Aisha's* story

The child refugee silenced by horror

Aisha* and her family were fleeing ISIS in their home town in Iraq. While escaping, Aisha thought she saw a snake and ran into a nearby field to get away.

This snap decision would change their lives.

A landmine exploded, initiating a chain of blasts in the field where several families were trying to escape. When her mother found her, curled in on herself, silent, she thought her little girl was dead.

Miraculously, Aisha survived. But she was badly injured. She couldn’t walk, her legs in plaster.

There were also wounds you couldn't see.

Aisha had temporary memory loss, fell into a deep depression and refused to eat or talk to anyone for weeks.

“She wouldn’t play with other children,” says Aisha’s mum, Um Zaid. She would sleep only when I was lying next to her.”

We met Aisha in the camp for displaced people where she now lives. Our case manager visited regularly, bringing a toy or a story to share.

We referred Aisha to a psychiatrist and, slowly, she began to get a little better.  

Aisha*, 8 years old, sitting in her mother's lap in their tent in a camp for displaced people, where they now live after fleeing their home in Hawija

Aisha lies in her mothers lap in the refugee camp they now live in

When the plaster came off and Aisha could move freely again, our case manager took her for a walk around the camp.

She showed Aisha our child friendly space, which she now visits every week.

Aisha is not yet her energetic and happy self. But she has taken the first steps towards a brighter future.

*name changed to protect identity.

Help us give children a better tomorrow

Aisha*, 8 years old, sitting in her mother's lap in their tent in a camp for displaced people, where they now live after fleeing their home in Hawija

Aisha* is comforted by her mother in the camp