Becoming a parent to a disabled child can be a terribly unsettling and confusing event to face.   In an attempt to cope, many parents even consider the most painful rejection any being could ever endure – abortion.  But disabled children are not 'rejectables'.  They are not defective beings that need to be disposed of.  They are not a thing to hide or to be left at the margins of existence.  They are like any other human being; only different.  Indeed, they can be some of the most inspiring teachers you’ll ever meet.  They are not a burden.  Disabled children too can be productive.  They can be beautiful poets, musicians, painters, actors, etc…like any normal person – if, and only if, they are surrounded by loving people and by experts who can assist in exploring their hidden talents and developing their capabilities.

When I first visited Al Amal Institute for the Disabled, I was surprised to find a group of people working happily together in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere that felt like home.  As I watched them in their activities, I was deeply touched by the love and care I could palpably feel in both kids and teachers alike.  I became interested in learning more about each one of these special children; and when I did, I was humbled by the hardship of their background and the resilience of their brave spirit.  I was amazed and inspired by how loving and productive they could be, despite their suffering and painful past.  I left the Center with a burning concern and a single question on my mind: ‘How can I help them?’” –  A visitor, 2017.

Even though our disabled guests are between 20 and 60 years of age, we affectionately refer to them as “kids”, “children”, or “students”.  This, because for the most part they are like children, cognitively and behaviorally.  And as it is the case with children, they do not always distinguish between malicious and benevolent intentions, or they are not able to protect or look after themselves.  We must take extra care of them as they can be manipulated or abused; induced to stealing or doing drugs.  They can even be subjected to committing serious crimes. 

Every month, our disabled residents spend a weekend with their family.  Often, their parents or relatives are either unable or unwilling to care for them. These are some of the delicate cases when our intervention is required, sometimes even in emergency circumstances. 

It is noteworthy that kids coming from families who love them are the most well adjusted, both socially and in what concerns their health.  On the other hand, those who are rejected by their families usually display more serious health conditions and troublesome behavior.

Learn more about Their Stories here. Their names and the most saddening details of their difficult background have been omitted to protect their privacy. 

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