Congratulations to my friend, Noria Nagie, for having been awarded the OBE. Since 2003 Noria has run YERO, Yemeni Education and Relief Organization, a charity which supports street children and poor families in Sana'a.
It is not a school, but after regular school hours the children are given art classes, computer training and English lessons. Yero helps enroll children in local schools and provides funds for poor families to buy uniforms and books. It also provides funding for students to remain in high school where they would otherwise have to go out and work to support their families and has financed a few gifted students who are studying at Sana'a University.
Funds are generated for the children by the sale of their art, and mothers of the children enrolled at the center are taught crafts which are also sold at local gift fairs with the profits going back to the women. Yero is supported by donations from local and international companies, embassies and individuals. It costs $300 per year to sponsor a child - if you would like to find out more about their work, visit their website at http://yero-yemen.org.
The pictures here were taken at a pre-Ramadan party given a couple of weeks ago at the center where the children sang, and acted out a hilarious skit about a boy taking home a report card that was less than stellar. Their confidence and their talent was humbling to see. At Ramadan all the children, and more than 400 are enrolled, receive a small gift, as well as food and new clothes. Noria deserves this prestigious award, I hope it helps generate more funding for her endeavor which is needed more than ever as the country struggles financially with a plethora of problems.