USAID is reaching vulnerable children in Yemen and providing education assistance to help schools withstand the impact of the country’s armed conflict.

Yemen is suffering the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. As the conflict in Yemen continues, millions of children lack reliable access to school due to widespread displacement, damage to school facilities, lack of educational resources, and general insecurity in the country. At least two million children are out of school and nearly five million children need assistance to continue their education. Additionally, children comprise about a third of the country’s 4.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Approximately eight million school-age girls and boys are at risk of leaving the education system, including more than one million IDP children. Many children have also been exposed to serious psychological trauma, which hinders their ability to learn. An estimated 2,000 schools damaged during conflict are currently hosting IDPs, or are occupied by armed groups. General insecurity in the country and a shortage of funds affect the Ministry of Education’s ability to provide basic education.

USAID'S RESPONSE

USAID works to meet Yemeni children’s immediate educational needs while supporting long-term efforts to rebuild the education system that has been decimated from years of conflict. In partnership with development partners and the Yemeni Ministry of Education, USAID increases access to quality education services for vulnerable and conflict-affected children, including girls and children with disabilities. USAID trains teachers, provides schools with educational equipment and teaching and learning materials, and supports classroom-based learning for out-of-school children, particularly girls and children in internally displaced people camps. To prevent school dropouts and to promote retention of all children in schools, particularly those who are struggling with their academic performance, USAID has developed remedial and accelerated, non-formal education classes, and distance and home learning programs to support students whose schools closed due to insecurity, disease outbreaks, and climate shocks.

KEY RESULTS

To date, USAID education programs have provided child protection and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities for more than 275,000 Yemeni children across 676 formal and non-formal school settings. Partners engaged 522 father and mother councils (similar to parent teacher associations) and community education committees to mobilize more than 12,000 parents and community leaders to help keep children in school. USAID partners incentivized students to attend school by providing over 42,300 student kits and 2,800 kits for teachers, trained 2,235 teachers and 446 school administrators, and screened 910 children as potentially having a disability and referred them for additional screening and services. Partners enrolled 21,000 children in accelerated and basic literacy and numeracy non-formal education classes and distance learning programs and nearly 8,900 children in remedial education programs to help them catch up from lost learning and to mitigate their high risk of dropping out of school.

The goal of USAID’s flagship Gateway to Education activity is to support a stronger, resilient education system which provides quality formal education for Yemeni children. The activity supports safe and equitable access to education; improvements in teaching and learning materials and classroom practices; upgraded facilities and more educational supplies; and stronger institutional support for the education system. Activities target vulnerable households through remedial education; female empowerment through the formation of girls’ clubs and student government in schools; increased access for children with disabilities through the provision of adaptive technologies; and better teacher competencies through training. Since January 2021, Gateway has delivered 861 new desks and 290 whiteboards with student and teacher kits for 176 schools; trained 923 Father and Mother council members (similar to Parent-Teacher Associations) on community mapping and school development planning; assessed 1,636 children identified by schools as potentially having a disability; supported referrals for 741 children identified as having a disability to appropriate social and medical services; organized 44 remedial education classes for 4,383 at risk students; and established 38 girls groups and 44 student councils through election processes in 82 schools.

Under a USAID partnership with UNICEF, water and sanitation interventions benefitted an estimated 407,000 children and ensured that children, especially girls, had access to safe spaces to learn. USAID also worked to restore and rehabilitate schools and classrooms with non-formal and remedial learning programs. Partners trained teachers to counsel students who experienced trauma and trained more than 2,300 teachers to provide psychosocial support to children in conflict affected areas.

USAID engaged over 5,100 teenagers, most of them girls, through community awareness raising activities focusing on the consequences of child recruitment and child marriage, in addition to how education and staying in school can help benefit them. Youth between the ages of 12 and 19 years in peer group sessions worked with 11,000 community leaders and residents to identify solutions to child protection risks and prevent abuses against children and adolescents, including child marriage and child recruitment into armed groups. USAID also supported an additional 50 girls’ groups and 42 student councils in 92 schools. Mentor teachers work with students to support school leadership in organizing and implementing extracurricular activities, creating opportunities for students to discuss concerns affecting their welfare in school, addressing issues leading to drop out such as early marriage, armed recruitment, and supporting literacy campaigns.

Children with disabilities are also at higher risk of being out of school. In response, USAID works to include children with disabilities by providing assistive devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and eyeglasses so children are able to continue their education. USAID also provided training for sign language teachers to improve reading instruction. USAID will continue to support schools to meet the academic needs of students with disabilities.

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USAID works to meet Yemeni children’s immediate educational needs while supporting long-term efforts to rebuild the education system that has been decimated from years of conflict.
USAID Yemen Gateway/Save the Children
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