Go to main content

A better access to work and services for persons with disabilities

Last year, Handicap International launched a project with the ambition to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the Iraqi society. The organization’s teams are working hard to improve the lives of persons with disabilities, by strengthening their capacities, facilitating their access to work and making sure they are provided with proper rehabilitation care.

Mossoul_Testimony_CBR

Shawkat. | © E. Fourt / Handicap International

Ara, 8 years old, was born with cerebral palsy. Difficult access to rehabilitation centres in Halabja (Iraqi Kurdistan) prevented him for many years to benefit from physiotherapy sessions. In 2016, in the frame of the Handicap International’s new project, one of the organization’s teams visited him and his family. “They offered to assist my son with rehabilitation sessions” explains Zhino, his mother. “They also assisted me in dealing with my depression. When Handicap International reached out to us, my hope came back and my life changed for the better. I didn’t feel alone anymore. Through the sessions, they taught me how to take care of Ara and how not to worry about the way his disease might be perceived in our community. It helped me tremendously.”

“Handicap International’s project aims at promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres of the society” explains Tomas Bokor, Development Operations Coordinator. “Not only do we provide health services to the persons with disabilities who need it, we also want to make sure that they can access education, work, or social activities. Our initiative goes beyond providing rehabilitation services. We want the people we assist to be happy and to feel like they have their place in the society.”

Empowerment

Not too far from Ara’s home, in a village near Halabja, we meet Shawkat. His story is probably the best example of what the organization is trying to achieve with this new project. Ten years ago, the Kurdish man lost a leg. “On that day, I had gone farming. I don’t remember much, just the moment I stepped on a landmine”, he says. A few years after the accident, Handicap International provided Shawkat with a prosthesis and rehabilitation care. More recently, the organization came to him with a new opportunity. “With this project, we want to make sure that persons with disabilities are included everywhere” explains Yagdar, Handicap International’s Deputy Operations Coordinator. “Shawkat is a very active man so we asked him if he wanted to join his village’s council.” Since then, the Kurdish man seems to have found happiness again, despite his tragic past.

“The organization helped me get back on my feet, but I had yet to find a purpose. I had never thought of joining my village’s council before but I am glad they encouraged me to do it. I am proud to be the voice of persons with disabilities in my community now.”

Work opportunities

Handicap International is also helping persons with disabilities and their families in finding work opportunities. “Six years ago, my father, Ali, had a stroke” explains Osama when we meet him. Since then, Ali has not been able to provide for his family. The father of 4 lives in such a remote place that he could not access any rehabilitation facility to regain some of his mobility. For the past years, Ali had been struggling financially. A few months ago, Handicap International’s team heard about his situation and visited the family in their home. “We decided to help Osama get a job, so that he can help meet his father’s and the family’s needs” explains one of the Handicap International representatives.

Payam. © Handicap International

Where we work

Read more

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: HI assesses the needs of displaced people
© Google Map
Emergency Explosive weapons

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: HI assesses the needs of displaced people

Humanity & Inclusion is assessing the humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan that has led to a large displacement of the population.

COVID-19: HI continues to assist people affected by the epidemic
© HI
Emergency Health

COVID-19: HI continues to assist people affected by the epidemic

Humanity & Inclusion's teams are still working to inform and help people affected by the COVID-19 crisis in many countries around the world.

1982 - 2020 : Innovation is part of HI's DNA
© J. Fardoulis / HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

1982 - 2020 : Innovation is part of HI's DNA

On 24 September, the European Union Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid honoured Humanity & Inclusion (HI) with two awards. On that occasion, HI recounts its 38 years of innovation from 1982 to 2020. 

FOLLOW US