For five years, Yemenis have been living in devastating pain and tragedy, but there are those who strive with modest means to put a balm on the wounds despite their severity.
Mohammed Bahabara, a 30-year-old from Mukalla, the capital of Hadhramout governorate in southeastern Yemen, has been trying for four years to provide as much help as possible to the sick and needy in his hometown.
Bahabara started the "Ambassadors of Happiness" initiative after seeing a six-month-old girl in his neighborhood threatened with complete paralysis because her father couldn’t afford her treatment.
He posted an appeal for the child on Facebook and one of his followers promptly responded and paid for the treatment. Bahabara’s sense of happiness from the child’s recovery prompted him to continue the appeals by establishing his charitable organization with the support of friends and colleagues.
Social media as a source of funding
Since starting his campaign in 2014, Bahabara says he has raised nearly 337 million Yemeni riyals (about $675,000), which he has used to provide Hadhramis with therapy, food, payment of financial debts, guarantees and support for small family business projects. He says he raised the money through financial and in-kind donations from charitable appeals launched through the organization’s websites and social media.
In 2019, the organization completed 19 charitable projects, which consisted of treating 623 patients and helping more than 400,000 needy people, according to Bahabara.
He points out that the initiative verifies the validity of each case that it seeks to help and promises to maintain the privacy of all cases, expressing his admiration for the rapid response of the philanthropists to his appeals.
Multiple health projects
The initiative supported 89 surgeries at a cost of 44,555,000 Yemeni riyals, as well as pharmaceutical campaigns providing treatments for 534 chronic and emergency patients at a cost of 11,520,000 Yemeni riyals.
The initiative also sponsored 45 orphaned children and 13 families at a cost of 10,480,000 Yemeni riyals, in addition to cash assistance of 9.6 million Yemeni riyals for 813 poor people, or about $50 each.
The initiative also financed a food basket project, a Ramadan dates project, a school bag project, clothing, water projects and support for summer courses.
Hadhramout has spread a number of other charitable initiatives on social media, which have become a haven for many sick and disabled people.
These initiatives have contributed to the livelihoods of thousands of stranded citizens and have strengthened the social solidarity of the population by enabling all citizens to contribute from anywhere through bank transfers.