When Sandra first arrived in Damascus two years ago, she barely spoke.
Sandra's parents are both missing. It was her grandmother who brought Sandra and her five siblings to Damascus, to escape fighting near the city of Homs.
When Sandra began attending programs at one of Questscope's shelters, staff there noticed her condition.
"Her grandmother explained to us that she suffered from a speech impediment, and her situation had deteriorated since her parents went missing because she did not receive the required care," one of our staff members at the shelter remembers.
"Also, the sounds of explosions and the violence she witnessed in her neighborhood before being displaced made things worse."
Staff focused on helping Sandra improve her speech. They also helped Sandra learn to interact with her peers, something her speech impediment made difficult. She was also coping with the loss of both her parents.
"She would hit the other children. She was hyperactive and the children would complain about her," our staff member said.
"We tried to explain her situation to them and sensitize them through activities revolving around accepting children with different abilities and the necessity of including them with us."
Sandra and the other students responded positively. She started trying to explain what she wanted, even when she found difficulty in doing so. She started to enjoy the activities because her new friends would help her.
"The group is now very accepting of Sandra's condition and they love her, which prompted one of the girls in the group to bring her own deaf sister with her to the activities," the shelter staffer said.
"She used to be afraid that her friends would reject her sister. However, seeing how they loved and helped Sandra encouraged her to bring her sister along."
You've helped provide counseling and education for 55,000 Syrian youth just like Sandra. Your support helps care for the most vulnerable of Syria's displaced. Persons with disabilities are among the most neglected in times of conflict.