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Marib-Yemen- Nusaibah, a 14-year-old girl was forced to flee the conflict with her family for the second time from Al Jawf Governorate to Al Mail Camp for displaced persons in Marib City where she struggled to escape an imminent marriage.

Following repeated displacement leading to the loss of property and livelihood, Nusaibah’s family was exhausted and was desperate to make ends meet.

“In these harsh conditions, my father started talking about marrying me off for money to meet part of the family’s needs. I rejected and in turn had to face the painful consequences,” tells Nusaibah.

Under the threat of hunger and to reduce the burden on the family, Nusaibah’s father suggested to marry her to his friend who was ready to pay whatever the family would ask for. For Nusaibah, this was shocking and a cruel end to her childhood and her dreams. Despite the incentives the father used to convince his daughter to accept the marriage proposal, she continued resisting. As a result, Nusaibah faced increasing pressure, threats and emotional abuse from her family.

Looking for an escape from the cruelty of her home, Nusaibah sort refuge at a women and girls safe space supported by KSrelief. 

For Nusaibah’s the safe space presented an avenue for protection through prevention.  “This was the only place I could seek refuge and help in my calamity,” she stated. 

In the safe space, Nusaibah’s was provided with psychosocial support through a specialized psychologist to address the severe trauma she faced. Her father was also asked to come to the safe space. The team at the safe space spoke to him gently and meaningfully about the impact a marriage would have on a young girl like Nusaibah’s. They explained to him about the harmfulness and the risks of child marriage and the importance of Nusaibah’s dreams and realization of her rights. The team addressed the family’s economic situation through cash assistance, training and empowerment.

From a burden to a breadwinner

To further disentangle the family from the hardships faced, the safe space provided livelihood skills training in sewing children’s clothes for Nusaibah.

By selling her clothes, Nusaibah soon became the main income earner from her family.  After being perceived as a burden, Nusaibah was now the main breadwinner of the family. 

“My dream was to escape this marriage. Now, my dreams are to continue my studies, design and make clothes to support my family. With the help from this wonderful safe space, my hopes and dreams are becoming true,” Nusaibah concluded.                                                                                          

Generous support helps to protect women and girls

The support and protection services provided by the safe space not only prevented an imminent child marriage and its life-threatening risks but also helped the family to overcome some of the challenges faced by displacement and conflict.  

Since November 2020, with the generous support of KSrelief to eight women and girls safe spaces and two shelters in the governorates of Aden, Al Maharah, Hadharmout, Lahj, Marib and Shabwa nearly 80,000 women have received protection services, while some 3,000 women received training in livelihood skills to start income-generating activities to support themselves and their families.