My name is Reem Bin-Humam, and I was born in a small town at the costal side of Hadhramout province in Yemen, called Ghail Ba-Wazir. I was raised in Saudi Arabia, where I completed my compulsory education. During my last years in high school, I was passionate about improving the nutritional awareness in Yemen. Since then, I have always wanted to be involved in bringing Yemen out of the health crisis it faces, especially after the ongoing war and the unstable conditions. In 2017, after two years of working hard to get a scholarship, I was accepted by the Hadramout Foundation to study Nutrition and Community Health at the University of Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Malaysia. In 2019, Hadramout Foundation gave me the chance to transfer to Washington, D.C. to pursue my education.
I am currently a senior Nutrition and Dietetics student at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). I have chosen to be at this university because it is the only one in the area that provides a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) for undergrad students. A DPD program is a program that is accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) to fulfill the educational requirements as the first step to be a registered dietitian. I am expecting to graduate by Fall 2021. After that, I am planning to apply for a dietetic internship, then sit for the registration exam to be a registered dietitian.
Being at the capital of the nation means that I am surrounded by many opportunities and networks to achieve my goals. During my stay in Washington, DC, I am using my free time to attend health-related conferences to keep myself updated with the latest topics and to build a good network. I have so far volunteered with national programs and organizations to relieve hunger and provide nutritional education; these include SNAP-Ed, 4-H, and the Food Bank. I am also working with a group of the foundation’s female students on a project to empower young women in the rural areas in Hadhramout to complete their compulsory education. I am hoping that my experience and education abroad will equip me with the skills I need to be one of the figures who can benefit the Yemeni society, improve the health system, and relieve hunger.