New Shop, New Life - Amin’s Story


Improving Lives of Mine Victims and Persons with Disabilities

 

Amin Hassan Sulaiman was only ten years old when he lost his right leg, left arm, left eye and three fingers from his right hand after a mine exploded in his field.  “I was grazing animals in Spring 2001 in my village Bekma when I found the strange object” Amin remembers. 

 

Amin’s life was changed forever after the accident. He could no longer go to school and was too shy to see his friends.  His father almost singlehandedly took care of him until he himself was killed in another mine accident two years later.  After losing their sole breadwinner, Amin’s family found itself in a dire economic situation. Amin’s mother was left with three young daughters and two sons to look after. 

 

The Diana Ortho-Prosthetic Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre in the Soran District was able to assist Amin through prostheses and a grant to establish a small income generating business. With funding from AusAID through UNDP Iraq, the centre established a small sweets shop for Amin as part of the socio-economic rehabilitation and reintegration activities for mine victims. Amin’s uncles helped   build the small shop. Amin hopes to support his sisters and brothers with their education.  

 

“My dream is to expand my shop, provide sufficient financial support to my family and see my sisters and brothers finishing school” said Amin. Since opening his shop Amin bought a TV and satellite receiver which encouraged children living in the area to go to the shop and watch cartoons and football games together. 

 

“I no longer feel useless nor that I am a burden on my family.  The shop is one of the only sources of income for us. I am not afraid to see my friends anymore” explained Amin. “This generosity changed my life and that of my family’s” he added. 

 

Today, Amin still needs continued medical assistance and surgery but Amin keeps a hopeful smile.

 

With funding from AusAID, UNDP supported three national NGOs to provide victim assistance in the three Governorates of the 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 and maintained 8,819 orthopedic 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*.