Abeer, a 31-year-old Palestinian-Jordanian, volunteers with IOCC in Jordan, supporting some of our programs there for people with impairments and disabilities. She’s now volunteered with IOCC for six years.
Abeer’s story reflects her determination and resilience. She was diagnosed at age 12 with macular edema, a disease that causes blurred vision, and visual disabilities run in her family. But Abeer worked hard in school and, with support from her parents and her school principal (who printed books for her in larger font so she could read more easily), she graduated from high school with distinction. She went on to earn a university degree in English. Finding a job, however, was another story because employers saw her vision challenges and were reluctant to hire her.
In 2017, Abeer discovered an opportunity with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). Selected as a community-based rehabilitation worker (CBRW), Abeer seized the chance to not only contribute to IOCC’s mission but also to enhance her skills through intensive training, with a focus on working with people with disabilities. In this role, Abeer connects people in her community with the services IOCC and its partners are providing, like screening, diagnosing, and treating visual and hearing conditions.
A turning point came when IOCC’s Project Manager connected Abeer with the project’s optometrist. Newly equipped with eyeglasses and a video magnifier, Abeer quickly saw huge improvements in her daily life.
Looking ahead, Abeer dreams of a future where employers recognize her skills, not just her disability, and she plans to one day start her own business. She’s grateful for both the help she received and the chance to volunteer with IOCC helping others overcome similar challenges.