By Christie R. House
May 6, 2021 | ATLANTA
Mohammad, age 10, checked out the food in his family’s package first. It had just been delivered by International Blue Crescent workers, partners of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, in Yemen. His family lives in a make-shift tent camp, one of many outside the city of Zinjabar.
The aid packages contained a hygiene kit as well as flour, sugar, oil, rice and cans of beans. Beans…Mohammad’s family hadn’t eaten beans since they left their home village of Hudaydah three years ago. Their home, in the port city on the Red Sea, was destroyed in airstrikes. Mohammed’s family then joined the 4 million other internally displaced people (IDPs) searching for safety during Yemen’s civil war. Women and children make up 79% of the displaced.
... At the central UMCOR-IBC distribution site, Saleh, age 12, offered to help the IBC team. Many children come with their parents and siblings to pick up their relief packages, but Saleh stayed and volunteered. He has a broad smile and a bright red shirt. Saleh and his family were forced to leave his village near Taez because of clashes between Houthi and government forces in Aden two years ago. When their house was damaged by a rocket attack, the family fled.
Saleh tries to support his family by doing odd jobs in Zinjabar. He was proud to have IBC staff take his picture. “I have never seen so many food packages,” he remarked, surveying the scene. “These will keep us full for weeks, it’s like a dream.”