Malak’s story: A hero in the fight against coronavirus

By: 
CARE
Yemen has been devastated by civil war, food shortages, and COVID-19 – but Malak has not lost hope

“We are all heroes. We can all defeat coronavirus.”

Malak is only 12 years old. Her country, Yemen, has been devastated by civil war, by drought and food shortages, and now by the COVID-19 pandemic. Malak says:

The situation is so bad with coronavirus. A lot of people died. Many people lost their jobs. Schools are closed and we can’t study.

Malak lives with her family in Taiz, Yemen, and like all of us, she’s worried about how coronavirus will affect her family:

I am so worried about my family getting sick from coronavirus. My brother, Ala, works as a doctor’s assistant. My family and I are always worried about him.

One day, there were a lot of coronavirus patients in his hospital. My family and I kept praying for him to not get sick.

I hope coronavirus ends so that we can stop worrying about our loved ones.

Malak learning handwashing technique, Yemen
Malak receives training on how to hygienically wash her hands from CARE community worker, Samah

CARE and our partners are supporting people in 69 countries, including Yemen, to fight back against COVID-19. We’re providing hygiene kits, clean water and nutritious food to families and promoting safety and hygiene awareness to help people protect themselves against coronavirus and help communities prevent the spread of the virus.

In Yemen, CARE community health worker, Samah, taught Malak and others key tips on keeping safe. Malak says:

She taught me how to correctly wash my hands and other coronavirus prevention measures. I learnt how to wash my hands in the correct way, to put distance between me and other people and to cover my mouth and nose with a mask. Since then I’ve been teaching my friends how to wash their hands correctly.

Malak teaching friends handwashing technique, Yemen
Malak showing her friends how to wash their hands correctly

I am so proud of myself because I am spreading awareness. My friends are so happy about what I do. Now they also teach others.

We are all heroes. We can all defeat coronavirus with these simple little steps. Then we’ll go back to school and fulfil our dreams.

Malak doing schoolwork, Yemen
Malak continues to pursue her education despite schools closing because of the pandemic

Malak has high hopes for the future. She dreams of becoming an engineer one day and for her country, she said:

I hope war stops and we build huge schools and hospitals. And I wish that my country will become the most beautiful in the world.

Malak smiling, Yemen
Despite all the challenges that she and her family face, Malak has not lost hope

Around the world, CARE teams are working tirelessly to prevent the pandemic from setting back the progress that people and communities have made to overcome poverty. But at this critical time, unless we continue to support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, COVID-19 will push millions more people back into poverty. It will make it harder for them to get a job or earn an income, to feed their families, or to realise their rights to health, education, security and safety.

Please donate now: a gift today could help girls like Malak to achieve the future they deserve.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.