Um, Raheeb woke up early in the morning and, as usual, starts her day by waking up her sons to go to school and catch up with their work. Every day, she is careful to alert Raheeb (10 years) not to cross Al-Kharabah area, which situates in the middle of their neighborhood.
"Raheeb, take care not to play in Al-Kharabah when coming back from the school, you remember how you were wounded last time when you played there because the place is not safe." This was the mother's morning lesson to Raheeb.
In a field visit by UNOPS team in Aden city, as part of the Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project(YIUSEP) funded by the World Bank in urban cities, and during the assessment assignment of some of the city's needs, including Al-Kharabah area where Raheeb lives, they observed the war remnants diffused in the area and other areas in the city, which distorted the city and led to the spread of diseases, and even spoiled the dreams of its children and residents, as a result of the spread of such remnants in the districts and in the middle of neighborhoods, covering extensive area and inflicting damage to citizens, particularly children.
Every day when I come back from school and after completing my homework, I leave the home and search for a space where I can play with my friends. The only place that is remote from vehicles is Al-Kharabah, but we cannot play there because it is full of garbage and stones. After the last time I was wounded there, I have even become scary to pass near Al-Kharabah. I wish a day to come and find a space to play in with my friends without be at risk of wounds or diseases” Raheeb said.
Nearly one month after that visit, the project team conducted a detailed study on the removal of remnants in Al-Kharabah area. Coordination took place with officials and stakeholders, and the action plan was discussed with them as well. After consultations and the development of the action plan, implementation was initiated with the engagement of the Hygiene Fund in Aden city, and around 1,046 cubic meters of remnants were removed in the District of Tawahi / Al-Asema neighborhood (Al-Kharabah).
The removal of all the remnants was the first step, and after completion, there was a wide area the residents of the neighborhood did not anticipate it exists under all those remnants and debris. The youth of Al-Kharabah neighborhood engaged voluntarily seeking to turn the Al-Kharabah into a safe place to play and realize their dream to have a football field. Thanks to the youth efforts and the help of the local authority, some of the requirements were provided that children need to play in this space using simple tools and ordinary potentials.
I can’t believe that finally, we have a place to play with my friends. I’m so happy and sure that my mother will not be wearied any more of me playing in Alkharabah”. Raheeb said
The story began with a dream, followed by a will, and efforts were mobilized with simple potentials, and the dream for the children and youth of Al-Kharabah neighborhood has become real.