When my daughter was born I was shocked. I thought the cleft lip and palate had something to do with an internal disease. We have no idea what it was and I cried a lot, my feelings were hurt I thought Hawwi wouldn’t survive. But the nurses told me and my husband about what cleft lip and cleft palate is - and that there was surgery to help.

When people came to ask me about the new baby and congratulate me their impression of my daughter was making me really sad, I didn’t want them to come to my house anymore even though I understand the way they were asking about her made me feel like it had something to do with what we did during my pregnancy and even  how it might be a curse from people, this was something I didn’t want to hear.

That’s the moment I was scared for my baby, how will she survive? How is she going to feel when people see her? I was scared for her future.

I was also never able to breastfeed her. She wasn’t comfortable to drink milk from my breast. I was just feeding her cow milk. But now she is stronger, I started to give her different things that we made in the house.

We heard about Project Harar from people in our village and also from the health facility we went to get our daughter her vaccination. They told us how our daughter can get the help she need when she becomes 6 months old or older. They gave us their phone number and took ours too, to let us know when there would be a programme. 

It’s amazing to see that what I dreamed of for our child has come true. My daughter is beautiful and she was always beautiful. It made me really happy when I saw her face for the first time after the surgery. And I know when she grows up and hears the story of how she got treatment, she will feel lucky that she was to receive it at this young age. She will feel happier than me. Thank you for all you did for our daughter and our family.