Supporting families through capacity building [Archives:2007/1087/Last Page]

September 20 2007
An operate for the orphans in the foundation expressing their dreams and views through songs.
An operate for the orphans in the foundation expressing their dreams and views through songs.
By: Fatima Al-Ajel
[email protected]

Walid and Ameer are two orphans. They have been living with their Uncle Fuad after the death of their father. Ameer, ten years of age, always makes problems with the children in their area and Walid, nineteen years old, refuses to study or learn any skills . This has increased the fears of their uncle who has been busy with his own business.

One day a friend of their uncle advised him to register the two brothers in an association for orphans where they will be qualified and learn new skills . Fuad followed the advice and after two months he went to visit Walid and Ameer. He was surprised with what he saw in the association. Walid, who had no goals for his future, became a very good carpenter while Ameer studied English and computer skills and learnt many technical skills during the two months.

In fact, the story above was a skit in the celebration of the Al-Saleh Association for Social Development. The center where the two brothers trained was an inclusive development center for orphans rehabilitation.

Al-Saleh Association has a strategy which is composed of three stages and aims to make regular development for the orphans in the association . The first stage)the preparatory stage)qualifies the orphans. The number of orphans who are involved in the first stage is 500)250 girls and 250 boys.

Under the motto, “While working, our hopes are achieved,” the Al-Saleh Association launched activities in the summer center as the first step in its strategy of empowering orphans who are older than ten years.

The second stage aims to develop the orphans' family skills. The last stage is establishing a center for orphan developing. “The project needs a lot of support and it will take at least three years to achieve our goals.” Huda al-Yafe'e, the director of Orphan Sector and Lodging Houses stated.

“We started with the project study and a geographical survey, however , because of the lack of donations and the difficulties in finding land to build the project, we started to coordinate with the technical & industrial institute”, al-Yafe'e mentioned.

However, there is a plan to establish a new sector in coordination with the Administration of Technical & Industrial Institute. “The sector indicates two section, one for solar energy and the other section is for old Yemeni architecture . The trainees will study for a year and then they will be qualified to integrate into society in different fields . The project will play an important role in the future in providing the market with the skilled and qualified labor it needs”, al-Yafe'e said.

There is another program in the project which is called '' Big Brothers”. It is concerned with educating and empowering the “elder brother in a family”, who will take the father's responsibility and position.

However, the project aims to not just give skills to the eldest brother but also all the members of orphan families. “We take the eldest brother or sister in a family to give them skills according to their interests . Furthermore, there is a special program for eradicating illiteracy among widows in these families.”

After a year of skills training, the association will provide the graduated orphans with a loan to start their own businesses. “We make three years as the maxima period for the orphans to return the loans to the loans fund of the association after they succeed in their own projects and become independent”, al-Yafe'e stated. Al-Yafe'e has complained about the lack of support for the association, claiming that people think such an association which is supported by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, doesn't need aid from others, however, this is not the case. Recently, the association had received a YR 50 million allocation from the president.

The president donated his personal farm in Abs district to be dedicated to the association. “We will get the money from the crops as income for the project”, Al-Yafe'e clarified.

In the celebration , President Ali Abdullah Saleh has ordered another future project for the orphans in the establishment of al-Saleh University of Technology . The president said that the planned Saleh University would include technical and vocational training centers for orphans and called for international expertise to be used in preparing special studies at the university. The university will be established with cooperation between al-Saleh Foundation and Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.u

“The aim of establishing such a university is to integrate orphans in society and set them on the straight path ones they are qualified. The university will provide the society very good qualified people who will participate in developing the economy of Yemen”, President Saleh stated.