DHIHW and a Call for Community Service

Esra’ AlNaggar 

When we hear the word “volunteer” the first thing that usually comes to mind is “working for free.” This, however; is not always the case. True, volunteering may not pay you cash for your efforts, but it can definitely benefit you in a variety of other ways—namely around the development of self, the institution you work for, and–most importantly–the society of which you are a part. So, yes, you are essentially being paid…and a lot!

Young adults –between the ages of 18 and 35 – make up 45% of our society. Some are still studying. Some have graduated and are still seeking employment. One thing is for sure, however–many of them, likely, have some time to spare.

Imagine if this young, healthy, and untapped workforce in our society was effectively utilized in developing the community! What would that look like for Yemen?

The Ducts of Hope Institution for Humanitarian Welfare (DHIHW) invites Yemeni youth to engage in the building of the Yemeni community.

Briefing on the DHIHW:

The DHIHW is a non-profit organization that was established in 2010 in Sana’a, Yemen. This institution works towards developing Yemeni society by collaborating with the organizations of civil communities, both, local and international. It also works towards spreading awareness, regarding issues concerning health, environment and civil rights. Moreover, it provides humanitarian aid during times of crisis, such as the current one of war.

The DHIWH does not only assist in assuring the survival and well-being of needy communities, but also focuses on raising community awareness about different fields, especially that of volunteerism. This, they believe, would be the first milestone in taking Yemeni society to an entirely new level. “Ignorance is
the root of all evil. If we manage to eliminate it, the Yemeni society shall thrive,” says Ashwak, Program Manager of the DHIWH.

Some activities of the DHIHW:

On the health sector, DHIHW conducted a project on “breast cancer awareness.” Volunteers, along with their leaders, went to girls’ schools and briefed female students on the importance of regular examinations (self and clinical) for the early detection of breast cancer. They distributed leaflets that contained comprehensive and relevant information on the subject. Furthermore, they collaborated with a local hospital to provide these girls access to free breast cancer screenings. Twelve cases were identified of which 10 were treated (via surgical intervention) at the hospital expenses.

In addressing cultural awareness, the Free Table project targeted several elementary schools. Each received a dedicated table upon which different books and magazines (supplied by the volunteers themselves) were provided. During breaks, students were summoned to their respective tables and given approximately half an hour to read. Volunteers, then, facilitated discussions with the pupils on what they had read, following-up with subsequent group activities. The primary focus of this project was to raise awareness about “reading” and to show students that books can, both, be entertaining and educational.

The concept of volunteerism remains vague to Yemeni society. It is true that the number of youths that engage in community service increases daily, but there are still those who do not really believe in the value of the efforts made by these individuals. To compensate, the DHIHW is now using seminars, lectures, and activities to highlight the fruitful effects of volunteering for, both, the individual and society.