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Football to promote the rehabilitation and inclusion of amputees

Rehabilitation

The European Football Championships, Euro 2016 (10 June-10 July), will be closely followed by fans of European football across the world. Handicap International’s teams plan to use the event to highlight how playing football or another sport can help restore some of the mobility and self-esteem of lower-limb amputees. Isabelle Urseau, a rehabilitation specialist at Handicap International, tells us more.

Blaurah, 17 months, tries playing football with her first prosthesis with the help of her mother, at an orthopaedic centre in Haiti. | William Daniels / Handicap International

“In many of the health care centres supported by Handicap International, ball games, particularly football, play a central role in the rehabilitation of patients with a lower-limb amputation.”

“In terms of physiotherapy, ball exercises help patients with prostheses gain confidence in their orthopaedic device and their new form of mobility. We start with a step, then a pass, some dribbling and maybe even a match on crutches...”

“Lastly, it has an even bigger impact on their morale: the exercises are more entertaining and easy to follow because it’s a game. The youngest patients realise they can still have fun with their friends.”

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From landmine victim to pro athlete
© Bas Bogaerts / HI
Rehabilitation

From landmine victim to pro athlete

Flavio is one of thousands of mine victims in Colombia. He lost his leg, but can move independently thanks to the prosthesis he received from Humanity & Inclusion. And his steps often lead him to the pool, because Flavio is a competitive swimmer who is seeking Paralympic participation.

Hit by a bullet, first responder volunteer Zena loses her sight
© HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Hit by a bullet, first responder volunteer Zena loses her sight

During the demonstrations in Gaza, Zena gave first aid to the injured. Until she was hit by a bullet herself. Having lost the use of one eye, it’s Zena who now needs help. HI is providing her with care and psychological support.

“When I grow up I’m going to fly”
© Shumon Ahmed/HI
Emergency Rehabilitation Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

“When I grow up I’m going to fly”

Saiful is 7 years old. He lives in the Rohingya registered refugee camp in Kutupalong, southern Bangladesh. Due to a congenital malformation, he lost his right leg when he was two years old. With support from Handicap International, he has been fitted with an artificial limb and can now walk and attend school.  He loves playing with his friends and dreams of becoming a pilot one day.