Abdallah’s new life
Abdallah is a 14-year-old boy who fled Syria with his family. He suffers from cerebral palsy and requires special care, often difficult to access in Libya. Handicap International provided him with specific equipment that also helps his family in caring for him.
Abdallah with his father and two brothers | Handicap International
Abdallah's parents are Syrians and sought refuge in Libya in 2004. His father has managed to find work in the building trade; his mother is a housewife. Abdallah has two brothers and one sister; they were all born in Libya.
Abdallah was born with cerebral palsy, which leads to mental disorders, mobility difficulties and epileptic seizures. The more he grows up, the more his condition gets worse. It is challenging for his parents to provide the care he needs, especially with expensive medical services.
Handicap International was contacted by phone by Abdallah's father who was looking for some form of support. The HI team met the family in May 2017. The association provided mobility aids, including a special wheelchair and a toilet chair. Prior to HI's intervention, Abdallah was suffering from pressure sores and it was difficult for his parents to help him go to the bathroom. The association also informed the family about the health centers where they could get the care needed for their son's health.
“Refugee or displaced families find themselves in a totally new environment and often do not know the health or humanitarian services they can access, or do not have the financial or physical means to access needed assistance. A person with a disability, for example, may find themselves without the support they need, having lost the mobility equipment that allowed them to move about or living with old equipment in need of replacement. A caregiver, who is most often a family member, may be overwhelmed by the situation, especially when having to care for a recently injured or disabled person. Our role is to identify the most vulnerable and excluded persons with disabilities and injuries, through outreach activities as well as through referrals from other organizations, in Tripoli, Misrata and surrounding cities. After conducting personalized assessments, we can provide physical therapy sessions and psychosocial support, and provide the necessary mobility equipment and inform them about other external services - humanitarian aid or through the Libyan health service - where they can find help that they need. This personalized approach and referral work often changes the daily lives of families." explains Cat Smith, head of the Libyan programs.
Since December 2016, Handicap International has set up mobile teams to meet displaced persons and refugees in Tripoli and its periphery to identify vulnerable persons including people with disabilities, to provide, where necessary, the equipment they need (wheelchairs, crutches ...), rehabilitation or psychological assistance, or refer them to existing humanitarian or Libyan services. In parallel, Handicap International provides technical support to 11 health centers. Since December 2016, Handicap International has assessed and provided assistance to 1,850 beneficiaries.