Yasir’s mother has many wishes for the future. As she sits in the INARA offices, her hands clasped together tightly, she mutters prayers under her breath whenever she talks about the future, as though desperately willing for it to be better than the hardships she suffered over the past few years.
Living in a tent
Yasir and his family live as refugees in a tent in Lebanon. “In the winter everything floods because we are located near a stream, and the land is flat,” his mother tells us despairingly. “The smell of all of our damp clothes is disgusting. And when the summer comes it doesn’t get any better – it’s so unbearably hot that we can hardly sleep.”
It was in this tent that Yasir was badly burnt a year and a half ago, when he was just five months old. He was sat in a child’s chair on the floor. He somehow managed to roll the seat near to the heater, and placed his hand on the heater. “The noise of him wailing and crying was so upsetting,” his mother tells us.
She rushed him to the pharmacy right away, where they put an ointment on his hands. She was told it was just a superficial burn and that Yasir would be fine. However, over a number of months one of his fingers gradually started to stick to his palm. The family were really surprised, and wanted to take him to a doctor. But medical treatment is expensive in Lebanon, and they are very poor, and so they decided they would try to look for someone who could help them.
Ever since this has happened, Yasir has had to use both hands to grab even small things. The two-year old is too young to understand properly what is wrong with him, but his family did tell us that it means that they have to help him to do everyday activities that other children his age can do easily.
Eventually a neighbor gave Yasir’s parents INARA’s number. They called and we brought them to the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) for a medical assessment. The AUBMC doctors informed us that the burn on his finger is contracted and that, if left untreated, he would not be able to open it.
The recommended procedure for his injury is a skin graft and scar revision surgery. During that they will place an iron wire into the finger in order to prevent it from sticking again in the future. This will restore full functionality to his hand.
His mother is so grateful that INARA is able to pay for this treatment and provide Yasir with the help he so needs. “It comes as a great relief to us,” she explains. “By helping him to move his hand it means I won’t have to help him with everyday activities.”
Yasir is one of many Syrian children who has been injured as a result of living in small, cramped, unsafe living conditions as a refugee. INARA has worked hard to respond to such cases, and has also worked together with UNHCR on an educational video to reduce the number of refugee children suffering burns due to lack of safety awareness.
You can help children like Yasir by donating to INARA today.
UNICEF contributed to Yasir's treatment.