Hala is 18 years old and has been living in a Yazidi, Internally Displaced Peoples camp, since ISIS came to her village in the Sinjar region five years ago. When we first met her over a year ago, she never smiled, had no friends and had no hope in life. She would not leave her home because of her physical disability of severe bilateral clubfoot. Both feet were at a 90 degree angle pointed inwardly since birth. Despite spending all her time at home, her relationship with her family was strained. In January 2019 she underwent corrective surgery with one of our partner NGOs and had an amazing outcome of a straightened foot. We helped care for her in the hospital and back at her home with both nursing care and physical therapy. She then had surgery on her left foot in October 2019 with her cast removal just over a month ago. She now has two straight feet and is re-learning how to ambulate but is slowly walking as other young women her age!
Over the past year of working with Hala, not only has she changed physically, but also mentally and emotionally. We have really tried to instill in her how valuable she is no matter what her feet look like. She smiles now, laughs, and has started loving herself. She has friends and leaves her house to hang out with them. Her relationship with her family is also better. Just in the past few weeks she has joined one of our peer groups of young women her age with similar physical disabilities and said she really enjoyed it! She previously had not wanted to participate in a group but now says she looks forward to it. We have seen her transform from a shy and insecure girl to a vibrant, young woman.
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