When Mohammad, a Handicap International physiotherapist, enters the caravan where Arjwan lives, the little girl looks up at him shyly with her bright blue eyes. Wearing the orthopaedic shoes she was given by the organisation, she sits down beside him. It is only when Mohammad uncovers the little girl's leg that what happened to her becomes more obvious. Her leg is marked with several large scars, evidence of the violent attack she survived.
"That day in October 2013, Arjwan was with her parents and her one-year-old sister, in Deraa," says her grandmother who now takes care of her. "I had already fled to Jordan. That evening, people in the camp told me that my family's neighbourhood in Syria had been bombed. Fourteen people had been killed, including Arjwan's mother and little sister. They also told me that my granddaughter had been urgently transported into Jordan to receive treatment. I immediately rushed to the hospital to be with her. When I saw her I didn't recognise her... her head was partially burned and split open, and she had a serious injury to her leg. I was devastated."
Handicap International is helping Arjwan to get back on her feet. The little girl doesn't speak much, still severely affected by everything she has been through. However, she completes all of her physiotherapy exercises with great care and attention during her rehabilitation sessions. "She's extremely clever," adds her grandmother, looking at her fondly. "I was a primary school teacher in Syria, so I teach her new things every day. She can count to ten in English and one hundred in Arabic. Soon, she'll also go to the camp school. Our life here is complicated, but I get up every day with one focus: do everything possible now, to give Arjwan a brighter future."