Children Suffer the Most—Dealing with Disabilities in a Refugee Camp in Turkey

Yusuf’s Story:

When the bombs began to drop, Raad grabbed five-year-old Yusuf, his youngest son, and miraculously escaped when their home in the ancient city of Hamah, Syria was hit during the catastrophic war that appears to have no end.   Raad’s wife and four other children were not so fortunate.  They were killed.

Fleeing for their lives, Raad and Yusuf headed north, struggling through the long, painful, difficult journey, hoping to find a place free of the constant sound of bombs dropping and guns fired in hate.  The sad and lonely trek brought them eventually to Hatay, Turkey—to a refugee camp.  They have been existing there for the past six years.

The woes of war—loss of family, loss of home,  loss of country--are devastating enough, but the heartbreak for Raad and Yusuf goes far beyond the carnage of conflict.

Now 11-years-old, Yusuf suffers from physical disabilities in addition to the on-going mental anguish of losing his mother and siblings.  Because his bones are not developing properly, Raad must carry his son routinely to Adana, Turkey for medical treatment when food and the basic necessities of life are already hard to come by. But that is not all.

Yusuf has also been diagnosed with cancer of the blood.

Conscience International’s Matthew Coley, director of  its  prosthesis and rehabilitation program, is deeply concerned for this family, now numbering only two—father and son—but with a mountain of needs and few resources.  Matthew made sure a wheelchair was provided for Yusuf but that is only a small start. So much more is needed, especially for life in a refugee camp and a future that is so unpredictable.


Conscience International Photos

Will you help? Contributions in any amount will go a long way to helping Yusuf and others like him with medical, mental, and emotional health needsPlease consider a tax-deductible donation on this secure website or by mail.

For more information, please contact us at

Conscience International
PO. Box 1163
Alpharetta, GA 30009 USA