Elizabeth Johnson Sellers

  • Jordan | A decade after her first artificial limb, Mariam receives ongoing support from HI

    Mariam is among the millions of Syrians who have fled their country to seek refuge in Jordan or Lebanon. As the Syrian conflict enters its 12th year, Humanity & Inclusion continues to work alongside Mariam and other refugees with disabilities.   

    Mariam and her family arrived in Jordan 10 years ago. She and her mother came seeking medical care for injuries sustained in a bomb attack. Mariam lost her left leg and her right leg was badly injured. Her mother lost an eye and needed facial reconstruction surgery.

    They fled Syria a few months after the tragedy, traveling at night to escape aerial attacks on the way. Mariam used crutches when she could, but when the terrain was too rough, her father carried her.

    Mariam, now 20, lives in Irbid, Jordan, with her parents and her brothers and sisters.

    Remembering the attack

    Mariam vividly remembers the day of the bombing. It was in 2012. She was only 9 years old.

    She was playing with other children in the street in front of her grandfather's shop. Her mother was inside and the rest of the family was at a friend’s house.

    All of a sudden, two planes flew overhead. Everyone panicked and rushed for cover. Mariam ran inside the shop and sheltered under the counter.

    But a missile tore through the concrete wall of the shop. The debris of the explosion hit her mother in the face. She lost her right eye and suffered a skull fracture. Mariam’s left leg was torn off in the explosion and her right leg was badly injured. A second missile landed directly on top of Mariam, but it didn’t explode. Her grandmother was killed.

    People rushed to rescue the wounded. She was driven to the hospital in the next city. In the chaos and panic, she was separated from the rest of my family.

    “The whole way, the people in the car kept telling me to stay awake and not go to sleep,” Mariam recalls. “I remember the whole thing, as I didn’t pass out until I reached the hospital."

    When they arrived at the hospital, the people driving the car left her at the entrance on the pavement and drove off. The last thing she saw before losing consciousness was a bright light.

    When Mariam woke up the next day, an adult she didn’t know was in the room. It was the owner of a sweet shop opposite the hospital, who had carried her inside when the car left her.

    She told him the name of her mother and gave him her uncle’s phone number—the only one she knew—which helped him locate her family.

    The amputation was poorly performed, leaving the edges of the bone jagged, then stitched up and covered with just a gauze and bandage. She was released after a month.


    A few months later, the whole family fled Syria for Jordan where doctors corrected her amputation. She received her first artificial limb from HI when she was 10, followed by rehabilitation sessions.

    “I was very close to the staff at HI,” Mariam says. “I was always a playful child then. As I grow, every new prosthesis I’ve received since I was a child makes me feel reborn again."

    Mariam still has nerve damage in her right foot, but she is able to walk with her artificial leg.

    “Everyone is homesick, but going back to Syria is out of the question,” Mariam’s father explains. “It takes only one incident to learn from a mistake. We would never be able to survive mentally if we went back and there was another incident. We can’t just throw ourselves back into the fire.”

    A love for sewing

    Mariam has developed a love for sewing. Right now, it's mostly a hobby.

    “It helps me get rid of my negative energy,” she says. “I spend my time watching tutorials on YouTube to improve my skills.”

    Recently, HI provided Mariam with vocational training. After she completed the 4-month sewing course at Ejwan Academy in Irbid, HI gave her a new sewing machine.

    "When I’m older, I hope to set up my own sewing business,” she adds.

    HI’s team is counseling Mariam’s family about an opportunity for her to work in a clothing factory to earn money.  Her father is supportive of her working, but he worries about her taking public transport every day.

  • Syria | Walking brings a smile to Housen’s face

    Housen, 8, has cerebral palsy. Humanity & Inclusion and its partners in Syria developed a specifically tailored rehabilitation program to help him learn to walk and become more independent.

    Housen Omar Al-Khalaf was born with hypoxia—low levels of oxygen in body tissue—causing cerebral palsy. He also has lung cirrhosis. Housen’s stepmother knew that rehabilitation could improve his mobility, so she went to see one of HI’s partners—a center offering specialized rehabilitation services.

    The team started with a physical assessment of Housen and reviewed his medical history. He was seen to have a number of issues, including a balance problem, muscular atrophy and respiratory distress. The team then defined a treatment protocol specifically adapted to his needs.

    Housen was given a walking frame and participated in a series of rehabilitation sessions to help him recover his balance and strengthen his muscles. He also had gait training to learn to walk and was taught therapeutic positions to adopt while sleeping, sitting, standing and walking to correct and prevent further joint problems.

    His stepmother—who is his main caregiver—was taught some basic rehabilitation exercises to do with Housen at home and shown how to create a safe place in their house.

    The investment of Housen’s physical therapist and caregiver paid off sooner than expected! When he first walked with a pediatric walking frame, happiness filled his face and that of his stepmother.

    Housen’s rehabilitation treatment lasted for three months. But his story doesn’t not end there: he will be receiving further treatment that will enable him to walk without assistance and be more independent.

  • Syria | Teenage boy recovers from broken leg after earthquakes

    Anja, 15, was injured during the earthquake that struck Turkiye and Syria in early February. He is being treated by a medical team in one of Humanity & Inclusion’s 13 partner hospitals in northwest Syria.

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  • Ukraine | HI's emergency response in first year of conflict

    Humanity & Inclusion has 238 team members on the ground in Ukraine and Moldova, providing inclusive humanitarian aid ranging from rehabilitation care and mental health support to risk education and logistics services.

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  • Ukraine | Providing mental health and psychosocial support to survivors of conflict

    Survivors of conflict and disaster are at a higher risk for psychological distress. Working alongside local partners in Ukraine, Humanity & Inclusion strengthens mental health and psychosocial support services and provides direct aid to affected communities.

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  • Shelter/NFI Global Specialist

    Humanity & Inclusion is an independent and impartial aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. The organization works alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

    Since its creation in 1982, HI has run development programs in more than 59 countries and responded to numerous emergencies. Today, we have a budget of approximately 230 million euros, with 4705 employees worldwide.

    At Humanity & Inclusion, we firmly believe in the importance of inclusion and diversity within our organization. This is why we are committed to a disability policy to encourage the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities. Please indicate if you require any special accommodations, including participation in the first interviews.


    The Emergency Shelter/ Non Food Items (NFI) Global Specialist is a member of the Basic Needs, Economic Recovery and Economic Inclusion unit. The unit is composed of seven persons including a Manager, and supports actions in emergency, recovery and development settings with around 80 projects in 51 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Specialist will be under the responsibility of the unit Manager. The unit belongs to the Social & Inclusion Division, which is composed of 20 persons, also covering Education, Social and Inclusion Technical Assistance.


    Under the responsibility of the Manager, the Emergency Shelter & NFI Specialist is an expert who ensures strategic technical guidance, support and control in its scope of expertise. He/she provides standards and methodologies, provides advice, on-the-job training, and distance mentoring. Guaranteeing optimal quality and impact of projects he/she promotes innovation, research and professional development. He/she contributes to the implementation of the mandate and the strategy of Humanity & Inclusion. He/she ensures that synergies within the sector and outside are identified and fostered.

    The objective of the position is to provide technical support and guidance to Geographical Divisions and in-country Programmes in the design and implementation of emergency shelter/NFI response, and the promotion of good practice and innovation to ensure the inclusion of vulnerable and underrepresented groups. The specialist will be responsible for developing and framing the strategy related to the implementation of shelter & NFI activities, in link with other HI basic needs sectors.

    The Shelter/NFI Global Specialist works closely with 3 other global specialists for Food Security, WASH and Cash/economic recovery, as a team addressing Basic Needs in emergencies and humanitarian responses. S/he will also have a strong professional relationship with the Emergency Division team and will participate in working groups and contribute to the emergency response strategies.


    Responsibility 1: Provision of Technical Expertise

    The Specialist will be in charge to provide high-level technical support to a portfolio of countries and emergency responses. The tasks include:

    1. Support Geographical Divisions and in-country Programs in needs assessments, design and proposal development for emergency shelter/NFI projects in coordination with the other Basic Needs sectors and with the emergency division
    2. Provide in-country Programs with technical guidance and inputs to ensure high-quality standards in project implementation and monitoring and evaluation processes of emergency shelter/NFI projects, including through cash&voucher assistance.
    3. Provide in-country Programs with guidance and inputs on emergency shelter/NFI sector strategy development.
    4. Develop a strategic framework and adapt standards for Shelter & NFI interventions in HI, in link with other HI basic needs sectors.

    Responsibility 2: Knowledge Management

    In collaboration with the other Global Specialists and the Manager,

    1. Contribute to the improvement of technical know-how through the update of the HI shelter Toolbox, the development of lessons learned and the technical learning
    2. Update/upgrade HI’s guidelines for emergency shelter/NFI responses, inclusive of vulnerable groups.
    3. Develop technical trainings modules and learning materials (review and design of standardized trainings and pedagogical materials on specific shelter & NFI topics, including cash&voucher assistance)

    Responsibility 3: Participate in building the capacities of our technical teams

    In collaboration with HR department, Geographical Divisions and in-country Programs,

    1. Participate to the recruitment and induction of technical resources and project managers
    2. Contribute to the standardization of Shelter & NFI positions in HI and professional development of Shelter & NFI staff
    3. According to the identified needs, contribute to skills development (sensitization, training, coaching, access to technical resources and expertise, etc.) to operational teams, in-country specialists, technical officers and project managers
    4. Facilitate organization of training of staff on emergency shelter/NFI responses, including through cash&voucher assistance, and contribute to seminars on emergency responses.

    Responsibility 4: Representation in professional networks and sector positioning

    1. Participate actively in international global networks, clusters and working groups such as the Global Shelter Cluster, and ensure a strong Shelter & NFI positioning of HI into the humanitarian community.
    2. Identify and analyze the value of engaging in new networks
    3. Identify and build relationships with key partners for developing new consortia
    4. Contribute, moderate and/or speak in conferences, webinars, seminars to showcase HI expertise in the shelter & NFI sector in emergency responses.
    5. Within HI,
      1. Participate actively to the internal working groups having interest in shelter & NFI and contributing to developing integrated approaches.
      2. Participate actively to different projects of the Emergency Division.


    • You hold a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in a Shelter & NFI-related field (architecture, Management, Civil engineering, International studies, etc.);
    • You have at least 5 years of experience in managing emergency responses and relief projects, including significant experience in emergency/temporary shelter, distribution of non-food items, and cash and voucher assistance;
    • You master Shelter & NFI key concepts, standards, approaches in emergency contexts and integrated approaches (with food security, WASH, MHPSS, etc.);
    • You have knowledge or experience in market-based approaches, including use of cash and vouchers;
    • You have a good understanding of SPHERE Standards
    • You are fluent in English and with a good level in French, other languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic a plus)


    • Type of contract: Open-ended contract
    • Starting date: As soon as possible
    • Full time contract
    • The position can be based in France (Lyon or Paris), Canada (Montréal), UK (London), US (Washington DC), Belgium (Brussels) and Luxembourg
    • Advantageous telework agreement

    People with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply!

    How to apply

    Apply with your resume and cover letter at: http://www.jobs.net/j/JpPsMJqj?idpartenaire=136&jobdetails=true

    Only successful candidates will be contacted.

    *To be based in the U.S., you must be a U.S. citizen, or be in possession of relevant permissions to work in the United States. Applicants without existing work permission in the United States should not apply.

    March 31, 2023 at 6:00pm

  • Syria | Psychological first aid critical after traumatic earthquakes

    More than 50 mental health and psychosocial support specialists—from HI and local partners—are offering care to survivors of the February 6 earthquake. Mehdi Firouzi, who supervises the psychosocial teams in Syria, explains the benefits of psychological first aid after a tragedy of this magnitude.

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  • Syria | Emergency teams work seven days a week

    Anis manages a 22-member team of physical therapists and psychosocial support experts for Humanity & Inclusion in North Syria. He describes the response provided by HI.

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  • Syria | Earthquakes may have moved explosive weapons contamination

    Hundreds of thousands of explosive ordnances contaminate many parts of Syria, particularly the northwest of the country where conflict continues. Gary Toombs, Humanity & Inclusion’s global land release technical operations manager, explains how the February earthquakes “significantly aggravated an already desperate situation.”

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  • Syria | Trapped under rubble for 30 hours, Rema recovers from emergency amputation

    Rema, 13, lost her leg after being trapped for 30 hours under the debris of her apartment building. From her room in one of Humanity & Inclusion’s 13 partner hospitals in northwest Syria, Rema shares her story of surviving the February earthquakes.

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  • Syria | HI teams provide rehabilitation care to earthquake survivors

    Humanity & Inclusion and its partners responding to the earthquakes in northwest Syria are working in four key areas: health, protection, armed violence reduction and logistics services.

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  • Syria | Explosive contamination poses additional risk for earthquake survivors

    After 12 years of conflict, Syria is heavily contaminated with landmines, bomb remnants, and improvised explosives that litter every part of the country, particularly the northwest. Musab, a risk education specialist for Humanity & Inclusion explains the effect this contamination could have on survivors of the Feb. 6 earthquake.

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  • Ukraine | Q&A: Explosive ordnance contamination after one year of conflict

    Mykola Havrylets is Humanity & Inclusion's Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Supervisor. In this Q&A, he explains the types of explosive contamination teams are seeing after one year of war in Ukraine and what HI's teams are doing to protect communities.

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  • Ukraine | Correcting misconceptions through explosive ordnance risk education

    Mykhailo Tsarik is an Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Agent working for Humanity & Inclusion in Ukraine. He explains the importance of his work to help people spot, avoid and report dangerous weapons.

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  • Ukraine | Protecting communities at risk of explosive remnants of war

    Humanity & Inclusion provides risk education and conflict preparedness and protection sessions to communities at risk of explosive ordnance in Ukraine.

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  • Syria | 35 organizations demand unfettered access, massive scale-up of humanitarian response

    Humanity & Inclusion joins other international and local NGOs working in Syria in calling for an urgent scale-up in support and for immediate action to be taken to secure humanitarian assistance to the populations affected by the Feb. 6 earthquake. The humanitarian response must match the scale of the disaster.

    As Turkiye and Syria mark one week since the seismic earthquake—because no additional equipment and capacity were sent to northwest Syria—the local rescue teams could only search 5% of the affected areas. The potential survivors trapped under the rubble of the other 95% were not rescued in time. The international community failed the Syrian people by not reacting fast enough and not supporting the search and rescue teams.

    Conscious that this tragedy has impacted the whole humanitarian response, we express our deep admiration and support to the humanitarian organizations, volunteers and all humanitarian workers on the ground who are shouldering the response while being affected themselves.

    The UN estimates that more than 6,500 have been killed and 10,000 people injured in all areas of Syria. Millions lost their home and are experiencing new displacement after 12 years of war and trauma. These numbers are likely to rise in the coming weeks. Lack of support through resources and equipment to the rescue teams in the affected areas has led to the loss of many lives.

    NGOs are extremely concerned that the current level of response reaching the affected areas of Syria is nowhere near what is needed in face of the devastation. Seven days into the crisis, NGOs reiterate that a significant scale-up of efforts is needed to ensure unimpeded access to all affected areas of Syria through all means possible to save lives and reduce suffering.

    We want the international community to understand—the suffering of Syrians across the region, and their constantly worsening needs over the last 12 years of this protracted crisis have not gone away. The earthquake has brought new suffering, increased the number of people in need, exacerbated existing needs, and hampered the ongoing response. We see new unaccompanied children, and collective shelters and existing camps are now full of people with no food, no water, no blankets, no heating options. What is needed is more assistance, more access, and more funding. Redirecting existing resources and funding from other parts of Syria is NOT the solution. That will only pit communities against each other, create more competition over inadequate funding, increase gaps in overall response, and undo vital progress made. We need immediate flexible new funding to reach the humanitarian community as fast as possible.

    NGOs call for the international community to stay above politics, put humanitarian principles at the center and move forward with an urgent and immediate scale-up of humanitarian support to relieve the suffering of the affected populations and support those helping them.


  • Syria | After earthquakes, 60% of patients without mobility devices

    Sami* manages a hospital rehabilitation team in the Idlib region of Syria. He describes serious injuries and a lack of mobility equipment after the Feb. 6 earthquakes.

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  • Syria | With amputations and complex injuries, doctors see need for long-term rehabilitation

    Amir* is the director of an orthopedic and reconstruction hospital—a local partner of Humanity & Inclusion—in northern Syria.

    In the first three days following the powerful earthquakes, they received 680 injured patients. All of them will need rehabilitation care. 

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  • Syria | ‘My family and I rushed into the street’

    Elyas* is a member of Humanity & Inclusion’s team in northwest Syria. He and his family experienced the earthquakes. They are safe but still in shock.

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  • Syria | HI supports earthquake-affected communities

    Humanity & Inclusion's 330+ staff in the region are supporting communities in northern Syria affected by the Feb. 6 earthquakes.

    In this Q&A, Myriam Abord-Hugon, HI's country director for Syria, explains the situation and HI's actions.

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