A new crowdfunder has been launched by Jackie Saleh to bring her daughter back from the Yemen to Cardiff.
Jackie’s daughters were abducted in 1986 by her ex-husband and taken to the Middle East. She spent years searching for them but didn’t speak to her daughters again for 15 years, when they managed to get in contact with her.
Their father, who had abducted them, had told the daughters their mother was dead but they tried to contact her anyway.
One of Jackie’s daughters sadly died in childbirth, and she’s lost contact with another daughter.
But Safia is desperate to return to her mother.
She’s currently living just outside the Yemeni town of Hodeidah, which is being bombed by Saudi Arabian warplanes as they battle the Houthi rebels that took over much of the country.
Safia is a British citizen but has been told by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office that there is no evacuation procedure for British citizens in Yemen.
With the British Government unwilling to provide any help Jackie turned to her Assembly Member, Neil McEvoy, to launch a crowdfunder to bring Safia home. Jackie plans to raise £6000 to pay for the flights back to Cardiff.
Jackie Saleh said:
“I need to get Safia out. She’s a British citizen but the Foreign Office have said they're unable to do anything to help her. The only way for Safia to come home is by raising the money to pay for her flights.
“Getting out of the Yemen is very difficult. The flights are really expensive and I don't have the money to pay for them by myself. I'm already spending all my money on food and medicine for Safia. I really need some people to help me.
“This is every mother's worst nightmare. My child is living in a terrible war zone and just wants to come home. I’ve already lost her once and don’t want to lose her for good. Please help me.”
Safia's living conditions in Yemen
Neil McEvoy AM, whose grandfather is from the Yemen, said:
“It’s really appalling the Foreign Office won’t do anything to help Safia. I like to think that the one thing you can rely on the British Government to do is try to get you out of a war zone. But they won’t.
“That means it’s up to the community to rally together and help Jackie and Safia. It’s really hard to get out of the Yemen. The flights are very irregular and expensive. You just get the call and then you have to leave immediately for the airport. Then you can fly to Egypt and get a flight to the UK.
“Jackie and Safia have been through so much and I really hope they can be reunited.”