FOCUS ON – Rehabilitation & inclusive development: testimonies on SDG8 | July 5, 2019

In July 2019, HI & the Global Rehabilitation Alliance (GRA) launched the report “Rehabilitation for the realisation of human rights and inclusive development”. In this article, you will find the testimonies and case studies collected on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth. Download the report “Rehabilitation for the realisation […]

In July 2019, HI & the Global Rehabilitation Alliance (GRA) launched the report “Rehabilitation for the realisation of human rights and inclusive development”. In this article, you will find the testimonies and case studies collected on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Download the report “Rehabilitation for the realisation of human rights and inclusive development” in English and in French.

The report situates disability and rehabilitation within global discourse and policy. Building on data, case-studies and testimonies, the report provides recommendations on the implementation of effective rehabilitation-focused policies and practices, contributing to progress towards SDGs and the realisation of human rights.

Download the full collection of case studies and testimonies here


Testimony – Caritas Egypt

Mohamed is 27 years old and lives in Alexandria, Egypt. He is the youngest child in his family and he has Down syndrome. His family has always been supportive, but they struggled to teach him self-care and to socially engage him as he had extreme anti-social behaviour. That was until he joined the vocational rehabilitation and employment program implemented by Caritas Egypt. The program provided him and his family with counselling and support, trained him on independence, basic literacy and numeracy skills, appropriate job behaviour, communication and how to address colleagues, supervisors and clients at work. Equipped with basic education and relevant job skills, Mohamed was able to access employment market on an equal basis as his peers (SDG8). He is now employed as an assistant pastry chef in a confectionery and pastry factory assisting the chef in preparing all sorts of sweets and pastries. According to his parents, Mohamed is a new person: joyful, self-confident, sociable, and successful. Moreover, he joins the programme team in awareness-raising with prospective employers on employing persons with disabilities, showing the potential of persons with disabilities to work and contribute in the workplace.

© SETI/Caritas
© SETI/Caritas


Testimony – HI Cox’s Bazar

In 1991, Mohammad lost both his legs to a landmine in Myanmar. At that time, he managed to receive a pair of prosthetic legs for himself. In August 2017, he had to flee Myanmar and arrived in Bangladesh with his family. In this context, Mohammad was forced to abandon his prosthetic legs and crutches.

He is now 50 years old and lives in a block in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Before these events, Mohammad was a tailor and the only breadwinner of his family. To continue earning a living and supporting his family, he improvised by attaching plastic bottles to his amputated legs in order to be able to pedal the sewing machine.

© Ovijit Baidya/HI
© Ovijit Baidya/HI

HI’s rehabilitation mobile team identified him through house visits. They assessed his situation, provided him with assistive devices and made modified his home to make it more accessible. In collaboration with ICRC, HI managed to provide him with a pair of new prosthetic legs.

Mohammad can now walk independently again. He managed to comfortably resume his fulltime job as a tailor and is making his own earnings, thus, supporting his wife and three children.


Testimony – HI Rwanda

Uwitonze is an 18 years old Congolese boy living in Kigeme refugee camp, Rwanda. He was born blind and with an impairment to his left leg. At 12 years old, he lost both his parents due to a war outbreak in DRC in the year 2012. After this, Uwitonze was cared for by another family.

Uwitonze did not attend school with other children. He was isolated from other children and could not play with them. After five months, Uwitonze found his aunt, a business owner but she had to stop her business to take care of him.

In 2017, HI provided him with both a white cane and a left knee- ankle -foot orthosis. He is now able to walk around by himself and his aunt resumed her business. Uwitonze joined a school of tailoring and he is now employed as a tailor and earns a living.


Testimony – HI Palestine

Zaki is 27 years old man, living in Rafah Southern of Gaza Strip. He is married and has one child. He used to work as a freelancer journalist and at his father clothes shop in the evening to support his family. In July 2018, Zaki was injured and fractured his right leg because of an explosive gunshot when he was covering the Great March of Return “GMR” demonstrations which started in March 2018.

As a result, Zaki had severe pain especially in the night, infected wounds, inability to walk and inability to perform activities of his daily life. He also couldn’t do his job. It started to affect him psychologically, he became nervous and isolated. “I couldn’t sleep at night, and the pain killers were useless. My leg was burning and I used to scream as crazy” he added. One month after the injury, HI reached Zaki, through a local organisation within a partnership collaboration called El-Amal Society for Rehabilitation. He received multidisciplinary rehabilitation services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychosocial support, wound dressing care, assistive device (crutches) and family training for three months.

Now Zaki can walk without using any assistive device, he performs autonomously activities of his daily life like dressing up and putting on shoes. Zaki returned back to his job at the clothes shop and gradually is coming back free-lance journalism. His return to work improved his psychological wellbeing and ability to support his family. Zaki said, “I’m grateful to the rehabilitation teams who restored my hope in life.”

©Ahmad Aqel- EL Amal Society for Rehabilitation
©Ahmad Aqel- EL Amal Society for Rehabilitation


 Testimony – HI Lebanon

Amina is a Lebanese woman who used to live with her husband and daughter in a poor neighbourhood in Tripoli, Lebanon. Amina was a sales woman in a clothes shop to be able to provide for her family including her 70 years old mother. At 30 years old, Amina started to develop symptoms (shakiness, walking issues, bowel problems, bladder control problems, and continuous feelings of exhaustion). Doctors diagnosed her with a multiple sclerosis disease. Due to financial restrictions, Amina did not get the appropriate treatment, and her situation deteriorated. Moreover, her situation was worsened by the fact that she had divorced her husband and was away from her 6 year’s old daughter at that time. “At that time I get depressed, felt that am useless, and unable to change anything” Amina claimed.

Amina’s neighbour, who used to be a HI beneficiary, advised her to contact HI’s hotline number and call for help “I thought million times before I took the mobile phone and called HI hotline number”: Amina said. After that call, and based on a rehabilitation assessment, Amina started to receive physiotherapy sessions from HI mobile team. Then she was referred to “The Forum of People with Disability” partner’s centre in order to continue rehabilitation and improve her mobility. The rehabilitation was accompanied by psychosocial support.

Amina showed great improvement in her mobility. Now, she can walk at home with the help of the walker that she received from HI and go outside using the wheelchair received from “The Forum”. Moreover, after 6 years of depression and isolation Amina started to have an active social life again which increased her self-confidence and improved her relational skills.

“Today I feel stronger than ever”, Amina confessed. After being a beneficiary of “The Forum”, she is now leading peer-support groups to provide support to others who experienced similar situations. “Here we all feel as one family in the Forum”, Amina Says. Now, Amina is 38 years old and is attending training courses to improve her Computer and English language skills. Amina now claims that “we are not disabled by the disability we have, but we are able by the abilities we have”.





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