Our purpose is to work in partnership with others to restore hope, grow capacity, and promote community through relief and development initiatives that help transform lives, including our own.
Here is an example of how Operation Mercy is heling to restore hope to the mother of 11 year old Alim (not his real name) an Afghan family in Tehran.
Overcoming cycles of rejection Alim (11) cannot remember his father. He left the family when Alim was born. Alim’s mother works 11 hour days in a tailor shop to make a living, and cannot remember when Alim started to stammer. They live with his uncle and grandparents but the family doesn’t want Alim in the house any more because he frequently fights with his smaller cousins. He was excluded from school when he tried to defend his mother being called bad names because of her divorce. So where should he go?
After a long search Alim’s mother found a special day-school that would accept him. On enrolment she had just one request: ‘Please don’t accept him if you might kick him out in the end.’ The staff decided to take him in and give him a new chance. The day-school staff recognized Alim’s stammering problem and looked for help. They approached Operation Mercy who ran a program for children with disabilities. But soon Alim started to misbehave. What should the therapist do? The staff talked together and design a motivational plan for Alim. Small, reachable goals are set with him. Each time he reaches a goal he is allowed to put together a piece of a wooden helicopter – something he had been dreaming of having for a long time. ‘My brain is too stupid for this’ Alim says to himself repeatedly while trying to fit the pieces - and the Operation Mercy staff reinforce: ‘You have a clever brain – look what you have learned already.’
Today Alim does his homework diligently, comes to therapy regularly by himself and his eyes shine when the social worker and therapist praise him for his achievements and bring out the helicopter. Quickly he finds the next pieces, sands them carefully and fits them in – one piece at the time. One day this helicopter will take off and fly…
Shinning glimmers of hope on the shadows of disabilities in Central Asia
By Rodger | Project Leader
In the shadows
Almas' mom stood in our office holding her son and with tears rolling down her cheeks. When Almas was born, doctors had told her that she must get rid of her son because of his disability.
"They told me he isn't even human and I must just give him to the orphanage, but today I saw my son standing and playing and you have given me hope.”
So often children with disabilities in Central Asian countries (and around the world) are viewed as being a disgrace to their family and commiunity.
It is tough if you are a disable person. How do you deal with that if you are a parent, sibling, or relative of a disabled person?
Operation Mercy staff are there to help change this world view about people with disabilities. Our programs help children with disabilities but also, help promote and demonstrate their dignity to themselves, their family, and their community.
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