Yemeni officials launched this year's summer camps programme last week which are intended to provide children with cultural and sports activities and safeguard them against terrorism and extremist ideology.
The programme will continue for 45 days and is being offered in 222 camps and youth centres spread over several directorates in Sanaa and most of the country's provinces. Officials adopted the slogan "Together to promote national identity and build youthful capacity and skills".
The summer camps and youth centres will be dedicated to teaching languages, computer skills, vocational training and sports, officials said.
"The goal of summer camps and youth centres is to take advantage of the free time students have and help them build a diverse skill set," Abdul Rahman al-Hassani, Youth and Sports Deputy Minister and Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Summer Camps, told Al-Shorfa.
The youth camps will focus on educating participants about the danger of terrorism and extremist ideology, "which transform our young people from productive contributors into bombs that destroy themselves and kill innocent people", al-Hassani said.
The camps will also focus on "reinforcing the concept and culture of dialogue, especially since these centres will bring together young people from different provinces in the country", he said.
Al-Hassani said the summer camps and centres were created as a joint effort between the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Education, and Endowments and Guidance.
"The efforts were combined in an integrated manner to train youths in sports and culture and dissuade them from extremism and fanaticism," he said.
Al-Hassani said Yemen is experiencing "difficult times with regard to fighting terrorism especially since the defeat of Ansar al-Sharia in Abyan who have used children in their war against innocent civilians".
He said terrorism became an "incurable disease" and called for "a national stand against this dangerous phenomenon through seminars, lectures, panel discussions, workshops and visits by scholars, preachers and educators to summer centres".
Sheikh Jabri Ibrahim, director general of guidance for the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance said the ministry "is collaborating with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education to educate youth about religion and introduce them to principles of Islam while fighting terrorism, extremism and fanaticism".
He said lectures and seminars at the summer centres in Sanaa and other provinces are being offered by the ministry. The aim of these sessions is to educate young males and females about the dangers of terrorism and extremism practiced by al-Qaeda, which uses children and youths to kill innocent people.
Ibrahim urged parents to enrol their children in the summer centres "so they can rest assured that they are in good hands while also boosting their skills in sports, sciences, cultural and religious awareness".
Mohammed Abdullah al-Fadhli, director of the Education Department for the Municipality of Sanaa, said, "The Ministry of Education is keen to establish summer centres because of their positive impact on students' mental and physical well-being through sports and cultural activities and also to teach them about the dangers of terrorism and being dragged into a deviant group such as al-Qaeda."
Al-Fadhli underscored the "importance of these summer centres in occupying young people's free time with useful work and activities instead of wandering the streets or becoming vulnerable to those that want to use them as human bombs".