He is 40 years old and comes from the Dyala district. In earlier days, he was working in Baghdad as an interpreter and taxi driver. Life was good, he was married and lived in the capital together with his wife and son. Then an accident changed his life. Mohammed H. broke both of his legs and had to undergo several surgeries. Soon it became clear that, he would not be able to walk anymore. Due to missing exercise he gained a lot of weight.
After the accident Mohammed H. began to earn money with his previous hobby. From metal scrap he built small car models, household articles and handcrafted art. A little local gallery exhibited his works.
Then it came all at once – his wife filed for divorce and took his son with her. The security situation worsened. His house in his home region of Saadia was devastated by armed fights and lies in ruins. Mohammed H. ended up in the refugee camp of Al-Wand. There he spends most of his time with his model work. But daily life brings along many hardships.
Life goes on, whatever is the situation.
Before the construction of the new toilets and showers, Mohammed H. depended on the standard toilet. The stairs at the entrance were challenging and the sanitary room did not leave enough space for him. Also washing was hard. Sometimes he even tumbled when accessing the facilities. Now it is significantly easier and more secure for him. He can use the toilet as well as the shower without any obstacles. Mohammed H. is very pleased with the change and thanked our staff. One message he gave to our team: “Life goes on, whatever the situation is.”
In Iraq, arche noVa has implemented further inclusive aid projects, as part of our WASH activities in rural regions as well as in the emergency shelters. In the Daquq camp for example, our team constructed 33 barrier-free toilets for families with relatives needing this access.
When implementing WaSH activities for people with physical limitations, we work in close cooperation with other aid organisations delivering services to people with disabilities as well, but in different sectors. Inclusive aid delivery is important to us in every project. Last year the training course “WASH in emergencies”, co-organized by arche noVa, focused on inclusion in humanitarian aid.
You can find further information about our humanitarian aid in Iraq on our project site.
*For security reasons we do not mention the full name.