15 year old Iftu was identified by a Project Harar Programme Officer in the Amhara Region as needing surgery for a complex facial disfigurement. Her older brother Mesfin travelled with her to Addis so she would be able to receive treatment at Yekatit 12 Government Hospital as part of the Project Harar Complex Surgical Programme. 

Iftu was born with a nasal deformity involving her nasal cartilage and overlying skin. The altered shape of her nostrils caused obstruction of airflow in through her nose resulting in intermittent breathing difficulties. She also has a condition called Hypertelorism which means that the distance between her eyesockets is greater than average resulting in her eyes to being further apart. Because she looked different to her peers, Iftu had experienced bullying and consequently she had dropped out of school, when we asked what she hoped from her operation outcome she told us that she hoped not to be mocked anymore.

Project Harar's Complex Surgical Programme brings people together who have had similar experiences of feeling isolated our outcast due to the way they look, Iftu's confidence grew as she spent more time with others. 

Iftu received corrective surgery to address her nasal deformity to reconstruct the defective areas of her nose. Her brother Mesfin told us: 

This operation has not just changed her physically, before she was so depressed, this has brought her peace.

Iftu said that when she returns home to her village she hopes to one day own her own shop. Since, Programme Officers have been in touch with Iftu's family to check on her progress. Her breathing difficulties have not came back and although she is not yet back at school because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she is excited to return.