“I feel happy, content, and hopeful again”



“I feel happy, content, and hopeful again


Ms. Fatima Abdullah Al Yamani, 64 years old, from Yemen


Ms. Fatima Abdullah Al Yamani, a 64-year-old Yemeni, worked as a home economics teacher back in Yemen, where she lived with her husband and two sons. She says, “I used to love and enjoy my job a lot. I had a busy life with my family and my job, and doing a lot of activities, such as soap making, field farming, sewing workshops, beekeeping workshops, and training of businesswomen.

About 6 years ago, my life turned upside down; my husband and sons died during the war in Yemen, which led to me leaving the school in which I worked for 30 years due to the war and the prevailing circumstances there, and moving to Jordan. It wasn’t easy for me to absorb all the changes and adapt to them; leaving work, losing my source of income, losing my loved ones, and being deeply saddened by the passing of my dear husband and sons. My mental health began to deteriorate day after day and I was suffering very difficult conditions, this was perhaps the most difficult time of my life, as I had never lived through such a mental state before.

I stayed in this bad psychological state for a long time until I began to lose hope of getting out of it until a team of volunteers from Zarqa working in one of the programs of the Institute of Family Health funded by HelpAge International contacted me and explained the objective of the program and the services they provide. They filled out my information to get in touch with me and follow up on my mental health.

So I decided to begin the medical follow-up in their specialized clinics since I developed diabetes after the war, and indeed, I went and started monitoring my blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and received valuable medical advice from the nurse and the doctor there. And after several follow-up visits and receiving several services at the medical clinic, I was invited to participate in the support sessions for older people. I thought about it and decided to go in the hope of finding something that would change my life, meeting new people, changing my daily routine, and getting out of the rut.

After attending the first support session for older people and getting to know the group, I felt a beautiful sense of joy and relief as they brought back memories of how I enjoyed life before. After carrying out the session’s activities, I decided to go back to the activities that I had been doing before as I felt motivated again! Being among a group of older supporters and those in charge of the program, I do not doubt that they will not hesitate to extend the necessary support and to provide encouragement.

"I realize now that life won’t end and that hope will always be restored when we have our friends around us and when we meet new friends, and that when we break a problem into small little problems, they will be solved more easily. When I attended the first session and met with the group, they left a deep impact on me and I felt great emotional comfort as if I had pulled my problem out of me, placed it in front of me, and with time began to deal with it differently. Consequently, I could discuss my problem with others smoothly. I no longer feel the weight of the problem inside me nor do I spend my time overthinking it as I did before”.

I hope that these activities for older people will continue as they have a great positive impact on older people and that such an opportunity will be given to everyone who has gone through difficult experiences and needs the support of those around them.

The creation of this platform was possible through the support of German Humanitarian Assistance, Aktion Deutschland Hilft and NAK-KArITATIV.