- Charitable Mission
The Society raises funds for good causes in Yemen, often relating to health and education. It is currently supporting the medical studies of three female Soqotri students at the University of Hadhramaut in Mukalla, and has previously funded the postgraduate studies of a Soqotri doctor in Tropical Paediatrics at the University of Liverpool. Its most recent donations have been to the Yemen Crisis Appeal, and the supply of equipment for the laboratory of the Zubaid Health Unit in the al-Dhala Governorate. It has also provided funds to the Ras Marbat Eye Clinic in Aden, the Soqotra Training Centre in Hadiboh, the Yemen Education & Relief Organisation in Sana'a, and neonatal equipment at a health unit in Shaykh Othman, Aden among many others.
The Society is committed to delivering support directly to organisations in Yemen whose objectives are aligned with its charitable status, and can offer advice to individuals who might wish to make donations for the benefit of Yemenis.
- Educational Mission
As part of its mission to inform the British public on Yemen, the Society awards an Annual Academic Grant to assist with academic study relating to the country. Applications to the Hon. Secretary are normally expected by the end of March each year. Since 2010 the Society has made available £3,500 to seven scholars for a variety of studies on Yemen.
In January 2013 the Society, in collaboration with the London Middle East Institute at SOAS, organised the first conference on Yemen in the UK for more than a decade. Under the tittle Yemen: Challenges for the Future the conference attracted more than 350 academics, policy makers, diplomats, development workers, journalists and a large number of Yemenis from the UK and abroad. Over two days forty speakers discussed topics ranging from domestic and international politics, to social policy, migration and culture.
Drawing on a selection of papers presented at the conference, the edited volume Why Yemen Matters: A Society in Transition was published by SAQI in February 2014 providing innovative analysis of the country's major crises. The book has already become essential reading for anyone who wants to know where the future of Yemen lies after the 2011 youth uprising.
- Cultural Mission
Over the past decade the Society has supported cultural activities such as the Yemen Festival in 1997 and 2000, sponsored ‘Visions of Yemen’, an exhibition of paintings by Yemeni and British artists. The Society contributed to the success of the British Museum’s major exhibition in 2002 entitled: ‘The Queen of Sheba: Treasures from Ancient Yemen’ by arranging an exhibition of photographs taken by Freya Stark and sponsoring a display of photographs from the Museum of Mankind archives. The Society later arranged for the Freya Stark collection to be transported to Yemen for display in the Say'un Museum.
In 2004 the Society contributed for the second time to the ‘Music of the Diaspora’ festival with financial assistance for a group of Yemeni musicians to play in London and Cardiff. Individual musicians have also been sponsored to play at seminars and conferences in the UK. It has also sponsored a visit of Welsh musicians and craftsmen to Yemen, the recruitment of British teachers to work in Yemen, and photographic exhibitions, publications, and films relating to Yemen.