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“My life completely changed”

Payam is 21 years old. She was born with only one kidney and various other medical issues. Because of her condition, Payam suffered most of her life from depression. A few months ago, a team from Handicap International reached out to her and helped her overcome her struggles.

 

Payam at work. | © Handicap International

“Before I met Handicap International’s team, my life was completely different” explains Payam, as she sits in front of her sewing machine. “I didn’t work and I was quite depressed. I was sitting at home most of the time, thinking that I couldn’t even help my family for anything. The “Community Based Rehabilitation” (CBR) project made me believe in myself.  It made me smile again and realize that I could do a lot, despite my condition.”

The CBR project was created by the organization in April 2016. Its goal is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in Iraq, by improving their access to work, education and proper rehabilitation care. HI is building capacities of civil society and government who are actively contributing to achieving this goal. In Payam’s case, this meant getting her to work. “ She wanted to be a tailor. We provided her with a sewing machine, so that she could start her own business”, explains Truska, one of the project’s volunteers. “Payam is very ambitious and despite her medical condition, she was really willing to help her family financially.”

The object made a tremendous change in Payam’s life. “Since I started working, I am always positive. Sewing is keeping me busy and gave meaning to my day-to-day routine. I hope that the organization will be able to help many more people like me.” As the visit is close to an end, Truska adds: “All we want for Payam is to continue on this good path. We also want her to interact with more people now, so we put her in touch with Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) in the area. Our team will keep supporting and following her but we’re already very happy with her progress.”

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