Massive figures have spotted the number of the war-disabled and injured Syrian people, but not a single international gesture was aimed at a large portion of the Syrian community. Voices demanding these afflicted people’s rights are yet shouting and waiting for an echo.
A group of war- disabled people in Northern Syria have constituted an association, which they called “War-Disabled People Association”, announced after the “My Injury Is Not a Handicap”, which the “Balsam” Organization has launched to stress that the injured people, whom injuries have led to amputations and physical disabilities, insist to live, work and achieve.
Mustafa Abdelghani, director of the “My Injury Is Not a Handicap”, told Enab Baladi that the Association’s founding meeting was conducted on June 28, in the city of Turmanin, the east-northern rural Idlib. During the meeting, attendees elected the head of the Association, Ahmad al-Nmer, and three other members, the executive board, Ahmad Ziadan, Ahmad A’toon and Abdullah al-Nmer.
According to Abdelghani, the Association, in the first place, aims to rehabilitate the war-disabled people, integrating them into society and proving that they are capable of being active in a community that is today in need of all its marginal segments.
He added that the Association will vocalize the war-disabled people’s dilemma, will unify their demands and represent them officially and organizedly at international gatherings.
The Association will undertake the task of organizing regular meetings to discuss the major causes of the war-disabled people and to examine the difficulties facing them, in addition to offering psychological support services to those who suffer isolation and depression related issues as a result of their physical conditions, in addition to contacting and providing concerned active entities with standardized data of the people with disabilities.
The Association’s formation followed the campaign which “Balsam” Organization has launched last June, as to motivate the people with disabilities to overcome the damage and get involved in rehabilitation processes to give their live its natural course back, as well as to trigger the society to undertake its responsibilities within the rehabilitation process in an effective and direct manner.
The campaign is still on, for the Organization has signed an “understanding memorandum” with the founding council of the War-Disabled People Association in relation to the funding the latter is receiving.
Currently, the Association is active in the city of Turmanin and will soon start offices in al-Dana and Sarmada in the rural parts of Idlib governorate. The Association will shortly open the door for registration in front of all the war-disabled people who would like to join the Association, as the “My Injury Is Not a handicap” Campaign’s director has said.
War-Disabled People in Figures
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than three million Syrian people are suffering from disabilities and war-related issues, calling for additional care and increase in the support they are offered.
In a report, published in December 2017, the Organization stated that 1.5 million Syrians have developed disabilities due to conflicts and war in Syria after 2011, with a rate of 30 thousand cases per month, pointing out that 86 thousand out of the total cases are amputees, the third of whom are children.
The report attributed the increasing number of war-disabilities to the usage of new and explosive weaponry, accentuating barrel bombs and incendiary weapons which have been in use in Syria for the past seven years.
The idea of starting an Association to represent this segment of Syrian people and give them a voice has always been discussed, according to which “al-Amal” (Hope) Association was established in December 2017 in the town of Muzayrib, Daraa governorate, to offer its services and care to the war-disabled people in Southern Syria, as the first entity to spare all its efforts for the welfare of these segment. However, the Association’s main task is to offer medical aid to target groups no matter what difficulties it might face.