The family of the child, Riyadh S, is going through severe financial circumstances, so typical of most Yemeni families today, as a result of the war waged by the war coalition against Yemen led by the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, eight years ago.
“I have four brothers with me. My family is poor, and our father works as a motorcycle driver. We all live in a single room in the capital city of Sana’a,” the Eight-year-old Riyadh grumbled. He continued, “I study in school in the third grade. Today, I could not go to class because I was sick. However, I had to leave my house at noon and went to collect used plastic cans from this street.”
“I am now going to sell them for maybe 50 Yemeni riyals (less than 25 US cents). This is the first time that I do this work,” Riyadh further explained.
He continued, “I’m the third son in the family. My two elder brothers also work in collecting and selling used plastic cans. They earn 600 Yemeni Riyals (i.e. $1.33) per day, which we spend to provide a meal to the family. Like my brothers, I want to work in order to collect some money and give it to my mother for buying food, which is not enough for us now.” Riyadh aspires, “I wish to continue my study, but I do not have any specific dream for future. What is important is that I would like to become a rich man when I grow up.”
Despite the uncertain future of the Yemeni children today, the child “Riyadh”, known as the “plastic cans street vendor”, still has a feeling and hope that the war would stop and that he would live his childhood like the rest of the world’s children. Riyadh continued, “I hope that the world will look at us and support the children of Yemen, and that our voices will reach the world.”