Cedra can draw again, thanks to support from INARA

Arwa Damon INARA CNN Cedra Syrian Refugee

Ten year old Syrian refugee Cedra can now do the thing she most loves in the world - draw. This is thanks to medical treatment funded by INARA.

In 2013, a bomb caused Cedra’s home to catch fire. Four of her sisters died, but Cedra, just seven at the time, and her two other sisters, survived. Tragically, Cedra suffered severe burns to her face, hands and legs. It meant that she could no longer grab a pen and draw. The scarring on her feet made even the simple act of walking excruciatingly painful.

Treatment for Cedra

When INARA came across the case they matched Cedra to doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). These doctors removed the scar tissue on her hands and feet so that she could use them again, and no longer be in pain. In total, the cost of her treatment cost $1,355, with the money largely coming from individual donations from INARA supporters.

How her life has changed

Before the surgery, Cedra’s injuries prevented her from going to school. Now she is back in school and loves to draw. She drew a heart for INARA - writing the names of the two caseworkers who helped her, Layal and Mariam. One of her favourite lessons is French - and at her final appointment with INARA, she confidently counted to 24, whilst her mother, Fatima, looked on with pride.

Sofia Karim, Programme Manager at INARA, said: “Saying goodbye to the children we work with is always emotional. When we first met Cedra, she was traumatised. You could see the sadness behind her smile when we first took pictures of her. Her childhood was robbed from her by the horrors of a bloody war that has raged on for so long. But what we’ve seen after this surgery is a spark in her eyes that wasn’t there before.”

Arwa Damon, founder of INARA, added: “This is what INARA is all about. By showing Syrian refugee children kindness, we can make them feel like the world hasn’t turned away from them. We can remind them that there are people out there who care. And that is a powerful message to convey to people who could easily become angry and bitter towards the world.”

Cedra Arwa Damon Syrian Refugee

When asked about how much Cedra has improved, her mother Fatima said: “Now Cedra is much better - especially at school. Before she never seemed to be quite in the moment - she was always clumsy, and kept forgetting things. She’s not like that anymore.

“The service that INARA provided for us was very good - especially Layal [caseworker], who was so supportive and caring. Whenever Cedra is around Layal she seems so much happier.”