Dignity restored - Maryam's story

Improving lives of mine victims and persons with disabilities


2 April 2012

By Ibrahim Baba-ali, Programme Specialist, Mine Action, UNDP Iraq

Maryam lives with her husband and two children in a small and dilapidated house in Penjwen.  She was injured by an unexploded ordnance in 1982. 

After her accident, she was isolated  until she was approached with an offer by the UNDP-supported Iraqi NGO, the Kurdistan Organisation for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (KORD).

KORD provided Maryam’s husband with a small motorbike to transport goods and people and sell vegetable and fruits.

“We feel recognized and respected by others in our community” Maryam said.

Being a woman in a village where men dominate is difficult. The problem doubles for Maryam as she is a woman with a physical disability. Maryam, feels proud that she was the reason to generate a small income for her family. 

With funding from the Government of Japan, UNDP supported three national NGOs which provided victim assistance services in the three Governorates in Kurdistan Region. The assistance provided 21,097 physiotherapy services to persons with disabilities, gave 2,719 prosthetic limbs and 8,780 orthoses and 9,120 mobility aids, maintained 8,819 orthopaedic limbs.  421 persons with disabilities benefited from income generation projects and 90 persons received vocational training in carpentry, blacksmithing, computing and tailoring. In addition, 52 home adaptations were completed, improving victim’s mobility within their homes*. 

To ensure sustainability of the NGOs’ operations, UNDP conducts capacity building activities to improve  management and resource mobilisation in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).

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