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Appeal to count every step

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`Every Step Counts’ is a campaign run by Handicap International where the UK government will double every contribution received by the organisation, writes Rajitha Saleem

Handicap International the UK based Nobel Peace Award-winning charity has been providing artificial limbs and rehabilitation services to victims affected by natural disaster and war across the world for the last 30 years.  In a novel fundraising campaign, the organisation has appealed to the public of UK to donate to the cause wherein the UK government will match the donation, thus making it twice the money to help people in countries such as Nepal which has been affected by a massive earthquake last year.

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Fayaz is a 5 years old little boy. Two years ago, he was playing with his sister Simran (6) close to their home in India when they found an explosive shell. Simran was killed instantly. Fayaz’s legs were injured. One year later, Handicap International has fitted him with artificial limbs. Back on his feet again, he’s now a budding cricket star..

“I am passionate about the cause through which we can provide a child with a leg to explore the world, and a mom her ability to look after her kids and secure a livelihood, “said Aleema Shivji, CEO, Handicap International. Aleema is a qualified physiotherapist and has worked with Handicap International since 2005, in natural disasters and conflicts across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.

From the flood victims in Bihar in India to victims of war in Sri Lanka to the earthquake victims in Nepal, Aleema has seen the trials of life by people left handicapped for life. “I have met the family of a little girl who could not flee the floods in Bihar in India because she could not walk. We have provided her with a wheelchair so that it will be easy for her to move the next time around,” said Aleema.

Handicap International puts forward an appeal that until 18th July, the UK government will double all donations made to Handicap International UK’s Every Step Counts appeal to help thousands of disabled people to access essential rehabilitation services and get back into education and jobs.

“We work closely with the governments of the places to provide them with the necessary equipment and facilities with regard to their healthcare and rehabilitation. We provide training for their healthcare officials and in turn sometimes like the case of a facility in Sri Lanka, the government of the country take over the facility and run with it,” informed Aleema.

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Nirmala is a 8 years old little girl. After losing her right leg following the earthquake which struck Nepal in April 2015, she underwent a long period of rehabilitation with the support of Handicap International physiotherapists. Today, she is walking again on her prosthetic leg and obsessed with just one thing: becoming an actress.

Aleema believes that for people with disabilities and those injured as a result of natural disasters or war, physical rehabilitation is the first step towards regaining independence. It gives disabled people the opportunity to be self-sufficient, enabling them to go to school, work, and be included in the community.

How to donate to the appeal

  • Online: www.everystepcounts.org.uk
  • Text “STEP34 £5” to 70070
  • Over the phone: 0870 774 3737
  • By post: Handicap International UK, Every Step Counts appeal, 9 Rushworth Street, London SE1 0RB

Donations to the Every Step Counts appeal will go to countries where Handicap International provides disabled people with essential rehabilitation care, including Nepal, Jordan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.