A helping hand to children with disabilities in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps

Rana is a single mother of triplets, two boys and a girl. Shortly after giving birth five years ago, Rana and her husband got divorced. Since then, Rana and her three children have been living at her parents’ house in one of the Palestinian camps in South Lebanon.

The house they all live in is very small, with just two rooms, and the road to it is very bumpy. Rana’s husband assists with the children’s expenses, but he is a daily worker and what he earns is barely sufficient for food.

When the triplets reached eight months, Rana noticed a difference in the lengths of Basel’s legs. Rana consulted a pediatrician who told her that Basel has had a hip dislocation since birth and needs regular physiotherapy sessions, as well as special medical boots, to help him develop.

Rana heard from neighbours about the Sour Community Disability Project Centre and Early Intervention Unit, run by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)’s partner the Palestinian Women’s Humanitarian Organisation (PWHO), and established in 1998 with MAP’s help. The Centre provides a range of services including physiotherapy, speech therapy, educational sessions for parents, and activities to promote better inclusion for children with disabilities in education and their communities.

Rana took Basel to the Centre, and he started receiving regular physiotherapy sessions. Shaimaa, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, also enrolled in multiple services there.

Rana told MAP that the physiotherapy sessions provided by the project have helped Basel walk and reduced his cramps and pain. When the family was struggling to pay the transportation costs to and from the Centre, and Rana struggled to walk there and back with Shaimaa and Basel two or three times a week, the project provided them home-based sessions.

Basel is now enrolled in a kindergarten and is doing very well. He has many friends and enjoys playing with his siblings. “If it was not for this project, Basel would probably have not walked, or his condition became worse,” Rana told MAP. “I am very grateful for the centre staff for their kindness, frankness, and understanding for my family conditions. I trust and respect the project team very much.

If you would like to support MAP’s work for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, please consider making a donation today.

 *Names have been changed to protect the identity of people involved.

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