for my family’s daily meals and transportation to school,” says Fatima. “I also used to pay my rent each month. But now our life is just agony because of the lack of salaries.”

Fatima gets up every morning to go to school even though she hasn’t received her salary in years. She goes to teach her students because she believes that education is a basic right for each child, regardless of the situation in Yemen. But life is very hard. “I am saddled with huge debts to the landlord and I can’t pay the water and electricity bills. I am thinking of selling my belongings like jewellery and furniture to pay off my debt and feed my family.”

With funding from Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), CARE was able to support teachers like Fatima by paying a stipend, which enables them to give conflict-affected children the chance to have an education. Fatima regained some hope. “Thanks to CARE,” she says, “I can provide my family with what they need daily, and I can go to school on the bus to teach my students.”

She continues: “Though I have thought deeply about looking for another job, teaching is my passion. Giving teachers like me a stipend will mean a better quality of education for Yemen’s children. I want all teachers to receive monthly salaries and to be appreciated again as teachers, but this will only happen if the war ends quickly.”

Now Fatima is able to pay the rent regularly to keep a roof over her head and is also capable of sustaining herself and her family. She has paid off most of her debts and doesn’t have to sell any of her belongings. “I hope we continue receiving stipend to cover our daily needs,” she says. “I wish the war would end soon so that we can again live peacefully, so that students can go to school and receive a proper education, and so that teachers can receive their salaries and live normally.”

*Fatima is not her real name

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