International Orphan Day celebrated in Sana’a

Published on 16 April 2012 in Culture
Nadia Haddash (author)

Nadia Haddash

A group of orphans with life makers association volunteering members.

A group of orphans with life makers association volunteering members.

Life Makers Foundation celebrated on Friday April 6, in cooperation with the Capital governorship and the Social Care Center, the International Orphan Day in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.

More than 500 orphans from the Orphans Care Center (OCC) took part in the activities of the Orphan Day in Al-Sabeen Public Park.

During the International Orphan Day, series of activities took place on the stage. Children had fun as they were granted free tickets to play in the amusement park.

Some orphans displayed some of their talents on the stage including comedian sketches, poems, plays, and songs.

Entertaining and cultural competitions took place and the winners were awarded.

The participants had free of charge breakfast and lunch in the park

Ali Al-Maqalih, an official of Live Makers Foundation thanked the sponsors, supporters, and voluntarily members as well as all of those who contributed in making this activity successful.

For her part, Amal al-Riyashi, the executive director of  Life Makers Foundation  said that Rafaq Al-Habib program  aims to qualify 1,600 students of  the OCC, cover their needs ,solve their problems, and help foster conductive environment for them.

She pointed out that work has begun on the program in March 2005.

The number of orphans in the OCC has reduced since the outbreak of unrest in February last year. Before the revolution erupted the number of orphans at the OCC was 16, 00, now they are only 800 orphans.

The former general director of the OCC told Yemen Times that about 400 orphans aged between 16 and 22 have willingly been recruited in the various military institutions in the country as they were tired of the miserable conditions in the center.

Hamama Al-Shawsh, from public relations department, attributed the plunge in the number of orphans in the OCC to not receiving new orphans in the center since the revolution erupted, unlike  the other OCCs in which many orphans, whose fathers were killed in the latest wave of violence in Al-Hasaba of the capital Sana’a , Sa’ada  and Arahab, have joined them.

"We were not able to receive more orphans in the OCC due to the bad situation of the center. We did not get any amount of support recently from any governmental body. We have shortage in the basic requirements such as food items and clothing," she said.

Speaking about the recruited orphans, Al-Shawsh added that recruitment of children as soldiers before they reach legal age was a sort of extortion as military units exploited their terrible conditions.

The current general director of the OCC confirmed that the services of the center have deteriorated lately. He, however, said they are working to revamp the services as soon as possible through adopting new plans in order to restore the orphans' rights.

Last week, the students of the OCC held protests in their center calling for their basic rights of food items, clothes, and pocket money.

"We will continue to support the orphans in the OCC whether their number decrease or increase. But, we feel sad that the situation in the OCC has deteriorated compared to the other orphans care centers," the chairwomen of the Rafaq al-Habib program in Life Makers Foundation, Fakria Al-Asbahi, said.

"We hope that the government contributes seriously in improving the situation of orphans." She added.