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The treasure of my life

A woman sitting holding a baby

Zahra in her new constructed room with her 10-year- old orphan grandson

Zahra in her new constructed room with her 10-year- old orphan grandson

Zahra Jaber is a 60-year-old grandmother living with her two orphaned grandsons in Al-Mighlaf district in Hodeidah governorate. Her son Ibrahim died in an accident five years ago. The tragedy happened when he was riding his motorcycle to go and buy food for his family from the local market. That trip was the last of his life and changed his family’s lives forever.

Two women and a kid posing for a photo
Zahra in her new constructed room with CARE field officer and her grandson

The catastrophe continued. Ibrahim’s wife was deeply shocked by the death of her husband, and died shortly afterwards from kidney failure. Since then, Zahra became the sole and only provider for the two children. Tearfully she says: “I don’t need anything in my life, my only concern is to save the two little orphans. That is my biggest dream because they’re the treasure of my life. Previously I used to worry all night about them. We lived in a hut which creatures like snakes, reptiles, insects and other wild animals could easily get into it while sleeping. I had fears that made me sleepless most nights.”

“What can an old woman like me do to protect them?” she asks, “Who will fight for them? I’m an old woman, unable to work in farms like I used to, and the income wasn’t enough to feed them and pay for clothing, their education or anything else they need. I’m alone with this huge responsibility.”

Fortunately for Zahra and the children, with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), CARE intervened with its Multisector Humanitarian Response Programme. CARE distributed cash assistance to vulnerable people in Al-Mighlaf district who have been affected by Yemen’s ongoing war. Five instalments of cash give people like Zahra the opportunity to live with dignity and the chance to improve their lives.

“With this assistance from CARE, I feel safer. I built a room with concrete and wood. Now we have a new house and we can sleep without worrying about heavy rains or wild animals. I thank all who work with CARE for helping us.”

Zahra concludes: “I hope to finish building a bathroom and to have a wall around the room to feel safer. I’d like to see my grandsons in school soon and I want them to have everything they need to live with me, and to see their amazing smiles which remind me of their sweet father and dear mother.”

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