Donate Form
Facing Africa Noma
18_Noma_Women.jpg
Share This Page

In 1998, Chris Lawrence heard about the terrible plight of the hundreds of thousands of children suffering the dreadful and shocking destructive and devastating effects of “Noma”.

He wanted to do something, anything to help, and contacted Allan Thom, a Consultant Orthodontist whom he had known for several years to ask if he had ever come across the disease.

Together, Chris and Allan researched, spoke to dozens of people, scoured the internet and finally conceived and registered the charity “Facing Africa – NOMA”. At first they groped around in the dark looking at a variety of countries in West Africa with known incidence of Noma but getting detailed information and answers was laborious and fraught with contradictions. Should they consider finding isolated Noma sufferers and bring them to England for months of complex facial operations or try to make up a team of volunteers to deal with children in their own environments? After weighty deliberations, it was agreed that it is far more effective to put together occasional expeditions to a chosen location in Africa and operate as often as volunteers could be found and as often as could be financially viable. Chris and Allan faxed, phoned and e-mailed doctors, surgeons and hospital administrators in a variety of West African countries, but with precious little result.

But on 2nd July 2000, Chris had an fortuitous meeting with Dr Klaas Marck, founder and President of Dutch Noma Foundation (www.noma.nl), a charity set up in 1996 that sends teams of volunteer surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists to the Childrens Noma Hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria.

Since 2000, Facing Africa has been working closely with it’s European partners AWD Stiftung Kinderhilfe (Germany) (www.noma-project.de) and The Dutch Noma Foundation . So far (Feb 2013) we have raised over £ 2.75 million (about US $ 4.4 million) which has been spent on funding the teams each year from Europe to Ethiopia (air fares, hotel accommodation, ground transportation medical equipment and supplies, hospital fees, scans, surgical instruments, capital expenditure), training schemes and many other essential expenses. It should be noted that less than 6% of Facing Africa’s turnover is spent on administration.

News & Events
God save “America” – America Molla – 3-year old Ethiopian girl with “noma”

This is America (the child with a blue necklace) with her brother, baby sister and her mum (Genet). No member […]

The new Face of Sufi

Sufi is 13. Just like all teenage girls, she smiles, enjoys talking to people, loves her hair being done and […]

African Themed Evening in aid of Facing Africa Saturday 22nd October 2016

African Themed Evening in aid of Facing Africa Saturday 22nd October 2016 at 6.30pm Sue Criswick and Melanie Vojak are […]

Recent Facebook Posts

For all those lovely people who are concerned about 3 year old America: she is doing really well and being looked after round the clock at MCM hospital in Addis. She gained 3 kg since we found her fighting for her life in appalling conditions in Dessie Hospital and although it is too early to say if we will be operating on her in May, this tough little girl has already beaten the odds and survived NOMA, a disease that kills more than 98 percent of children affected by it. It has been incredible to play a part in her journey to survival and now - recovery. We feel truly blessed. Share and like this post and keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Children can be very cruel. They are particularly cruel to other children, not many adults, because the consequences are usually slight. Without a theory of mind they are blind to the feelings aroused in others. Main reason why our children patients drop out of school is because they are being teased constantly by their peers. The surgery Amlakalgne had in October 2016 makes such a big change to her face and to her life: she will not be bullied anymore. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook