Still I Rise has started operations to open an Emergency and Rehabilitation School in Yemen, in the city of Aden, by the end of 2023. The facility will initially welcome around 60 minors between the ages of 10 and 14, offering education and protection in one of the world's most complicated contexts, afflicted by nine years of civil war. The goal is to accommodate 100 children displaced by the armed conflict.
The school will follow an emergency approach and operate on the model of those opened in 2020 in Ad-Dana, Northwest Syria, and in 2022 in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo. Students will be offered classes in English, Arabic, Math and Science, as well as recreational activities and psychosocial support, aimed at facilitating their personal rehabilitation. The organization will also provide for their families through the distribution of food packs and other support activities.
"A humanitarian tragedy has been lingering in Yemen for nearly a decade, despite barely occupying the headlines of Western newspapers," says Giovanni Volpe, General Counsel of Still I Rise. "In Aden, a school that brings high-quality education, food security and protection to children affected by the conflict, completely free of charge, does not exist, yet. Children in Yemen are increasingly vulnerable to war and periodic famines and epidemics." Therefore, says Volpe, "our Academy will offer an accredited rehabilitation education program to displaced and refugee children and minors who used to be involved in child labour."
The startup phase of the project was financed through the funds raised in 2019 for the International School in Gaziantep, Turkey. Still I Rise declared that the project was closed in 2022 due to insurmountable impediments related to rampant corruption on the ground.
The Still I Rise Academy - Aden (Yemen) will be built in the Northern district of Al-Insha'at, near the Dar Saad district, which is home to several camps for internally displaced persons and vulnerable groups hard-hit by the war.
Since 2014, Yemen's civil war has pitted government forces against Houthi militias, in a proxy conflict involving the interests of regional powers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. The civilians paid the highest toll for the war. The United Nations estimate that some 377,000 people lost their lives between 2015 and 2021, while more than 4 million people were forced to flee their homes. The situation is particularly severe among children: 8 million need educational support, while 2 million have no access to education whatsoever.
The war in Yemen has triggered an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Large sections of the population have no access to food, clean water, and sanitation and hygiene services. The situation has been worsened by the spread of cholera and diphtheria epidemics. According to the estimates, out of a total population of about 30 million people, 21.6 million need humanitarian assistance . Among them millions of minors are denied the opportunity to grow up in a safe place and build their future. (Press release)