Tirusew before and after her operation


Tirusew is 13 years old she is from the Woreda Debre Markos, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

Before she came to Addis for Treatment, Tirusew would sit inside the house all day, her brothers would bring home some of their school work to show her. Sometimes, she would get to go to the market with her mother.


"I used to go to school, but I was forced to stop going at 4th grade.

I felt pain in my face. But the main reason was that other students were laughing at me.

I felt really happy when I heard the good news that my operation was going ahead."



Tirusew before her operation, visiting another patient from the mission - Sifan, with dietitian Natasha


Over her time at the centre, Tirusew became so much more confident. Her surgery was very successful, the mass was removed from her chin. The area that was operated on was left very swollen after the operation, this swelling will eventually settle. Tirusew and her family were so happy with the results.

Due to the bullying she had faced in her home village, Tirusew was definitely amongst the shyer patients we met on our 2020 Complex Mission. During the mission Tirusew found a best friend, fellow patient Sifan who was also being treated for a large mass on her face, the two became inseparable.



“I came for treatment and I met Sifan, I love her she is my best friend. Sifan protects me.” - Tirusew


The Project Harar Programme Officer for the Amhara region was able to follow up with Tirusew and her family just a few weeks after she had returned home. The swelling around her chin had gone down and she was excited to return to school soon. 



Photograph taken by Tirusew's father at their home in the Amhara region