Dismal walls for juvenile prisoners in Dhamar

“Save for Good” initiatives in times of war
Saqr Abu Hassan
April 21, 2022

Dismal walls for juvenile prisoners in Dhamar

“Save for Good” initiatives in times of war
Saqr Abu Hassan
April 21, 2022

Over the years, the "Love of the Nation unites us" initiative remained the only one that eased the depression of the prison walls for dozens of juvenile prisoners in the central prison - the reformatory - in the city of Dhamar, which accommodate more than (1,200) prisoners, including about (50) juveniles, serving sentences. Against the background of multiple felonies, most of them are non-corporeal cases.

The youth initiative, which adopted voluntary work since its first day, was developed based on the support of the local community in changing the reality of juvenile prisoners, and building mutual trust between the juvenile and the community.

The initiative began in 2012, and its members’ energy was devoted to “helping delinquent children in the central prison in terms of education, health and sports, in addition to legal support, psychological and social support and counseling, as part of the effort to reintegrate into society after their release from prison” - said Salma Nahshal, head of the initiative. She added in an interview with "Khuyut": "I also worked in food, sanitation, reintegration of displaced people, continuing education, and good health."

All the projects adopted by the initiative were with the self-possession of the initiative members or the support of some personalities. With the beginning of 2018, the initiative’s work dwindled to a gradual halt, after tightening procedures over the activity of youth initiatives.

It is credited with the “Love of the Nation” initiative that it is the first voluntary youth work that delves into the missing details in the lives of juvenile prisoners, pushes their concerns to the surface, and presents them with qualitative programs, as a societal segment that did not take its right to much public or societal attention.

Supportive community

The head of the Abjad Center for Studies and Development, Fouad Al-Nahari, told "Khuyut" that: "Youth initiatives are an exceptional effort at an extraordinary timing as well." He added, "The importance of youth and community initiatives stems from the fact that they are implemented in light of this situation that has exhausted society due to the continuation of the war machine, and this represents a true representation of the community of cooperation and solidarity."

Pointing out that the general trend towards initiatives comes in light of the absence of official support in adopting projects and delivering public services, reiterating that initiatives reveal the extent to which the community's good is saved towards its needs and issues.

In fact, the political turmoil climates have contributed to reducing the activities of youth and social initiatives, and their role has been limited - according to Al-Nahari - to the implementation of service and community projects, away from issues that may be interpreted more than once, especially juvenile prisoners.

However, among the community’s need, effective youth and community initiatives and energies emerge, to crystallize, to reach citizens in the form of humanitarian and charitable aid, behind which are self-initiated seasonal initiatives based on youth.

In particular, during this month, initiatives to help poor families in Ramadan, and other initiatives to distribute the Eid clothing, and initiatives to distribute winter clothes to poor families, the poorest and the displaced, and an endless series of humanitarian and charitable initiatives, which operate away from any umbrella, except for the “Doing Good” umbrella are spreading merely to support those in need."

11 billion initiative

In addition to the “Love of the Nation unites us” initiative, other initiatives are active in Dhammar, in various societal directions over the years of the war, as the capabilities of local communities were revealed in trying to row away from conflict areas, towards direct service projects for the local community. Such community cooperation was resulted in the prominent model “The Mathan Mountain Road Initiative” in the Wessab district, whose cost at more than 11 billion riyals, came with donations from parents and expatriates, and at one stage reached donation campaigns for school students in the areas of Wessab who denoted their school pocket money.

In an interview with "Khuyut", Amir Al-Mathani, the media official for the initiative, confirms that a road project that attends Jabal Mathan Khamis Mutlaq - extends 47 km in length, in the midst of high mountains, passes through several paths and connects three governorates together "Dhammar, Ibb, and Al-Hodeidah."

This initiative, which was launched in 2018, contributes to serving about one million people in several regions in the three governorates, and greatly eases the burden of travel through the rugged mountainous areas for the population centers in Wessab and other areas in Ibb and Hodeidah.

The people of the local community united, in sincere efforts - says Al-Mathani - to solve a problem that was the only concern of the people of the area and many areas. Considering that society determines its choices and directs its efforts to address its urgent needs.

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