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The New Arab Staff

UK Syrian refugee who lost leg in war walks to raise funds for migrant camps

Hundreds are participating in the campaign with a total of 124,000 miles pledged. [Facebook]

Date of publication: 15 June, 2020

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A UK-based 26-year-old refugee girl with a prosthetic leg is participating in a campaign that has already raised over $80,000 to aid refugee camps.
A Syrian refugee living in the UK has helped raise more than £70,000 (around $86,350) to fight coronavirus outbreaks in migrant camps.

The 26-year-old Dema Aktaa – who lost her leg in a bomb strike in Syria – pledged to walk a mile near her home in the east England country Bedfordshire to raise the funds, according to a Sunday report by the local paper Evening Standard.  

In a series of videos posted on her Facebook page, Aktaa worked on exercises to build up strength on her new prosthetic leg to help the Help Refugees' campaign, Around the World in 40 days, raise its goal of £100,000.

Hundreds are participating in the campaign with a total of 124,000 miles pledged already.

"I am going to walk a mile for refugees because I want to help other people and make them feel happy. I know how hard it is to be a refugee as I have had that experience myself," Aktaa is quoted as saying on the campaign page.

Help Refugees co-founder Josie Naughton told the Standard that the refugee girl had been an "inspiration" because of her efforts in helping others, as well as her positive attitude.
 
"Everyone is currently separate and self-isolated but very much coming together in a group endeavour to achieve something collaborative," Naughton said. "We're humbled every day by the efforts of all our amazing supporters."

Read also: Thousands face homelessness in Greek refugee relocation push

Aktaa is waiting on a leg surgery in the UK to help the pain she experiences while walking. Despite the bruising, she successfully covered 1.6 miles, surpassing her goal and raising almost £600, the report said.

The Help Refugees campaign funds will go towards helping protect those in camps such as Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos, Naughton said, adding that refugees are "some of the most vulnerable people on the planet" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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