A BBC correspondent caused quite a stir with her mobility scooter on a recent visit covering the refugee crisis in Syria.
Reporting for the BBC, Nikki Fox visited Zaatari refugee camp where children were excited by the correspondent’s presence on her mobility scooter. In a video on the BBC website, Nikki is seen surrounded by children as she moves through the camp and one even shouts “make a space for her”.
Nikki was in Syria to investigate how those with disabilities or limited mobility are coping under already trying circumstances in their temporary accommodation. During her visit she discovered that of those finding a temporary home at the Zaatari refugee camp, 30 per cent have a disability or chronic health condition and that’s double the global average.
Disability is an often underreported subject in the refugee crisis and yet it affects many people. An estimated 1.4 million Syrians who have fled to Jordan for safety are now faced with living in the basic refugee camps with a disability or significant health condition.
A further report by Nikki explores how the Syria War has affected disabled refugees, with limited support and funding making the journey to safety that bit harder for those displaced from their homes and now seeking refuge in Jordan.
As Nikki met with residents in Zaatari camp, the local children gathered around her and followed after her as she moved up the street on her scooter. The BBC correspondent took it all in good humour and appeared surprised by the all the attention her mode of transport got, saying: “The children have been absolutely fascinated by my mobility scooter. I don’t think anyone’s seen a mobility scooter before.
“I’ve had kids running behind me in total fascination.
“I don’t think that they have anything here that’s motorised. No electric wheelchairs, no mobility scooters. Any kind of mobility aid they have is more like a wheelchair or a walking frame.”
Many of us around the world are fortunate to have access to mobility equipment that can greatly improve our quality of life but as this recent video shows, to others living under challenging situations, seeing a mobility scooter is still a novel experience.
Image Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (flickr.com)