Shaddy is a seventeen year old Dom boy who lives in a small village on the Palestinian West Bank. He dreams of going to a technical school to train for a job
as an electrician. Already Shaddy works with his father designing and installing the metal doors and windows common in the Middle East. His father recognizes
that Shaddy has other interests and will not be pursuing the craft that has been handed down from father to son in their family for generations. But, he is
proud of his son’s entrepreneurial spirit.
There are challenges to Shaddy’s vocational ambitions, and even his interest in starting a family. Since his birth the bones in Shaddy’s mouth have not fully
developed; as a result, he has no teeth. His efforts to eat normally have resulted in further damage to his gums and the bones. This physical condition has
impacted his self-esteem and limited his social interaction. The anxiety that comes with going out into public or having a conversation with other teenagers
diminishes his plans for the future. Shaddy resigned himself to raising his pigeons, and getting by without attracting any more attention to himself than
Shaddy mother is a talented seamstress who is working with the Domari Society’s handicraft production. This program is designed to help Dom women utilize
their skills to help meet the needs of their families. As his mother worked with Amoun Sleem, Shaddy’s condition came to Amoun’s attention. Eager to help
the Dom people, Ms. Sleem contacted a local dental surgeon who offered his services free of charge. Although there were still expenses for the operations
needed to address Shaddy’s situation, a life changing plan began to take shape. The DRC has now joined the team and is seeking the needed funding for the
operations. Because of the surgeon’s generosity, only $10,000 is needed to complete the operations that will give Shaddy a full set of teeth. At the end of
September, three surgeries have been completed. “He’s happier now. Some of the bitterness is leaving him,” his mother said. “He’s already asking us to begin
looking for his wife!”
The process takes time, and Amoun is always encouraging him to be patient. The doctor is moving ahead with the operations, and the DRC has contributed $7,000
toward the expenses (as of February 14, 2014). Another $3,000 will complete the process that will give Shaddy a smile, and renew his hopes for the future. If you would like to make a
contribution for Shaddy’s dental procedure, send a check (US dollars only) to the following address. Be sure to indicate on the check or in an accompanying
note that the contribution is for Shaddy’s dental procedure. The next payment of $1,000 will be delivered in March 2014. Watch this site and the DRC Facebook page for updates.
Send your contribution to:
Dom Research Center
P.O. Box 121
McComb, MS 39649
Or click on the link below to make a donation by credit card or PayPal account.