Empowering 80 people with disabilities in Iraq

by Operation Mercy
Empowering 80 people with disabilities in Iraq

Project Report | Jan 3, 2024
A mom's life changed

By Maarten de Wolf | Project Director

View of the camp where this family lives
View of the camp where this family lives

Today our story is about a family who has been living in a camp for Syrian refugees since war forced them to leave their home country several years ago. The mother tries to give her best for her children and especially for her son Abd al Kareem, who was born in July 2021. We first met Abd al Kareem about five months ago around the date of his second birthday. Due to cerebral palsy and a trisomy 21 syndrome, he was unable to stand on his feet nor sit by himself. He didn’t crawl and even turning from his back to his belly was too hard for him. Especially his lower limbs were very weak. Abd al Kareem was always crying when we visited him, and he seemed fearful and anxious.

During our first few weekly home visits, we instructed the mother on how to do exercises with her boy and spoke words of encouragement to her. We also noticed that she tended to be taken in completely by the needs of her one son Abd al Kareem, affecting her ability to care well for her other children.

After regular follow-ups for about four or five months, the mom noticed positive changes in her son. Of his own volition he started to try to stand up and to hold himself on the wall. Abd al Kareem was now able to stand on his feet for about five seconds which was already a big achievement. In addition, he learned to stand, grab, and hold objects all at the same time.
All these developments influenced his mother’s health and wellbeing. Taking good care of her son Abd al Kareem became less exhausting. For example, she didn’t have to have him sit on her lap anymore, but he was able to sit and even eat independently. Abd al Kareem learned how to turn from his back to his belly without anyone helping him and how to push himself up with his hands. As we got to know the mother better, we also addressed different topics related to how to take care of her own needs as a caregiver and how to respond to the different needs of all her children.

Over the course of only a few months we have witnessed this mom’s growing joy about the changes and the progress in Abd al Kareem’s life. She is very consistently implementing the exercises with her son and taking good care of him. Moreover, she has now become more present and attentive to her other children.

* Abd al Kareem is not his real name

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Organization Information

Operation Mercy

Location: Orebro - Sweden
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Maarten de Wolf
Orebro , Sweden

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