“With this artificial limb I am like any other person. I can cook, fetch water and dig”
(Female victim, Gulu, Uganda)
Physical rehabilitation provides victim survivors with an extensive degree of physical healing, which enables them to function as normally as possible in their communities and to re-engage in regular community life. Physical rehabilitation is therefore a highly promising means to attempt to restore the normalcy of daily life (as much as is possible) in post-conflict settings.
In the two situations the TFV in currently active in, northern Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the TFV’s programme activities for physical rehabilitation respond to human rights violations and losses experienced by victim survivors. These may include burns and chronic wounds, mutilation of ears, noses or lips, loss of limbs due to human amputation, and land mine incidents.
In both situations, the TFV has been working with implementing partners to provide prosthetics fittings and provisions, referrals to specialised providers for reconstructive and general surgery, bullet and bomb fragment removal and physiotherapy sessions to victims. Further examples include improving disabled access to civic buildings in Gulu, and the identification, referral, and assisted transportation of survivors of sexual violence in order for them to access fistula repair, HIV tests and treatment, post-exposure-prophylaxis (PEP), and other specialised medical care.
The most significant changes which beneficiaries have reported back are the ability to live a normal life again, to make plans for the future, to resume school and gardening, the confidence to participate in community gatherings again, and a restoration of independence and self-reliance.