When Handicap International first encountered 17-year-old Nyaduol in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwest Kenya, she was alone. She had fled South Sudan to escape war, and could barely walk on an ill-fitting, artificial leg. Her leg had been amputated at nine months of age after being badly burned in a fire. She desperately needed treatment for her leg, and a safe place to stay.
Nyaduol grew up in a rural, poor region of South Sudan, where there were no rehabilitation services available. Growing up without crutches or a prosthesis, she spent her days at home, unable to go outside or attend school. When she was 12, her amputated leg became badly infected, so her family sent her to the capital city of Juba to seek hospital care. Staying with an older cousin, Nyaduol was finally able to receive treatment, rehabilitation, and ultimately a prosthesis.
In 2013, the civil war broke out in Juba, so Nyaduol’s cousin’s wife brought her to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. But Nyaduol was left behind—and has had no contact with her family ever since.
In June 2014, Handicap International staff working in the camp discovered Nyaduol, and brought her to a rehabilitation center in Nairobi. With a new prosthesis and rehabilitation sessions, Nyaduol was able to walk with ease. When she was ready, Handicap International sent Nyaduol to a boarding school in the refugee camp, so she could finally go to school.
Today, Nyaduol is surrounded by friends and loves to play volleyball at school. Her future is uncertain, but for now she is in a safe place where she can learn and grow. She dreams of returning home, and finding her family.
More than 180,000 refugees from 13 countries live in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, which was established in 1992. Handicap International has been working in the camp since April 2014 to protect the most vulnerable individuals, particularly people with disabilities. Staff provide rehabilitation sessions, distribute mobility aids, and fit people for prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces in partnership with the Kangemi rehabilitation center in Nairobi.
This project is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.