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Six stories, Six years of Yemen’s war

Violence and bloodshed remain an almost daily occurrence in the country; over the past three years, almost one in four casualties in the conflict were children. Between 2018 and 2020, there were 2,341 confirmed child casualties, though the actual number is likely to be much higher.

In addition, the conflict is getting deadlier for children. In 2018, one in five civilian casualties were children, but in 2019 and 2020, that jumped to one in four. It’s a stark reminder that children and families are paying the heaviest price for this brutal war through no fault of their own.

Bushra* is a 15 year-old girl from Hodeida. She was born with a deformation in her legs and can’t walk. She has been living with her mother’s family since her father died in 2013. When the war started, an airstrike hit her school while she and her classmates were inside. The school got damaged as warplanes flew above her neighbours’ house. Armed forces became more and more present in the area, which made her feel scared. All schools in Hodeida stopped operating due to the increase in airstrikes, leaving children like Bushra out of education. Bushra’s mother took the decision to take her to Sanaa in order to see if there was any chance to have her legs operated and to continue her education. But the fighting escalated in Sanaa so they had to flee south to Lahj. The family now live in a makeshift shelter in a displacement camp. Bushra* likes to sing and draw while attending classes in the temporary learning space of Save the Children in the camp. She hopes to become a famous painter one day.

 

Omar* and his family of five used to live in Taiz but when the war started, they decided to move to another part of the city as it was (then) safer. Their school was bombed and Omar’s* father, Hasib*, didn’t feel safe anymore. After they relocated Omar*, Mahmoud* and their sister continued their education. On February 20, 2021, Omar*(8) and Mahmoud* (13) were on their way home after shopping in the local market when an artillery shell hit their neighbourhood. The two boys were immediately transferred to the hospital. Mahmoud was pronounced dead by the time he arrived to the hospital and Omar was suffering from double fracture in one of this legs and loss of muscle in the other leg. Omar was operated on in one of the hospitals in Taiz with the support of Save the Children. According to Omar’s doctor, he will fully recover and will be able to walk within the next six weeks. Omar wishes he could still play with his late brother, and the emotional toll of losing his sibling and sustaining these injuries will likely endure long after the wounds have healed.