Hamza is 12 years old. Since 2013, he and his family have lived in the Za’atari refugee camp. Hamza is paralyzed from the waist down, a genetic condition that his father also suffers from. “His mother and I make sure he knows that his disabilities will not prevent him from having friends, playing and living a normal life,” explains Hamza’s father, a life skills trainer.
“Sometimes when I am outdoors, I come across other children who treat me nicely; some even ask if I need help pushing my wheelchair, but I usually say ‘no thanks’, because I like the exercise — and then there are the bad kids who make fun of me, but I just ignore them and go on my way,” says Hamza.
Hamza’s house was fitted with an accessible bathroom, with a ramp for wheelchair access, ceramic tiles and grab bars that enable him to use it independently.
“Before they renovated our bathroom, my mum would help me use the toilet, and it took me forever! It’s so much better now.”
CERF funding has helped UNICEF provide accessible WASH services to over 6,000 people living with disabilities in Za’atari and Azraq camps. These people continue to benefit from private household toilets that are now connected to the water and wastewater networks in the Za’atari camp in Jordan. More than 1,600 private latrines were installed following a camp-wide needs assessment.
The renovation has also helped Hamza in other ways. “Now that I’ve seen these engineers who think about people with disabilities, I’m inspired to be just like them and to build a new future — one that doesn’t discriminate based on whether or not you have a disability — because you have to think about everyone.”