The day after Nepal was hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Saturday 25 April, Wesley Pryor, Handicap International’s rehabilitation adviser, travelled to assess the situation in Gorkha, an isolated region very close to the epicentre. He travelled in conjunction with International Medical Corps.
Handicap International’s teams, already present and active on the ground in response to the disaster, will be joined from Monday by several emergency specialists, to evaluate and meet the immediate needs. The first aid distributions were already made on Saturday by the organisation, which is also providing care to injured people.
On Saturday morning, 25th April, a powerful earthquake struck Nepal. So far the disaster has killed more than 1,000 people. Nepal has declared a state of emergency, and Handicap International teams are already on the ground, delivering direct aid and evaluating the need for a large-scale emergency intervention.
Sumaira, 8 years old, was born with the congenital development disorder Spina Bifida . Despite her parents' best efforts to provide her with care, Sumaira is unable to stand up and walk unaided. Before she started receiving care from Handicap International, she was fully dependent on her parents for all her day-to-day needs.
Despite the hopes raised by a sharp drop in the number of contaminations in January, the Ebola virus epidemic is not over yet. Bruno Leclercq, Handicap International’s Field Programme Director in Sierra Leone and Liberia, talked to us about the problems still facing the region and the exceptional commitment shown by the people of Sierra Leone.
- Sierra Leone
Seng Ly, 52, lost the use of her legs in 1989 after she was hit by an anti-tank mine. At the time, she was living in a camp for Cambodian refugees in Thailand. More than twenty years on, Handicap International is still at her side.
After recently returning from Sierra Leone, where she coordinated Handicap International’s emergency operations, Nathalie Derrien talks to us about her experiences and the situation in the country worst affected by the epidemic.
- Sierra Leone
In the wake of the conflict in Iraq, more than 2 million Iraqis have left their homes and everything they own behind them. A large proportion has suffered physical and psychological violence. Over 900,000 of them have been displaced to Iraqi Kurdistan, notably in the governorates of Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah. Olivia Nevissas is one of the staff members deployed by Handicap International to help the families made most vulnerable by the crisis.
Five years ago a serious fall changed Arumugam Pakkiyam’s life forever. Arumugam, now 60, was left paralysed.
- Sri Lanka
Roqaya, 14, was very seriously wounded by a shelling in Syria. Both of her legs had to be amputated at the knee. She didn’t know if she’d ever be able to walk again. But, less than a year later, she’s walking independently again thanks to the donations of our supporters and UK Aid.
Supporters and representatives of Handicap International UK delivered a petition at Downing Street yesterday urging the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to ensure that UK Aid helps save the lives and limbs of civilians affected by conflict. An incredible 61,520 people added their voices to the petition online and at events around the UK to raise awareness about the victims of landmines and unexploded bombs.
The Syria conflict has disrupted the lives of 12 million people, of which 3.3 million have sought refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.
“Before, people stared at me because I was disabled, now they look at me because I am a good dancer” 02/03/15
‘For years I’ve been watching dance programs on television and I always thought I’d never be able to dance myself’, says Reema (12) proudly, while she decorates herself with a traditional Nepalese dance outfit. Since she received a leg prosthesis from Handicap International, the always-smiling girl is realizing her wildest dream: she shines in dance competitions.