The Arwa Fellowship for Yemeni women in civil society and public service is a semester- or year-long individual, non-resident fellowship for women working in civil society or the public sector in Yemen.

Fellows will receive a grant which can be used for training, university tuition, or other professional development expenses, or to fund a specific capacity-building initiative. Fellows will work closely with YPP staff and volunteer advisors to design their initiatives or otherwise advance their civil society/public service careers.

Fellows will also assist with the YPP’s in-country programs, or conduct research and analysis in support of the YPP’s work on United States policy toward Yemen. We will tailor each fellowship to match the interests and skills of the fellow. Fellows will receive cash grants totaling $1,000-$5,000 over the course of a semester, or $2,000-$10,000 over the course of a full year.

“Working with the YPP has been a life-saving opportunity; not only for me, but also for some close friends of mine who depend on my monthly support. In a war-torn country, work is a blessing. With rampant unemployment, and the government cutting off salaries to civil servants, I could not otherwise cover my medications and daily expenses. For women in Yemen, the challenge is double. Without the YPP’s support, I would not have been able to pursue a Master’s degree during the civil war. The YPP opened the door for me, encouraged me, and gave me the opportunity to pursue my interests and pay my university's tuition. Working with YPP was a chance to learn and enrich my potential. This fellowship has helped me to develop my critical thinking ability and given me a chance to contribute to the YPP's mission.”
—A.H., 2017 fellow


To be eligible for the Arwa Fellowship, applicants must be women currently working in civil society or public service. This includes employees of charitable organizations, think-tanks, other nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies. This fellowship is intended for women working and living in Yemen, but applications from Yemenis living outside of Yemen may be considered, so long as their work in some way benefits Yemeni citizens. Applicants from any governorate are welcome, but preference will be given to residents of Abyan, Aden, al-Baydha, al-Dhali’, Hadhramawt, al-Hudaydah, Lahj, al-Mahrah, Marib, Ta’iz, Sa’dah, and Soqotra governorates. Applicants must be proficient in English.

The application period for January 2018 fellowships is now closed.

  • Applications must be received by September 30, 2017.

  • Fellows will be notified by November 30, 2017.

  • Initial grant payments will be made in January 2018 or later, depending on need.

We understand that working with a foreign organization may pose risks for some Yemenis. We make all possible efforts to protect the identities of our fellows when necessary.

Meet our 2018 Arwa Fellows

We've selected three amazing women for the inaugural cohort of the Arwa Fellowship:

Reem Salem Bamhdy

Reem is a final-year medical student in Mukalla, in Hadhramawt Governorate. She plans to take several advanced, specialized medical courses in addition to her required studies. She also wants to attend training programs to prepare her to train other medical personnel. Her goal is to eventually build a community health clinic in a rural part of Hadhramawt, and to develop a telemedicine program so that rural patients can have access to medical experts overseas. In order to do all of this, she needs additional English-language training. 

I am now in my final year, so I need to prove my ability and knowledge of the English language by taking the TOEFL exam. I also need specialized cardiac medical courses such ECG, cardiac electric shocks, etc. I also want to get Training-of-Trainers (TOT) training in the health field.... I plan to finish my studies and complete training in my specialty and open my own clinic. 

Haifa Yousr Farij Muftah

Haifa is a medical student from the remote island of Socotra. She needs help to complete her medical training in the city of Mukalla on the mainland so she can become an OB/GYN and help women in isolated communities back home. Haifa currently volunteers with a local medical charity on the island, which only has one small hospital. Yemen has been engulfed in war throughout Haifa’s time in medical school. In addition to the disasters facing the rest of the country, Socotra has been devastated by two powerful cyclones. Haifa’s studies were cut short when al-Qaeda militants took control of Mukalla. Now that it’s safe to return, she says she’s eager to finish her degree.

I joined the College of Medicine in the Hadhramawt University of Science and Technology in 2012 and currently I’m level five, progressing to level six. My journey wasn’t easy, especially for a girl who grew up in Socotra, and the only way to travel from Socotra is by boats for two to four days.... With your support, I will reach my dream and become the first female doctor from Socotra Island!”

Abeer Mohammed Mohammed Ghamdhan

Abeer is a Yemeni woman from San’a, currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Malaysia Perlis, with a focus in the Social Communications research field. Abeer has worked with multiple civil society organizations and school programs, including the WE CAN Project. She served on her student council as the Cultural Supervisor for two years, and acted as the Program Manager for the Youth Center Organization. Arwa Fellowship funding will help Abeer complete her degree faster, without the need for a second job, so she can return to Yemen and put her skills and research to use for the good of the country.

“My research will help NGOs and education institutes in understanding the impact of social media on children’s development and communications with their families. Yemen. This work can provide an interface for both parents and NGOs that work with children, and help families to better know each other.”

Help fund the Arwa Fellowship

Help us empower Yemeni women by contributing to the Fund today! Your donations will go directly to our Arwa Fellows.