Christine, 32, lives in West Pokot County, Kenya. A witness of the armed violence that has torn her region apart, she’s now one of Handicap International’s community peace representatives. Every day, she raises awareness in communities and helps women learn more about their rights.
On 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Handicap International is drawing attention to the fact that more than one in three women will experience violence in their lifetimes. Women with disabilities are at even greater risk. For 25 years, the organisation has worked in many countries to prevent such acts of violence and to provide medical and psychological assistance to victims.
For over a year, Handicap International’s teams have been providing displaced children in Iraqi schools with information on the risk of landmines and other explosive weapons. More than 100,000 people have taken part in these activities since the launch of the organisation’s emergency response in Iraq.
Alongside its local partners, Handicap International runs education sessions about the risks on Syrian territory, primarily for populations displaced by the violence. The intensity of the bombing leaves many areas contaminated with explosive remnants of war and, along with the use of mines and improvised explosive devices, means that civilians are exposed to the threat of explosions. Laurent Davy, Syria Desk Officer at Handicap International, explains why it is so important to raise the Syrian people’s awareness of this danger.
Civilians in Yemen are seriously affected by bomb attacks and the explosive remnants of war they leave behind, and by anti-personnel mines and improvised explosive devices acting as mines. Nearly 1,000 people were killed or injured by these barbaric weapons in 2015. As part of its response, Handicap International provides support to rehabilitation services in three health centres in Sana’a. More than 3,000 people received aid from the organisation between March and September 2016, most of them casualties of the conflict.
Salim, Iraq: “My heart stopped” 18/11/16
Salim left Jalawla, Iraq, with his family two years ago after the Islamic State group captured the city. As they fled, his son died and Salim had a heart attack. Since his return to Jalawla, Handicap International’s team monitors him and has provided him with physiotherapy sessions and psychosocial support.
Injured in one of Iraq’s many wars, Sabah had his leg amputated many years ago. When Jalawla was captured by the Islamic State group in 2014, he fled the city with his family. They returned to Jalawla in early 2016. Still traumatised by all he went through, Sabah follows psychosocial support sessions supported by one of Handicap International’s teams. The organisation has also provided him with mobility aids to make his life easier.
Over 55,000 people have been displaced since military operations to retake Mosul, Iraq began on the 17th October. Hasansham camp opened ten days ago and is already full: more than 10 000 internally displaced people have found refuge there.
More than 55,000 people have been displaced since military operations to retake Mosul began on the 17th October 2016. Several thousand of them now live in Khazer camp, 15 kilometres away from the frontline.
Since the launch of the Mosul offensive in Iraq, more than 55,000 people have been displaced. Handicap International’s teams will start providing assistance to vulnerable people in displacement areas, from next week.
Towards a mine-free Casamance 16/11/16
The threat of anti-personnel mines still hangs over the people of Casamance despite an end to the conflict in this region of Senegal. Handicap International has been running its current demining project since December 2015. After completing an initial operation in the village of Diagnon, the organisation is now clearing 20,000 square metres in Boutoute, on the outskirts of Ziguinchor, to free villagers from the danger of mines.
Handicap International is launching Growing Together, a project to give every child in the Thai refugee camps the right and the opportunity to be a child. Because being a child in a context of poverty and stress doesn’t come easy…
When I trip, my friends pick me up 14/11/16
Despite her situation, Hae Tar (9) realises she’s lucky. She has friends who accept her disability and who wait for her when she slowly navigates the bumpy paths of the refugee camp. But not all the children in the camp are that patient.
Twelve year old Saw is missing out on his childhood. Taking care of Kyan, his disabled younger brother, is a full time job without any opportunities to play. And for Kyan, the possibilities in the Thai refugee camp are even more restricted. Luckily, they have each other.
Julia is longing for a friend 14/11/16
"My daughter Julia (8 years old) has no friends. Other children don’t like to play with her because she’s too slow," says Sue. "The Handicap International rehabilitation centre is the only place where she can play and be herself."