“The most common cases are below-knee amputees,” says Mustafa Hawar, Emergency’s Iraq Programme Coordinator. “We have few of them with upper-limbs amputations and very few of them are hand-cut (amputees). Major injuries are [caused by] mines and explosions”.
Patients get their self-sufficiency back, but not necessarily their livelihood. That’s why the centre organizes two sessions of vocational training per year. Ahmed Karim Mahamood has just finished his carpentry course and now has hope of earning a living: “I lost my leg to a mine and I came here to learn a new job in order to keep my family,” he tells Aid Zone. Among the trades are ex-patients are trained in are carpentry, PVC and leather work and tailoring.
Groups of 15 are trained for five months and then given financial aid to start their business. More than 360 workshops have been opened so far. Gulastan Nazim Ahmed dreams of opening hers: “I was fours years old when I lost my leg. I was in the car and there was a car-bomb. My dream was to be a tailor,” she says.
In Iraqi Kurdistan alone over the past 25 years, there have been some 14,000 landmine incidents, resulting in at least 6,000 casualties. A region hit by decades of war may take an equally long time to recover.
Read on EuroNews