Zyad was an athlete in Syria. Then war came and a bomb destroyed his right leg below the knee. Now, the father of three, a refugee in Irbid, Jordan, can barely stand.
The day we met him in Jordan, he couldn’t leave his home. On days like this, Zyad sits in the same position—any movement triggers unbearable pain. Simple, everyday tasks like washing dishes are extremely difficult. He can no longer walk and has to take taxis everywhere—a cost his family cannot bear after losing their home and land in Syria.
No work, no income
Without Zyad’s income, the family struggles to make ends meet. His wife balances caring for her family with work. She provides day-to-day care for Zyad as well as her youngest daughter, who has asthma and tissue damage to her hand from the bombing. The rest of the time she cleans schools to earn money. Her two older sons go from one menial job to another.
Support from HI
A few months ago, Humanity & Inclusion volunteers were visiting Zyad’s neighborhood to identify people with disabilities who needed support. The team was also surveying Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon about the barriers they face in accessing humanitarian aid.
The registered Zyad with the local hospital, where a doctor first suspected that he might have still have bomb fragments in his knee. An x-ray showed a different culprit: arthritis. The cartilage of his knee joint is significantly degraded, causing him great pain.
The doctor prescribed physical therapy sessions—all free (even the transport to the sessions) thanks to donors. The therapy some relief, and he was able to walk on crutches. However, his condition is degenerative, and pain is never far from the surface.
Helping people with disabilities
Zyad has begun informing other people with disabilities about Humanity & Inclusion's work. Today, he’s the organization’s point of contact for identifying and registering people with disabilities in his neighborhood.
The study carried out by HI
A study, carried out by HI and iMMAP, found that one in five Syrian refugees has a disability, and much more needs to be done to connect refugees with disabilities to humanitarian services. You can read the full reports from Jordan and Lebanon.