Syria: "I want to play with my dolls"

Help Syrians with injuries and disabilities

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As soon as he sees Malake enter the rehabilitation center, a smile spreads across Khanoum’s face. The physical therapist has been helping the little girl recover from her accident for the past several weeks. Injured three years ago, Malake was only recently able to access treatment.

“We live in the countryside,” Abou Abdo, her father, explains. “And there aren’t many health centers near us.”

As he makes himself comfortable in the rehabilitation room, Abou Abdo recalls his daughter’s accident: “It was in March 2013 and she went to the market with her grandfather to buy food. The market was bombed and lots of people were killed and maimed. The ambulances arrived and Malake was rushed to the hospital. She had shrapnel lodged in her arm and had to be operated on. She was kept under observation for two days and then sent home.”

Adou Abdo, who was also injured two years ago, explains the problems his daughter has faced since her accident. “Malake hasn’t been able to do simple things like write with her right hand for three years.”

Malake adds, “I’d like to eat by myself also. And I want to play with my dolls again.”

“When we met her, Malake was still suffering from her injuries,” Khanoum explains. “In these sessions, we’ll work to strengthen her muscles and reduce the problems with her elbow joint. We’re doing everything we can to make sure Malake regains her mobility and can do simple everyday tasks without assistance from her parents.”

Like Malake, 8.4 million Syrian children (over 80%), in Syria or in exile, have been affected by the conflict in their country. Since early 2013, Handicap International has deployed rehabilitation teams and partners in Syria, where they've provided more than 25,000 physical therapy sessions to people with injuries and disabilities. Learn more about our work in Syria.