Here in Iraq, we have been forced to delay our medical and humanitarian operations several times because of security incidents, threats or concerns.
When this happens, hope can turn to despair for children like 12-year-old Thanoon, who has already been through more than any child should have to endure.
The explosion that took Thanoon’s lower leg killed his dad, his nine-year-old sister and four other relatives. He and his mum were the only survivors. After the blast he felt shame, he didn’t play with other children nor did he go to school.
Recently we fitted Thanoon with a new prosthetic leg and it changed his life. He now plays football with his friends and is back in school.
This lease of life is precious.
Last year in Tripoli, Lebanon, we supported a wheelchair basketball team from Iraq to participate in a competition held in memory of Hanna Lahoud.
The competitors from Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Syria and Lebanon showed how sport can unify people, heal old conflicts and dissolve barriers. Lifelong friendships are forged and it helps people build a resolve to tackle life with new strength.