Only founded in 1990, the Republic of Yemen is a country in touch with its history. The reported home of the queen of Sheba, Yemen is still strongly traditional, with tribal affiliations causing flares of tension. A rebellion along the country’s northwest border with Saudi Arabia has displaced tens of thousands of people, and recent events have brought al-Qaeda’s activities there to the world’s attention. While Yemen struggles to bring these elements under control, other challenges remain. Only 30 percent of its women can read, and it has one of the highest population growth rates in the world, meaning that scarce resources will only get scarcer.

The Grassroots Theater Initiative (GTI) is designed to bring theater to villages as a means of community mobilization in a country where storytelling is a central part of the culture. Building on the methodology of Brazilian theater activist Augusto Boal, IRD is using plays to reach the heart of local issues and promote community participation and activism, and contribute to increased stability in rural areas of Yemen.


Community Services and Assistance to Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Yemen

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world and consistently ranks at the bottom... more

Grassroots Theater Initiative

The Grassroots Theater Initiative introduced theater founded on the “theater of the... more

Improving the Health of Vulnerable Communities in Rural Yemen

The health of 30,000 people in vulnerable communities in the Hodeidah Governorate o... more

Increased Access to Potable Water & Improved Hygiene Practices in Yemen

With an estimated 3 million people lacking good-quality WASH facilities and service... more

Success Stories

Assisting Refugees in Yemen

An estimated 200–250 refugee families have been displaced by the current vi... more

Somali Refugees in Yemen Conduct Landmark Elections

IRD, the Government of Yemen, and UNHCR successfully coordinated the first... more

Supporting Urban Refugees in Yemen

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world and consistently ranks at the bottom... more