Improving Access to Opportunities

As children gathered in the community activities caravan to draw, play with blocks, and read stories, 11-year-old Taha just sat and watched.

He had arrived at a displacement camp in northeast Syria with his family after fleeing their home near the Syria-Turkish border. The 11-year-old has a physical disability affecting his legs and must rely on his family and friends to help him get around in a wheelchair.

Adjusting to displacement is hard for anyone, especially children, and children with disabilities face increased barriers. Taha seemed shy and kept to himself, so Blumont’s team reached out to encourage his participation. Team members visited Taha’s family and asked them to support Taha’s engagement in activities as well.

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Taha participating in art activities at the center

With this encouragement, Taha began to join activities at the center and was soon coming every day to draw and play with new friends.

After overcoming his hesitation to participate, one obstacle still stood in his way—the stairs to the caravan where activities took place. Taha’s brother joined him each day, pushing his wheelchair to the center and then working with staff to help him enter.

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Taha’s friends try to help him access the caravan

Working with the site engineer, Blumont’s team built a path and ramp so Taha could more fully participate. Their work is part of the team’s broader effort to ensure that all people with disabilities—children and adults—have access to the same services and opportunities that other camp residents have.

“I am so happy because I can easily reach the activities caravan without any help to push my chair,” Taha said. “It is also exciting that other children will benefit from the ramp too.”

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With the new ramp, Taha’s younger sister can help push his chair to the caravan

Taha’s family and friends have noticed the changes. His confidence increased and his friends say they hear his beautiful laugh more often now.

“I can’t find words to express my pleasure after what you did for my son,” said his mother. “He laughs and says this ramp is more beautiful than the one we had in our home before displacement because it broke sometimes!”

Taha continues to make new friends and make his daily trips to the center.

“I am very happy to attend and play with my friends,” he said. “We feel safe in the caravan and we all have a chance to get to know everyone better.”

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Taha and his friends at the activities caravan