How did an ordinary day in Al Moza’a village on the Red Sea coast in Yemen look like before the war? Kadijah, a 42-year-old woman, remembers:
“I used to wake up every morning to the sound of roosters. I saw fishermen in the sea fishing. Women were either milking cows, doing chores at home or selling vegetables and homemade bread in the crowded market of the village. You could hear the laughter and joy of children running around, playing football and dreaming of becoming doctors and teachers. The seemingly ordinary, but happy days in Al Moza’a, came to an end. Not just for me, but for all the residents of the village,” says Kadijah.
“When the war started I fled from our village with my two sisters and my brother, leaving our house, goats, farm and everything behind. While we were leaving our village and I was looking out of the window of the car, my heart just broke into pieces and I cried silently. My happy village was not happy anymore. It was destroyed!” Kadijah adds.
Most of the residents of Kadijah’s village left everything behind and fled. They were frightened by the airstrikes and missiles that rained down on the village. Kadijah and her family were lucky enough and could flee the village with their neighbor, who had a car. Others fled to the city of Al Makaah where they either had family members or looked for a safer place to stay. Some walked for 10-12 hours to seek safety. Others did not make it. They died during the bombings, explosions, by gunfire or by mines.
“When we arrived in the city we went to our aunt’s house, but she was not there. We had no place to stay. We sold our mother’s earrings that she gave to us before she passed away. We got a good amount of money that was enough to survive for a couple of months,” says Kadijah.
People like Kadijah are patching together the pieces of their lives that the war has not taken from them. And they are getting help to survive during this incredibly difficult time. In Al Makaah and other villages, CARE is helping 550 families. CARE’s teams are assisting displaced families like Kadijah’s with unconditional cash assistance so they can buy food and pay rent for the temporary homes they have found. CARE also provided hygiene kits to over 1,700 people as well as water filters and 426 diarrhea kits to four health centers.
“Whenever I remember my village and how our lives used to be, my heart aches. My only wish for the future is for the war to finish and for us to be able to go back home”, Kadijah concludes.
Written by Hind Abbas, CARE Yemen