© A. Noor / HI
After being shot as he fled to Bangladesh, 12-year-old Rohingya refugee, Jubair, was hoping for just one thing: to be able to play football on his own two feet. And now he can!
The first thing that strikes you is his smile. Jubair has made a point of getting his hair cut and putting on a nice shirt for the occasion. It's a big day for this 12-year-old Rohingya refugee!
He has just received his very first prosthetic leg. "A miracle", says his mum Rukaiya. “The moment I finally become myself again”, explains Jubair.
"I'm really very happy! Until now, it was as if a part of me was missing, I feel whole, complete... I'll be able to walk and play football like before, without hesitating, freely."
Jubair fled to Bangladesh with his four siblings and mother in 2017. As he was crossing the border, a bullet pierced his left leg. He was just 7 years old.
"My son immediately fell to the ground. I called for help, and people tried to stop the bleeding with leaves, bits of clothing and things."
Fortunately, the family was only a few yards from the border. Once in Bangladesh, Jubair was rushed to hospital where he was amputated below the left knee.
"Shortly afterwards, my son's condition worsened. Jubair was suffering from phantom pains, crying day and night. He couldn't stand on one leg, so he stayed in a corner of our shelter all day. It was very hard because he needed me for everything: to eat, go to the toilet and wash!”
HI's mobile team met Jubair during a door-to-door visit to the Cox's Bazar refugee camp in 2020. He quickly began rehabilitation exercises and was given a pair of crutches to help him move around independently.
"Thanks to the crutches and rehabilitation exercises, my son started playing outside again and making friends. HI also gave us psychological support so that we were less anxious and could start moving forward after everything we'd been through."
If Jubair ever gets the chance, he would like to take his mother on a trip, far... very far... from the crowded refugee camps of Cox's Bazar.
Jubair received his prosthesis with the help of funding from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, along with five other people in 2023.