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With the Help of EMERGENCY I Managed to Find My Way

  • Iraq

At ‘Best Shoes’, Ako ensures a dignified life for him and his family.

Ako has been living with a severe disability since he was 11: he lost his left hand, part of his right hand, and one eye completely due to a landmine.

“I was a child. I was returning to my village, Gawrade, together with a friend. On the way, I picked up a strange object from the ground and it suddenly exploded in my hands. It was a landmine.”

After the explosion, a demining team that was working nearby immediately reached and rescued him.

Ako was brought to the Surgical Centre we ran in Sulaymaniyah, where he underwent surgery and stayed for 55 days. Once discharged, he was transferred to our Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre. Here, we made him a prosthetic hand, before he began the rehabilitation and physiotherapy programme to get back into the habit of performing even the simplest daily tasks.

Because of his severe disability and the time he spent in hospital as a child, Ako was never able to complete his schooling. Unfortunately, his willingness to work often met the limits imposed by his physical condition.

“It was never easy for me to become independent. With EMERGENCY’s help I managed to find my way: besides receiving treatment and rehabilitation, I received concrete support to start my business in June last year. I can only say thank you, this place has changed my life for the better”.

Ako’s new life and his satisfaction are proof that rehabilitation and reintegration are part of the same healing mission: a landmine could have stopped Ako forever, but his tenacity and his prosthesis have given him a glimpse of a future of hope, beyond all obstacles and discrimination.

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