It is not easy to look
at Ibragim without tears welling up in my eyes. The sixteen-year-old boy lives
with his older sister, Maret, in Chechen-Aul village, they rent a flat and I
have never seen a child living in conditions like this.
The building is a
shell with wide open holes for windows and doors. There is no bathroom or
kitchen and the furniture is old and almost useless. There is no water or gas
Ibragim and Maret are
the only surviving members of their family. Maret takes care of him and they are
very close. They were once a family of six, but his mother died in 1995; two
years later his father was dead; two years more and the second Chechen war
began and both his older brothers disappeared.
Ibragim was maimed during
the bombardment of Chechnya. A bomb exploded nearby injuring his face and right
hand. His right eye is gone and two of his fingers have been amputated.
His loss and his
injuries have left him silent and withdrawn. As we talk, the few words that leave
his lips are followed by weeping. It is not easy to talk with this boy.
I steer the
conversation away from painful memories and ask about what he likes, and he tells
me about his favorite foods, fruits and sweets, and the computer games and
films he likes. His favorite colour is
black and he dreams of earning enough money to buy a good house and a computer.
When I ask what he
would do if he became a president he answers, "I would help orphans and
disabilities he can cope with daily life. Ibragim attends school and is a
brilliant student. His marks are always excellent and he is especially fond of
Ibragim knows that it
is important to study well for his future. He wants to become a lawyer.
Ibragim has been sponsored
by a donor in USA since 2005, and life is beginning to improve. He receives regular
packages of food and a school set with everything he needs for his education,
and in the winter he receives warm clothing.
There are many
children like Ibragim whose families have been destroyed by years of war.
sponsor an orphan in Chechnya visit www.alyateem.com.