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Malak, 5, gets her curiosity back

Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation
Jordan Syria

Five-year-old Malak is a curious and independent child who likes nothing more than walking round the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with her father Houdey. But in December 2015 she was at home in Syria with her brother and sisters when the room they were in took a direct hit during an air strike.

Malak, 5, using parallel bars, Jordan

© Elisa Fourt/HI

Say HI to an extraordinary child. Say hello to Malak.

Five-year-old Malak is a curious and independent child who likes nothing more than walking round the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with her father Houdey.

On 12th December 2015 she was at home, eating sweets with her brother and sisters when the room they were in took a direct hit during an air strike in Syria.

One of Malak’s legs was fractured, the other blown off. Her brother was severely burned and blinded; the youngest, just 8 months old, died in a hospital on the Jordanian border.

Five months on from the day the family’s lives were turned upside down, they are still shaken. But little Malak is making remarkable progress.

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HI physiotherapist Mohammed explains, “The first time I met her, Malak was still in shock. She was crying all the time and she wouldn’t talk to anyone but her parents. I asked my colleague, a psychologist, to help me through the first sessions. I wanted to help Malak relax and to win her trust. She slowly began to cry less and to let us into her life.”

After weeks of rehabilitation, our team took Malak’s measurements and fitted her with a prosthesis that enabled her to walk again.

Today Malak happily kicks a ball around with Mohammed as she gradually gets used to using her new leg, finding it hilarious every time he misses a kick.

“When I see her smiling now, I’m so proud of the progress she has made” says her dad Houdey. “Malak is a lot more independent now and she enjoys life much more. She likes walking around the camp with me. She watches what’s going on around her and she’s really curious. Being able to go out, to walk, it helps her mentally too.”

Date published: 00/00/00

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Disabled and injured people often find themselves isolated, left behind and struggling to access education and essential services.

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