“When your child starts to walk, it’s a moment of huge pride,” explains Aysha’s mother. But when you are living as a refugee in cramped living conditions, even moments of joy can be tinged with sadness.

It was Ramadan last year. The family were all at home and Aysha was trying to walk. But as she went into the kitchen to find her mother, she tripped and fell onto a pot of boiling milk that lay on the floor.

Aysha’s mother was fasting at the time. She ran over when she heard her daughter’s screams. The moment she looked at the burning flesh on Aysha’s hand, she fainted.

“She is a little girl. They couldn’t find a blood vessel to take a blood test.”

Aysha’s father rushed his young daughter to the hospital. “She is such a little girl that they couldn’t even find a blood vessel to take a blood test. They put a needle in her neck and took the blood from there. The whole time I was so scared that I would lose her.”

After two days at the hospital, the doctor informed Aysha’s father than her hands were deformed and she wouldn’t be able to use them anymore. Her father was hopeless. He didn’t have enough money to pay for other medical opinions and didn’t know who to go to for help.

How we will help

After months of trying to find help, someone in their community suggested that he should contact INARA. We met with him and his daughter, and took them to the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). Doctors explained that, with the help of skin grafting and a scar revision surgery, Aysha would be able to reclaim full mobility of her hands.

Life for Aysha and her family

“We had a great life in Syria,” explains Aysha’s mother. “But once the war began, we knew that we would have to leave the country if we wanted our family to be safe.”

Aysha INARA Arwa Damon Syrian refugees

Now the family live in the south of Lebanon. They live in a basement and rarely get to see any sunlight. Aysha’s father works as a construction worker, but doesn’t get regular work.  

The family have no money and are constantly plagued by worry about where their next meal might come from. Aysha’s mother says that often her son will often have to go hungry, because they have to prioritise Aysha so that she can get better.

“I want to really thank everyone who wants to help our daughter,” her father added. “You are changing Aysha’s life. Thanks to you we now have hope again that she will be able to use her hands and lead her life as a normal girl.”