#1 Get informed
In the age of the internet, it’s not hard to find information when you need it. But not all information is created equal. As much as certain images of buzz words may draw you in, it’s important to get the reality of what is going on. That way, you can better evaluate what the most pressing needs are rather than be distracted by something secondary.
Though Yemen has had various conflicts throughout its history, the current humanitarian crisis can be traced to the interruption of Abdo Rado Mansour Hadi’s presidency by ex-President Abdallah Saleh, his allied forces and the Houthis. All invaded the capital in 2014 and led the Hadi government into Saudi Arabia in exile.
The following year a Saudi-led Coalition of ten member states conducted an air campaign on the country. Today, the Houthis largely control the north-west region, which includes the country’s capital, Sana’a. The Yemeni government is located in the southern region of the country. As of today, there are dozens of differing factions in conflict in all regions.
According to UNICEF more than 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 12 million children. Starvation, lack of access to healthcare and education are among just the few issues that millions of Yemenis are facing today. And with recent closures due to COVID-19, these resources are becoming even harder to access.
Learn more about the crisis in Yemen from these trustworthy sources below.
#2 Post on social media
Though we often use social media to share our personal lives and distract us from chores we would rather not do, social media can also be a great tool to spread awareness about issues we care about. In fact, it is one of the greatest tools of our time to quickly disseminate information and get people on board with a movement.
According to Pew Research Center, some of the largest social movements started as hashtags on Twitter. These include the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo and #MAGA. Not only that, an estimated 50% of Americans have been civically active on social media within the past year. According to Forbes, an increasing number of younger people get their news from social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
This means that when you share on social media, people are listening. And real change is not only possible, it’s been proven to work.
#3 Participate in awareness campaigns
If you are unsure of where to start, it is always useful to start with using the search “tags” feature on Instagram or Twitter and inputting “Yemen.” Some of the most popular hashtags being used today are #yemen, #yemencrisis, #yemencantwait and #saveyemen. All of these hashtags will lead you to some of the biggest humanitarian organizations along with other local groups and individuals who are spreading awareness to help.
Once you follow these hashtags, it will help you keep updated on what the latest issues are and how people are helping. This will help your advocacy to be relevant and more effective.
#4 Be consistent
Okay, so you’ve followed the most important hashtags, posted several posts to your many followers and perhaps even donated to a few causes. Are you done?
The humanitarian answer would be no.
Unfortunately, as with any issue in the news, humanitarian issues also get swept to the way-side when, for whatever reason, they are no longer in favor. But make no mistake that these issues have not actually disappeared.
This is where utilizing your social media expertise comes into play. You don’t need to wait for a popular hashtag to be created in order to continue to bring awareness to an issue. You can create your own. You can also keep up with non profits and news agencies that do follow the crisis in Yemen, no matter what the popular news cycle focus.
As with all humanitarian crises, when one issue is more or less resolved there is often something waiting at the tail end. This is why it is important to be consistent in your advocacy and evolve your passion to help with the next pressing issue. Following hashtags, organizations and news websites is easy, costless and extremely helpful. Posting as well.
As long as there is a will there is a way. And the people of Yemen are counting on you to give them the way.