JORDAN – Two years ago, Wafaa Barakat came to the Center of Our Lady of Peace for her disabled son Samir. Finding a real family here at the center, she came almost every day to voluntarily take care of the children, and today she works there as an assistant teacher.
Like every morning, Wafaa Barakat pushes the door of the Center of Our Lady of Peace accompanied by her multi-impaired son, Samir. This gleaming mother came here for the first time in 2015, following the advice of some friends, and never left. The center became a second family for her. A warm place in which she immediately felt accepted when her own family began to fall apart. “When my husband discovered Samir’s disability, he rejected the child because for him it was insurmountable and I found myself alone.” Helpless, she returned to stay with her parents. “Before I arrived at the center, I had eight very complicated years after Samir was born. My husband rejected us, and I did not know where to turn. Samir could not go to a normal school because with all the lost time that accumulated He did not speak; he was afraid of others. The reality of disability here is that I was asked to leave stores when I walked with him. When I arrived at the center, it changed my life.”
“The center opened him up to life and in turn changed mine.”
At the center, Samir is supported by professionals on all fronts, and in 2015 he joined one of the regular classes. Every morning, he follows a specialized program with twenty other children coming to the center. Little by little, Wafaa surprised herself by coming every day to help the teachers. “The center has changed Samir’s life on all fronts. I owe them everything. He has become more independent. He now speaks with greater ease and has opened up slowly, thanks to his relationships with other children. The center opened him up to life. And in turn, it changed mine.”
For the past two months, Um Samir has been hired as an assistant at the center of Our Lady of Peace and helps children with autism in the classroom, one of the most challenging classes. During the visit of Queen Rania of Jordan this Sunday, December 10, she spontaneously slipped towards the sovereign with a huge smile to testify: “Your Majesty, this center has changed my life!”