Families of children with disabilities in Dadaab refugee camp are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. They can no longer afford to buy the food they need to survive.
Hamze is a four-year-old refugee with cerebral palsy. He lives in Dadaab and Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapists have provided him with rehabilitation care since birth. His mother, Maryann, was also born in the camp in 1999, after her parents fled the war in Somalia. Her husband left her when Hamze was born and she now raises her child alone.
Every week, Hamze and Maryann attend rehabilitation sessions in the orthopedic-fitting center run by Humanity & Inclusion in the camp. Maryann is learning to provide her son with the care he needs to protect his health and well-being. Our team has given Hamze a splint to prevent knee joint contractures and a specially adapted wheelchair to support his posture as he moves around.
Since March and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Humanity & Inclusion has also been teaching Maryann how to protect her family against the virus. She now understands the need to take precautions such as regular hand washing and wearing a face mask in public.
“Humanity & Inclusion has provided me with information on the steps to take to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the camp,” she explains. “It's a deadly disease that can affect anyone.”
She and her parents are extremely poor and depend on humanitarian aid from Humanity & Inclusion and other NGOs to survive. Before the epidemic, she used to clean her neighbors' houses.
"Unfortunately, my neighbors are also afraid of getting sick, so I can’t work there anymore. I no longer earn an income, and I cannot feed my son and my parents," she adds.
This loss of income only adds to the problems experienced by Maryann. Her son has special needs because of his illness and she can no longer afford to buy him milk. Food has become expensive in the camp.
Maryann thanks Humanity & Inclusion for the daily support the organization provides to people with disabilities in the camp, helping them meet their needs in these difficult times.
Focus on the most vulnerable
As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.