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Her Name Is Sarah

20 July 2018

There are many harsh realities to being an orphan of war, a child of circumstances, beyond individual control.

As we look around us at different corners of the world, we can’t help but to feel overwhelmed and helpless by all that impacts innocent children of every color, race, and religion. Children who have fallen victims to political power struggles and greed. There is a lot of injustice, one cannot deny, but to become complacent and give up on becoming a part of the solution is inexcusable. Each of us can be a tool for positive change, each one of us can make a difference.

Over the last several months, we have brought to you stories from our mental wellness case files, these are stories that demonstrate the impact consecutive wars have had on the children of Iraq. A common theme amongst these innocent children is how they have been forced to deal with the trauma despite being ill-equipped to do so. The story of Sarah is another story of a child gone unnoticed by a world too caught up in turmoil.

Sarah was 4 years old when her father was killed by ISIS. He was not a soldier, just a family man trying to make ends meet for his family. Working as a doorman in a commercial building, he was senselessly shot, for no reason and without provocation. At 4 years old, she witnessed her father’s lifeless body lying in a coffin, after that day, the shock of the scene would change her for years to come. Children are thought of a being resilient, that concept is true. But children need to be nurtured, their need to be addressed and they need to be taught to deal. Expecting them to “bounce back” without proper tools and guidance is unrealistic. Being an only child naturally made her relationship with her father a close one. That relationship had been taken away from her and she was not given direction to properly cope with all the loss she experienced.

Consequently and understandably, Sarah’s mental and emotional wellbeing began to deteriorate. Sarah created a world inside her head, in which this world was an evil place, where Satan himself began to manifest in her realities. She succumbed to the reality that only existed inside her head. Thoughts and images took control of her, leading her down a dark path. She isolated herself, refusing to interact with others and refusing to go to school. She lost her faith in humanity, and subsequently god himself. She was now surrounded only by the darkness that existed as her reality.

So many stories such as Sarah’s prompted Al-Ayn Social Care Foundation to focus on the treatment of mental and emotional health. These facets had been so long overlooked because necessity dictated that physical well-being was more of a priority.  As the state of urgency settled, we had to look beyond the basic necessities of things like nutritional or medical assistance. These children are the future of our society, we need to build them up so that they can take their roles as contributing members of that society. The only way to do that is through a holistic approach to care.

Subsequently, Sarah became of the many children who would benefit from our psychological rehabilitation treatment centers. She began receiving therapy to guide her in coping and resolving the issues she had been inflicted with for so many years. Currently, Sarah is on path to recovery, and we are looking forward to providing a positive update on her condition in the near future.

Do not undervalue what you can provide, even what you may think is an insignificant contribution can have a huge impact.

These children must not go unnoticed, let us bring their realities to light and be a driving force in shaping their future.