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How Family Tragedy Turned Into Blessing For Somalia's Disabled Children

How Family Tragedy Turned Into Blessing For Somalia's Disabled Children

Exactly four years ago tragedy hit Mr. Hassan Awad's family. Militants in a vehicle sprayed bullets killing his son, a second son paralysed and his daughter blind.

It was a difficult time for Mr Awad despite being a regional managing director for Somalia's top money transfer company Dahabshil. Awad who had to seek medical treatment from his injured children overseas realised how difficult it may be for ordinary poor citizens.

Sunday Mogadishu,  his injured son, top Somalia government officials and the public gathered at a venue in Mogadishu for the launching of Abeer Foundation which aims at aiding disabled children.

“Being a father to the victims I cannot feel the pain but share the pain with them. But even on the face of this pain we decided to become a helping hand to the disabled  by launching Abeer Foundation" Mr Awad told the gathering

"Finally, we did it. Abeer Foundation is now ready to ease the suffering of disabled children in Somalia. Together we can remove the education barriers that prevent disabled children from going to school" Mr Awad said.

His son Mustafa Hassan Awad who is a co-founder of Abeer Foundation recalls the Aug.14 2017 drive-by shooting incident.

“Have been in different hospitals with multiple surgeries after heavily armed militants spread bullets on our vehicle in Mogadishu killing  my elder brother on the spot and seriously wounding me and my sister and two family friends" Mustafa who seek treatment in Germany and Turkey recalled.

"I believe that my physical challenges should not and will not be an obstacle to improve myself. The tragic incident inspired me and my family to change my suffering and pain into positive energy ”  Mustafa added highlighting Abeer Foundation's goals.

Guest of honor at the launch Deputy Prime Minister Khadar Gulaid extended his appreciation to the Awad family

"Unfortunately many Somali families and children are affected by conflict; overcoming hardship requires tremendous courage and resilience. We all need to work together to support children with disabilities" he said.

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