The Story of Maja
Maja Xero Hamjd, is three years old. She suffers every day from a skin disease called Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (DEB). Severe cases of the DEB might cause widespread skin blistering that can lead to vision loss, disfigurement, and other serious medical problems. Maja is one of seven children all refugees, living with her family in a tent in the camp of Kabarto 1, located in the Kurdish city of Duhok in Northern Iraq.
At three years old, Maja’s life is anything but what a typical three-year-old should experience. How does Maja play with her siblings and friends in the world she lives, unsanitary, harsh and unforgiving where a tent is what she calls home? This small person of three tries, but suffers and cannot understand why she is doomed to continue suffering, hope leaves her little body and her eyes reflect the pain.
It is worth mentioning that Duhok, with its 1.2 million population, has received approximately 0.8 million refugees since the start of the ISIS conflict in the region. Maja’s family, as all the other 2,600 families in Kabarto, is Yazidi, an ethnically Kurdish religious community indigenous to northern Mesopotamia. Yazidism is an ancient religion. The family escaped from their city of Sinjar, before ISIS captured the town in August 2014.
Maja’s suffering has not gone unnoticed but local medical doctors have informed her parents that the treatment of her disease is available only abroad. Maja is just one of the hundreds of children who need treatment which is only available abroad. During Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation’s (BHHF) visit to different camps in Duhok, the president of Bring Hope, Dr. Mariwan Baker, witnessed that skin disease is one of the most common afflictions among refugee children. Maja’s genetic skin disease though is quite severe and must be addressed before this little girl is unable to lead any semblance of a normal childhood, let alone adulthood.
Generally, the Kurdish regional government in Northern Iraq is suffering from a bad healthcare system, they are unable to provide proper health services to the refugees, but in cases that are complicated, severe and require specialized health services, physicians and facilities, treatment is non-existent and impossible to provide. Helping Maja and other children with similar diseases, brings hope to all refugees, who otherwise have no chance of survival.
BHHF, in collaboration with local officials and other organizations abroad, struggle daily to help the tens of hundreds of children requiring care abroad. Helping refugees receive proper treatment for debilitating and life-threatening conditions is enormously rewarding for those involved because saving a life is the best we can hope to do as humans. Since the number of patients are huge, BHHF is constantly seeking partners, and financial support from Western Organizations, philanthropists and any human being whose life is blessed to have a warm home with running water, health care that is easily accessed and food plentiful and available.
People and Organizations who want to make a difference in the lives of humans suffering are requested to help BHHF so more refugee children can experience a better, more productive life, their future is uncertain, but we at BHHF continue to fight to put the shine of hope back in little Maja’s eyes.