As soon as he sees Malake enter the rehabilitation centre, a smile spreads across Khanoum’s face. The physiotherapist has been helping the little girl recover from her accident for several weeks.
Injured three years ago, she was only recently able to access physiotherapy care. “We live in the countryside,” Abou Abdo, her father, explains. “And there aren’t many health centres near us.”
As he makes himself comfortable in the physiotherapy room, Abou Abdo recalls his daughter’s accident.
“It was March 2013. She had gone to the market with her grandfather to buy food. The market was hit by a bomb and lots of people were killed and maimed.”
“The ambulances arrived and Malake was rushed to the hospital. She had shrapnel lodged in her arm and had to be operated on. She was kept under observation for two days and then sent home.”
Adou Abdo, who was also injured two years ago, explains the problems his daughter has faced since her accident. “Malake hasn’t been able to do simple things like write with her right hand for three years.”
Joining in the conversation, the girl adds: “I’d like to eat by myself also. And I want to play with my dolls again.”
Khanoum explains: “When we met her, Malake was still suffering from her injuries, years after her accident. What we aim to do in these sessions is to strengthen her muscles and reduce the problems with her elbow joint. We’re doing everything we can to make sure Malake regains her mobility and can do simple everyday things without help from her parents.”
Like Malake, 8.4 million Syrian children (over 80%), in Syria or in exile, have been affected by the conflict in their country.
 UNICEF, 2016.