Find A Better Way awards scholarship to Syrian blast survivor
Find A Better Way is pleased to announce the awarding of a scholarship to Huda Moneir Asfour, who has been a valued part of the Find A Better Way family for several years.
Huda fled Syria following severe injuries sustained from a thermal missile in 2013. After receiving physical and psychological care from Find A Better Way’s local partners, Asia Development Training (ADT), Huda eventually joined the staff of the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Amman, Jordan. Her scholarship will help pay for a four-year PhD course at Jordan’s Hashemite University.
Originally from Dara’a in southern Syrian, Huda’s family moved to a nearby town to escape the spreading violence after the civil war erupted in 2011. The attempt to avoid the conflict was not successful – a missile hit a building across the street from their new home one afternoon, spraying Huda’s leg with shrapnel and causing severe bleeding. She was transferred to a makeshift hospital which struggled to cope with her complex injuries. In desperation, she was sent over the border to Jordan in hopes of receiving better care.
Once in Amman, her condition continued to deteriorate. Eventually she fell into a coma, and doctors were forced to amputate her leg.
When Huda eventually revived, she found herself without a leg and still in a strange country where she had no friends or family. Both the physical and emotional trauma were taking their toll.
In 2014, Huda began to receive care from ADT, who run the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Amman. They provided her with a prosthetic leg and much-needed physiotherapy.
Huda’s needs were much more than physical, however. After the trauma of the missile blast, losing her leg, and becoming a refugee in a new country, she needed help coping with severe psychological stress as well.
Huda became an active participant in the art therapy programme at the centre, which helps children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and produced several of the paintings that now make up the “Dark to Light” exhibition. It was a slow process, but over time and with help from centre director Akram Al Ramini and psychologist Professor Nieveen Abuzaid, she made slow but steady progress.
Despite the many challenges she has faced, Huda has always felt called to care for others. As one of the older art therapy students, she eventually joined the programme staff, and has been helping other young people suffering from PTSD at the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre for several years.
With her renewed confidence and support from her new friends in Jordan, Huda returned to her studies in 2015 and obtained her masters degree in Arabic Language studies at Hashemite University in 2017. Last Autumn she returned to begin her PhD course.
Once she has completed her studies, Huda dreams of opening a school to help children who have had similar experiences to her own.
‘My dream when I become a certified Phd is to establish an international school with branches in every Arab country,’ Huda says.
‘I want to name it the Al Mustaqbal School, or the “Future School.” It will care for children of all ages, whether rich or poor, and especially care for those who have suffered because of conflict.’
Huda’s continued passion for helping others is a true inspiration and she is an important member of the Find A Better Way team. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support her as she completes her studies.