Real lives

Feature stories


Child Friendly Spaces help children in Yemen to overcome the impact of the conflict

By Ali Qasem Ali, Communication Officer, UNICEF Aden Field Office
Photos: Suleiman Alsharaby

Shabwah, Yemen, 13 September 2018 – Since the beginning of the conflict more than three years ago in Yemen, one of UNICEF’s major challenges remains how to protect the children affected by the conflict and help them to overcome the increasing violence they face every day.

Child-friendly spaces play an instrumental role in giving those children the opportunity to heal the scars of the war, giving them a chance to express themselves freely and to practice their hobbies in a safe and secure environment. This project represents one of the fruitful partnerships between UNICEF, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSrelief) and the United Arab Emirates.

Ahmed, 13 years old, enjoying his time in one of the child-friendly spaces supported by UNICEF in Ataq district, the capital of Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen.

Samira is 14 years and she is a book lover: “I come every day to read children’s stories. They have many books available here and I am so happy that such space is available in our city. Thank you all for allowing me to continue my hobby in a safe place.”

A group of children playing tug of war game, in an activity organized by UNICEF social workers.

Children practicing one of their favorite games in the yard of one of the child-friendly spaces in Shabwah governorate.

Ammar, 5 years old, building his imaginary tower with the assistance of a group of girls.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSrelief) and the United Arab Emirates’ contributions play a prominent role in UNICEF integral response, not only from a humanitarian perspective – in addressing the most urgent needs of children in Yemen – but also in supporting interventions with a development approach, such as the Child Protection programme, which provides psychosocial support to conflict-affected children and strives to protect children’s rights.

UNICEF has provided psychosocial support to more than 150,000 children and their caregivers in conflict-affected areas since January 2018 across Yemen.



 Email this article

unite for children