A unique foundation: Tutors 4 Yemen

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 During the pandemic, juniors Aimee Wadolowski, Alisha Ansari, Angelina Baicu and Maimuna Muntaha took the initiative to start a non-profit tutoring organization to raise money for those suffering in Yemen. They realized that many students were at an academic disadvantage this year due to the transition to remote learning. By offering tutoring services for six dollars per session, tutees receive the help that they need while supporting charities providing for Yeminis. 

Yemen is facing one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises as a brutal civil war rages on. According to UNICEF, over 24 million people are suffering due to the conflict, close to eighty percent of the population. Starting with the revolt against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011, the conflict quickly became worse when a coalition was sent by Saudi Arabia against Houthi forces in March of 2015. Now, the country has become a landscape of hardships for the children of Yemen. With no governmental aid, Yemenis need all the financial assistance they can get and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated their struggle. 

The girls said they wanted to generate more aid for impacted Yemenis by creating a system of their own. Aimee said, “Petitions were circling, and we signed all of those. And although this is a good way to help out, we felt that we could do more. Once we all became involved with one another and started talking about this project, it all went from there. So here we are.”

The Tutors 4 Yemen program aims to raise proceeds for the Yemen crisis by donating all profits to fundraisers and hiring volunteer tutors.  Funds go directly towards foundations such as the USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Save the Children, Project Hope, and Islamic Relief USA, dedicated to helping the Yemen Crisis. “We had a ton of work to do and many questions were up in the air about logistics that needed to be answered, specifically regarding the donation process. Eventually, we settled on a GoFundMe page and we chose which organizations to donate to that were located directly in Yemen,” Maimuna said.

Although their tutoring services are not free, many believe that they are reasonably priced at $6 for each hour long session. On average, high school level tutoring fees can range from $10 to over $100 hourly rates, which easily adds up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually. The founders of Tutors 4 Yemen, being high school students themselves, understand the struggle of not having excess money laying around. “We have a fairly flexible system when it comes to payments. We have another free alternative option too. We’re trying different things out because as we said, it’s all about accessibility,” Alisha said. 

Sebastian Cardena, a tutor and junior from Regis High School affirmed the organization’s positive attitude and said, Tutors 4 Yemen has been very understanding and flexible since the beginning. Whether it has been because of school or scheduling conflicts, the founders understand that there may be conflicts and are more than willing to work around that. They seem determined to find the best plan that can work for everyone.” 

“When we first started out, our focus was on getting tutors and offering them community service hours as a reward. Currently, we’re in the process of getting students for the program,” said Angelina, who handles their social media accounts. The founders use Instagram and their website to market their services. Their Instagram account currently has over four hundred followers and is still expanding. Social media plays a large role in promoting their organization and the recruitment of tutors and students, especially during this virtual era.

Although Tutors 4 Yemen is a fairly new organization, there are a variety of opportunities that can benefit both students and those suffering in Yemen. 

“We realize that we’re privileged to have roofs over our heads and to have access to all of these basic necessities that we often take for granted. With learning about the Yemen crisis, we knew we had to do something,” Alisha said. “Sitting around wasn’t an option. Even though we’re just four high school students with a small tutoring program, making an impact, no matter how small, is a success.” 

Art courtesy of  Tutors4Yemen