Goto main content

"The self-help group has given me hope again"

Health Rehabilitation

Abdel Kareem, 5, has cerebral palsy. Thanks to Humanity & Inclusion's partnership with the Mousawat rehabilitation center in Lebanon, a mental health project was integrated into the rehabilitation process.

Abdel Kareem, 5, with his mother at the Mousawat rehabilitation center, Lebanon

Abdel Kareem, 5, with his mother at the Mousawat rehabilitation center, Lebanon. | © Oriane van den Broeck / HI

A few months after Abdel’s birth, Ibtissam realized that her son did not react like other babies: he could not grasp objects; his neck was not straight; he could not sit up by himself and he was having spasms.

Access to rehabilitation services

Once her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Ibtissam turned to various rehabilitation centers to treat her child.

"Several centers would not accept me because I’m a Palestinian national. I was then referred to a private clinic, but the cost of the sessions was far too high. That's when I was told about Mousawat and the free services it offers," Ibtissam explains.

HI covers the cost of the children's rehabilitation sessions. 

Visible progress 

For the past two years, Abdel has been followed-up by the center’s occupational therapist, physical therapist and speech therapist. The specialists also teach Ibtissam rehabilitation exercises to do at home.

Since he began his treatment, the little boy has made constant progress.

"His physical disabilities have improved significantly. He is also starting to understand when I talk to him, which he couldn’t do before. I hope that in the future he will be able to express himself, for example, when he is hungry or in pain. I would like him to become more and more independent," says Ibtisam. 

Psychological support 

The psychologist guides Ibtissam through the process.

"He gives me advice on how to communicate with my child without getting tense. I’ve learned to give him space, so he becomes more independent. I help him adapt to his environment," she adds. 

Parents of children treated at the center attend a support group. It gives mothers the opportunity to talk about the daily challenges they face and to support each other:

"I realized that even if my family didn’t accept my son, I had to do my best to include him in it. Today, for example, I let Abdel Kareem play with children his age. This self-help group has given me hope again,"

adds Ibtisam.

Date published: 01/31/19


Where we work

Get the latest news about Humanity & Inclusion's work delivered straight to your inbox.