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Help a child victim of war: Hala’s story

This Christmas, please join us in bringing hope and vital support to the innocent victims of war – children like Hala who are facing unimaginable loss. Please donate today

Hala, 4, with HI's team, Yemen.

© ISNA Agency / HI

Four-year-old Hala was playing in front of her home in Yemen with her eight-year-old cousin, Erada, when a plane dropped a shell on the neighbourhood. 

Badly injured in the attack, the little girls were rushed to hospital but there was no choice - both girls had to have a leg amputated.

They were left deeply traumatised and Hala cried constantly. Destitute and in a state of shock, her family had to rely on the support of other patients to afford medicine and food for the girls.

"When I first met her, Hala was sad. She almost always cried. She was afraid of people and even other children," explains one of Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation team.

"We gave her psychological support, then gradually included her in activities for children. She started interacting with others and talking with them, exchanging toys. It took many months to do this."

"Then we made her a prosthesis. We are now teaching her to use it correctly, to familiarise herself with it, I should say... because at first Hala was afraid of it, which was very stressful for her. She categorically refused to walk with it. But since she loves balloons, we found a way to get her to walk using dozens of small balloons!"

Hala sitting with her prosthesis and a doll during a rehabilitation session in Yemen Hala sitting with her prosthesis and a doll during a rehabilitation session in Yemen Hala sitting with her prosthesis and a doll during a rehabilitation session in Yemen Hala sitting with her prosthesis and a doll during a rehabilitation session in Yemen

© ISNA Agency / HI

"At first, Hala couldn't walk," explains her mother. "However, the HI team immediately provided her with crutches and patiently made her do her exercises. They needed a lot of patience! And now she is just learning how to walk with her new prosthesis. She exhausted everyone during the process but she finally got back on her feet. She made a lot of progress."

Things are still not easy for young Hala. When she comes to the Rehabilitation Centre in Sana'a, she is often shy. She has difficulties expressing her emotions and she is still very affected by her experience. For example, she sometimes stares at other children and the way they move, then tries to touch their legs. Once she asked her mother to put nail polish on her feet. She's probably asking herself a lot of questions.

But, one year after this tragedy, Hala is gradually smiling again. And that's what matters most.

"I thank the members of the HI team," says her mother. "I really appreciate what they do for us. They transform my daughter's life and help her to overcome all the difficulties and accept her disability." 

(Some names may have been changed to protect identities.)

URGENT CHRISTMAS APPEAL
HELP A CHILD VICTIM OF WAR

Hala is just one of thousands of innocent children in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria who have been severely injured and traumatised by wars they cannot understand.

For a child injured in conflict, the care Humanity & Inclusion’s teams provide is life-changing. But we can’t do it without you.

This Christmas, please join us in bringing hope and vital support to the innocent victims of war – children like Hala who are facing unimaginable loss.