Joel E. Mansaray was born about six-years ago to a strong and hard-working woman who is continuously filling and hauling five-gallon containers of water for her neighbors at no cost. While she works, Joel is taken care of by his maternal uncle who is also working to support several members of his extended family.
Joel posed for this photo wearing his primary school uniform during the 2018-19 school year. We hope to be able to find a sponsor for Joel to help us send him to school again this September.
Through the ASI Student Sponsorship Program, Africa Surgery is helping to educate 132 students. However, many of these students remain without their own sponsor and might have to be dropped from this program as result. It costs $200 per year to provide a student in need with school uniforms, shoes, school bag, books, and other supplies and costs.
Each time I return from my visits to Sierra Leone I bring thank-you letters, written by each student to their sponsor, and photos of each student, which are then sent to each sponsor personally by me.
Esther Conteh first came to us in January, 2016. She presented with the right side of her face ballooned out, her jaw being shifted to the left by a tumor. She had been previously been working as a police officer, but had to give up her job due to the appearance of the tumor. We had Esther start receiving weekly chemotherapy treatment from our oral surgeon in Freetown, but her tumor only grew larger.
In 2017 we were able to send Esther to the Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. There her tumor was successfully excised, and she returned to Sierra Leone. However, despite the surgery, the tumor had eaten away so much of her lower-and-upper-right jawbones that her face was left with a large divot, and she wore a sling to hold the right side of her mouth closed.
I was very surprised on April 1, 2019, when Esther turned up where we were unloading supplies from our storage container. She was nicely dressed, no-longer needing the sling to hold her mouth closed. I learned that she is now living in our village just a few houses away from our storage container and that she has been reinstated as a police officer.
In January, it was determined that five-year-old Yatta Bokarie’s tumor-like protrusion on the middle of her face was increasing in size and that it was connected to her brain. Yatta was not seen by us, but had been seen only by Dr. Hans Arndt, a reconstructive-plastic-surgeon visiting Sierra Leone from Germany. While I was still in Sierra Leone, I emailed Yatta’s X-rays and brief medical history to Dr. David Nolen at the Kijabe Hospital in Kenya (www.kijabehospital.org). Dr. Nolen confirmed that the neural surgeons at Kijabe could treat Yatta in Kenya, and Dr. Arndt consented to let Africa Surgery send Yatta there.
Because Yatta and her family live in a remote village with no cell-phone coverage, they could not be reached by phone, and no one knew the village’s name or where it was. We had messages broadcast over the radio, and within two days Yatta was located. In May, 2018, Yatta was finally sent to Kenya for surgical treatment. Yatta returned to Sierra Leone on August 4, 2018. Her face and her future are much brighter now.
Aminata Kamara, 37, was disabled by polio as a child. Years ago, Aminata earned a certificate in tailoring at vocational school, but she never managed to acquire a sewing machine. She could only do piece-work in other tailors’ shops, and only if a machine equipped with a hand crank was available.
Africa Surgery gave Aminata a sewing machine, powered by hand, which was donated and shipped from Holland. Africa Surgery also designed and built an adjustable table and chair for her, using 2 surplus walkers and some boards. Aminata, who lives with her husband and two children on a settlement for polio victims, now is able to work from home.
Last week Africa Surgery distributed mobility carts to 10 disabled people in the town of Kabala, about 190 miles from Freetown. One of the recipients was Bafudia Kabalo, a 65-year-old man who had lost his left leg six months earlier.
Bafudia’s daughter/helper, in the picture, brought him to Bafudia. He will now be able to transport himself, his tools and his produce to and from his field.
We are a unique organization in that we use 100% of of the funds donated here for the medical and surgical care of Sierra Leonean children and adult patients. No part of these funds go for administrative costs.
In Sierra Leone, simple surgeries cost slightly over $100. No donation is too small. Every dollar counts.
Africa Surgery, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit. Your donations are tax-deductible in the United States.