Sarah Shamsan is a nutritional manager for the International Rescue Committee in Yemen. The nation has been torn apart by war and famine which rages on today. Despite Shamsan being pregnant and repeatedly encouraged to evacuate, she refuses to leave her home country until she has done all she can to help the many starving children there. The United Nations is calling the situation in Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” as it has already claimed the lives of 85,000 children, according to Today.
Shamsan waited years to have children, hoping that eventually the war would end and Yemen would once again be a safe place to raise young ones. As time went on, she realized that she couldn’t put her life on hold in hopes of something that might not ever come. When she realized she was pregnant with a daughter, Shamsan was grateful but also fearful. She knew she was bringing a child into a very dangerous world. “As a woman you are trapped between the war that is not ending and you actually want to be a mother and to feel that good feeling,” she said.
29.3 million People in need of humanitarian assistance: 22.2 million Children with acute malnutrition from 6 months to 5 years: 1.8 million Pregnant or nursing
women with acute malnutrition: 1.1 million pic.twitter.com/qqgBzWzfLR
— ✒???? Myriam Al Nasseri???????? ➖ Ⓜ×1 (@f9hiMNCLFeo39HS) December 12, 2018
Even though she has reached the seventh month of her pregnancy, she hasn’t ceased her work. She tends to 40-50 starving children each day, offering them a nutritional supplement called Plumpy’Nut, the only meal they are likely to get that day. For many mothers, this supplement is all they have to feed their children. The war led to massive job loss, a lack of food, and extremely unsafe living conditions. “Children are suffering,” Shamsan said. “Daily they are eating one meal and daily if they are not finding anything to eat they are going to rubbish for food.”
Although Shamsan knows she will not be able to save every child, she feels she would be letting her nation down if she left now. While so many are going without food, she considers herself lucky that both her and her husband are still employed. The numbers of those in need are staggering, but she does what she can by helping one person at a time.
Now many around the world are deeming Shamsan a hero for her tireless efforts of selflessness. Every day that she continues to leave her home and enter the dangerous streets of Yemen she is risking her life. But to Shamsan, this is the least she can do. “I am trying to cope with the situation and do my best now to prepare for this child,” she said. “I know it will not be an easy job to do and to be a mother but I will do my best.”