Go to main content

“My work helped me overcome depression” Fadi, 34

Explosive weapons Prevention
Syria

Fadi is 34 years old and he lives in Syria. For more than a year, he has been working with the risk education team of one of Handicap International’s partners, in the south region of the country. He had to have his leg amputated after he was injured by an explosive weapon and now wants to raise other people’s awareness on the risks these weapons.

Fadi running a session with children.

Fadi running a session with children. | © Handicap International

Fadi is one of these persons who take their fate into their own hands, no matter how difficult life may get. A few years ago, he lost his leg in an explosion but decided to turn this harrowing experience into a lesson for others. In 2015, he joined Handicap International’s partner team, first as a volunteer, and then as a risk awareness officer. Every day, he visits schools, mosques and homes to tell people about the danger of explosive weapons. “Because I’m a casualty myself, it makes my message more credible during awareness sessions. The children often touch my artificial leg and they understand how serious it is and what weapons can do to people. So they listen carefully to my advice,” explains Fadi.

Although Fadi enjoys his work and helping others, he admits that the road to recovery has been long: “After my accident, I became really depressed. I didn’t want to go out and I just stayed home all the time. Thanks to my brother, I got my hope back. He forced me to go out and to get involved in the activities run by Handicap International’s partner in the region.” “My work helped me overcome my depression,” he says.

“I’ve worked with the organisation for a year now. What motivates me is the idea of getting this message across to the people I meet. Our work is really important because the war shows no signs of ending and some people are starting to return home even though their towns are contaminated by explosive weapons. We need to be sure they know how to handle the dangers they might face.”

Every day, Fadi and his colleagues provide dozens of people with risk education sessions on mines and explosive devices. “Our sessions make a big difference,” he explains. “Sometimes, before our sessions, the people we meet have no idea of the risks they are running. When they thank me for raising their awareness, it’s a great feeling.” For Fadi, success is knowing that he has got his message across:  “Sometimes children come to see me and show me photos of an area they think is dangerous. That’s when I realize that our work has an impact, and that they’ve understood our message.”

Driven by a desire to help, Fadi has found his vocation and doesn’t plan to stop there. “I’m going to continue doing this work until the war is over and our country is free from the danger of explosive weapons.” Since it launched its response in Syria, Handicap International has enabled people like Fadi to raise the awareness of more than 135,000 people on the risk of explosive weapons and mines. The organisation also helps the casualties of these weapons by providing them with rehabilitation sessions, fitting them with prostheses and orthoses and distributing mobility aids.

Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Gabriel PERRIAU

USA

Mica BEVINGTON

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

A frightening increase in the number of victims of explosive weapons
(c) E. Fourt/HI

A frightening increase in the number of victims of explosive weapons

On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness, HI is alarmed by the frightening increase in the number of civilian victims of explosive weapons : 32,008 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2016 (out of a total of 45,624 victims), according to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). The toll looks even heavier for 2017, as civilians account for 90% of the victims of explosive weapons when they are used in populated areas. Landmine Monitor has recorded a dramatic increase in casualties of mine and explosive remnants over the past three years. Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen are among the main countries affected.

7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict: After the death of partner organisation’s employee, HI condemns continuous bombings
© AFP PHOTO / AMER ALMOHIBANY

7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict: After the death of partner organisation’s employee, HI condemns continuous bombings

A staff member from a Syrian organisation that Humanity and Inclusion (HI) partners with was killed yesterday. Mustafa, his wife and their two children – both under the age of 8 years old – were killed by shelling in Hamouriyeh, Eastern Ghouta. As today marks the 7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict, HI condemns once again bombing and shelling of populated areas and calls on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians.

8 March - International Women's Day Women with disabilities almost ten times more likely to experience sexual violence
©Rosalie Colfs/HI

8 March - International Women's Day Women with disabilities almost ten times more likely to experience sexual violence

On 8 March, International Women's Day, HI is calling attention to the fact that more than one in three women experience violence in their lifetime. And women with disabilities are particularly at risk. HI aims at preventing violence and providing women with psychological and medical support.