Mother's Day on 3rd April in the UK coincided with the return from Harar of Dr Matt Fell, our volunteer researcher who for the past 10 weeks has been giving check-ups to some 400 Project Harar patients, interviewing them with their parents in the communities.
To mark this special day and say thanks to mums everywhere, we wanted to mention the mother of Tamima, a little girl now aged 5.
Tamima is one of five brothers and sisters from Gursum, a village in the far east of the Harar region. The children have been brought up single-handed by their mother, who is a widow. Tamima, the youngest child, had her lip repaired at two years, and her palate was treated last year by the Project.
It was the final interview after a hard first week, reaching 73 patients, and Tamima and her mum came into the doctor's room. The check-up and the discussion were very straightforward. As a final question, we asked Tamima's mother if there was anything else she'd like to let us know. Very quietly, she said "Galatoma" - 'thank you' in Oromifa - and continued:
"I have raised five children on my own. It's been so difficult since their father died. But now, my youngest child has been treated, and so thanks to you, I have five perfect children." And so the first week of a marathon project concluded in tears of joy.
Thank you to everyone who came and made it such a spe...
Listen to two BBC World Service interviews with Project Harar surgical teams from 2007. First up, an interview with Sissay Befikadu, who was in charge of the cleft programme at Yekatit-12 hospital. And secondly, an interview with Klaas Marck, a Dutch plastic surgeon and chair of the Dutch Noma Foundation.