10 year old Kitessa and his father travelled from the West Shewa zone in the Oromia region, to Addis Ababa so that Kitessa could receive surgery for his cleft lip. They live in an extremely remote and difficult to reach kebele (village) – the nearest woreda (town) has no accessible road.

Combined with the rural location, Kitessa’s father also described that they had many financial difficulties  – their family trade was producing cash crops to sell at the market which was closed due to Covid. The cost of reaching Addis for Kitessa’s treatment was unattainable without our support. Their rural home location had also meant limited health messaging and so the family had not previously been aware that treatment was available. 

Because of stigma in their community Kitessa had never attended school, his father described how he would stay home and look after their cattle and sheep.

Their journey to reach the transport provided  by Project Harar involved walking long hours on foot. Financial difficulties meant that Kitessa also did not have adequate clothing, so Project Harar’s Programme Officer provided him with new clothes, including a warm coat. When Kitessa received his surgery both he and his father were so happy. Kitessa’s father told us that he will endeavour to enrol him in some schooling.