Life with Abundance of Hope Enables Qais - World Vision JWG - Disabilities 1

Life with Abundance of Hope Enables Qais

What is the world without loving each other, supporting each other, and be committed to leaving no one behind, especially the most vulnerable of us?

15-year-old Qais was born in a small village in the West Bank in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He grew up as many other boys, in a healthy household, and did not suffer from any kind of diseases. However, at the age of 10 years old, Qais started to feel pain whenever he moves, until that moment when he could not stand up. His family took him to a specialist, who diagnosed with muscle atrophy and heart failure! That moment changed his life and his family’s forever. “I was a normal child, but suddenly my life changed,” says Qais. “With every moment passing, I feel I’m different. I can only move now using a wheelchair."

Moving around on a wheelchair prevented Qais from entering his school and using school facilities easily. If someone helps him to enter the school and move around it, he still could not use the most essential facility, which is the restroom. Trying to help, his friends and teachers started taking him to use the bathroom, but after a while he started to feel very embarrassed from this. He could not tolerate being treated like a little child anymore, especially with using the restroom. “When I was a little boy, my classmates would help me go to the bathroom,” expressed Qais, “but as I grew older and older, I started to feel embarrassed. Just the thought of going to the bathroom became stressful. I started to miss school days, and even thinking about leaving school. I was ready to let go of my dream to become a lawyer.”

In 2017, World Vision knew about Qais and his situation and were determined to help. World Vision JWG’s Student Parliament members started an initiative to help Qais and his fellow students with disabilities. They constructed ramps at the entrance of the school’s building and around its facilities. Yet, one problem remained unsolved, which is using the school restroom. For this reason, World Vision decided to construct a restroom designed specifically for disabled children.

Qais is not the only child in areas of World Vision’s operations who is facing challenges throughout his daily life due to health problems. In north-west West Bank area alone, 158 out of 5,572 children are children with disabilities, attending 20 governmental schools. “Qais is not the only disabled boy in this school, there were three other children with disability in our school, and they had to drop out because this school didn’t have the capability to serve children with disabilities,” said Mr. Hisham Bek, principal of Al Khuljan & Um Dar School. “Qais became a new person. He used to be a sad embarrassed child, but now he is full of energy and is a happy boy. I wish him the best of luck, and May Allah make his dream come true, which is to become a lawyer,” continued the principal.

“I am always worried about Qais,” said Jawad Qabha, father of Qais. “I was very much considering not sending Qais to school anymore, as I could not handle seeing his frustration, struggles, and embarrassment. But now, after the ramps were added and the restroom was constructed, I’m relieved and feel like 90% of our problems have been lifted. My wife and I are not worried about Qais as much anymore. This is a huge contribution from World Vision, which helped Qais to continue his life normally. We appreciate this work a lot.”

“World Vision is helping me achieve my dream of becoming a lawyer,” expressed Qais. “Going to the bathroom was a huge obstacle for me, but now I’m very happy and thankful for what was done to help me and my fellow students with disabilities. I was noticed and seen! I hope that World Vision continues to support other children with disabilities like they did to me, in other schools.”