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My dream is to build a hospital

Explosive weapons Rehabilitation
Lebanon

Aged just thirteen years old, the war has already taken a heavy toll on Firas. In 2012, he fell victim to a bomb. His injuries required the amputation of his right leg and he continues to have problems with his left foot. With the assistance of Humanity & Inclusion (HI), Firas has been provided with a prosthesis which has given him back his independence. 

Firas

Firas was seriously injured in a bombing in Syria | © Sarah Pierre / HI

In April 2012, a bomb fell on the home of Firas and his family. Severely injured, Firas was immediately taken to Lebanon to receive the medical care he required. 

"My son spent six months in hospital. He lost part of his right leg due to embedded shrapnel. He also suffered injuries to his left foot. I had to pay for all the surgery," recalls Firas’ father. "When we first arrived here, he refused to leave the house for two months because the other children laughed at him due to his leg," he continues.

Firas was then taken on by HI who provided him with health care and physical rehabilitation. The association’s teams also gave him a walking frame to help him take his first steps. He then received a new prosthesis. Today, he is assisted by Cynthia Houchaimi, physiotherapist, and Elias Saade, social worker with HI. He continues to do exercises to increase his muscular strength and improve his balance. 

Firas during a rehabilitation session with Cynthia, his physiotherapist.
© Sarah Pierre / HI

During his free time, Firas like to repair the broken bicycles he finds lying about the place. He has also built a little trailer to take his brother with him when he goes out and about in the neighbourhood. For the last few weeks however, he hasn’t been to school.

"The school for Syrian children is closed for the moment. I would like to go back. My dream is to study to be able to build a hospital one day, " explains Firas. 

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 Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups Explosive weapons

Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups

The Landmine Monitor 2022 reports a high number of casualties caused by landmines - including improvised mines and explosive remnants of war - for the seventh year in a row. The Monitor recorded 5,544 casualties in 2021. 75% of them were civilians. This high figure is mainly the result of increased armed conflicts and contamination with improvised mines since 2015. The use of landmines by the Russian and Myanmar armies, as well as by non-state armed groups in five countries, are the main factors of a sharp global increase of the use of these weapons in 2022.

States will gather in Geneva from November 21th to 25th for the 20th annual Mine Ban Treaty conference. As we celebrate the 25 years of the Ottawa Treaty, HI urges States to pressure parties to conflict to end the use of these barbaric weapons and to support the funding of victims assistance that is shrinking despite growing needs and high casualty rates in recent years.

Read the full report.