In March 2017, a group of our supporters visited Palestine, where 2017 Alumni Honoree Dr. Jumana Odeh and The Palestinian Happy Child Centre provide treatment and care for children with disabilities. Watch the video below to meet Leila, one of the children our supporters met on their trip.
Leila is a joyful little girl who is loved by everyone she meets. She has many talents, including dancing like a rock star, counting from one to ten in English, and giving amazing hugs. Her warmth and enthusiasm for others shines through to her family, classmates, teachers, and friends. On our visit, her teacher proudly told us that Leila is everyone’s favorite.
Leila is unique in other ways. She has Down syndrome, which occurs in just one in every 1,000 babies born every year. She was also born in Palestine, where children with special needs often face discrimination and limited access to specialized services. Children like Leila often have a hard time getting an education, receiving health care, or having opportunities later in life.
2017 Alumni Honoree Dr. Jumana Odeh founded the Palestinian Happy Child Centre (PHCC) in 1994 to make sure children like Leila receive the care they need. The PHCC not only provides therapy and specialized care for children, but also supports parents and educates the larger community about disabilities. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Odeh and the PHCC have provided comprehensive services to approximately 38,000 children and families in Palestine.
Leila is one of those children. Thanks to the PHCC, she receives the specialized education, therapy, and medical services that she needs to thrive. Every day, she is surrounded by people who love her, just the way she is.
Celebrate the work of Dr. Jumana Odeh at the 2017 World of Children Hero Awards in Los Angeles, coming up on April 19!