“Do not let your disability restrain you from making a change.”
When Haleema and her two children fled fighting in Deir ez-Zor and arrived at a refugee camp in North East Syria last year, they faced an uncertain future. In camp, away from their homes and communities, many experience a profound loss of identity, belonging, and economic opportunity. Haleema was also coping with a shrapnel wound to her foot that left her permanently disabled and dependent on crutches.
Despite these challenges, Haleema was determined to not lose hope. “Life is fraught with difficulties that we should cope with, whether on our feet or on crutches,” she said.
Haleema began attending a USAID-funded sewing workshop, and within three months, she was sewing her own garments, making dolls for her children, and forming friendships with other women in the camp. She was particularly encouraged when she saw other women with disabilities in the sessions.
“My disability has not prevented me from learning,” Haleema said. “People here stood by me like family. They helped me gain confidence and feel like I have a presence and value.”
The workshops offered more than purpose and community, as Haleema’s new skills became a source of income. She supports 10 family members with what she earns making and selling products to other women in the camp.
“I am happy with my work and can make whatever clothes my family need,” Haleema said “Do not let your disability restrain you from making a change. Just have faith.”
Under the USAID-funded Supporting IDP Settlements (SIS) Program, Blumont provides Camp Coordination and Camp Management services to support the humanitarian needs of internally displaced people and refugees living in camps throughout North East Syria. Services include maintaining camp infrastructure, providing non-food items during the winter, and mobilizing activities to help residents build skills, cope with trauma, and develop a community.