Reaching out: Donia’s story
My name is Donia. I’m one of the facilitators of an EA Yemen listening club, and I am visually impaired. Being a facilitator helped me a lot to overcome my difficulty with my vision.
Because of Equal Access International Yemen and the training that I had to become a facilitator, now I am able to have friendships with others, and I have the ability to discuss and think about how to solve my problems by myself…”
In a country where youth constitute 70% of the population, EAI’s 2013 WASL Public Information Campaign used radio episodes to encourage civic participation and improve life conditions for the young people of Yemen. Episodes focused on issues such as malnutrition, sanitation, girls’ education, birth registration, and child trafficking, while wall murals by local artists brought these issues to life for everyone to see.
As part of this program, EAI produced 22 episodes of its radio series, Let’s Be the Best Together, which focused on adolescent issues important to Yemeni communities, such as child marriage, child labor, and ways adolescents can play a positive role in their community’s development. Listening groups allowed members to meet and discuss the episodes, applying the fictionalized stories to their own lives.
Young listeners often apply to work as facilitators for these groups, and EAI received a letter from one EAI Yemen Listening Club Facilitator who faced extraordinary challenges.
“My name is Donia. I’m one of the facilitators of an EAI Yemen listening club, and I am visually impaired. Being a facilitator helped me a lot to overcome my difficulty with my vision, which is something that affected me very much. It affected my feelings and my dreams and prevented me from making friends with others.”
Donia facilitates a club for the Let’s Be The Best Together radio show. Once, Donia felt her eyesight closed her off from others. Now she says she learned “not to feel scared or ashamed because of my eyesight.”
“Because of Equal Access Yemen and the training that I had to become a facilitator,” she said, “now I am able to have friendships with others and I have the ability to discuss and think about how to solve my problems by myself.”
We’re amazed by the independence of this young woman who is already giving back to her community.
Let’s Be The Best Together episodes were broadcast on nine local radio stations in the target governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Lahj, Hodeidha, Hadramout, Dhamar, Ibb, Mareb, and Al-Iwaf. Listening and discussion groups help strengthen the impact of the show for youth across Yemen.