BAFTA nominated award-winning writer and international poet Lemn Sissay, has accepted the role of Patron for Brighton-based charity, Project Harar. Specialising in comprehensive cleft care and the treatment of complex facial disfigurements, Sissay will play a vital role in helping the charity to raise awareness for the many thousands children living with life threating facial disfigurements in Ethiopia.
Guest director of this year’s Brighton Festival Lemn Sissay said:, “I am so happy to be Project Harar’s newest Patron, joining Anwen Hurt. Project Harar help women, children and families find the opportunity to make choices that lead to change. Not just for themselves, but for their families, their friends and their communities. For all of us. There are so many brilliant and unique things about Project Harar, but fundamentally they make people happy.”
Project Harar provide year round access to essential surgery for those effected by cleft lip and palate in rural Ethiopia. Like many other organisations who work in global health, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that not only is their work harder and more costly to deliver, but fundraising in the UK has taken a significant hit.
Project Harar’s UK CEO Jackie Riley added:, “We are beyond delighted that Lemn Sissay has accepted role of Patron, we are a small but growing international charity and having Lemn at our core will be invaluable for raising awareness and meeting our 2021 target of providing access to surgery for 900 children, enabling them to eat, speak, smile and grow into adulthood as part as their communities. ”
When a child accesses treatment for their cleft lip or palate, their life prospects are significantly improved. As well as a multitude of developmental barriers, a cleft is often a source of stigma in rural Ethiopia, children become excluded from their communities and are unable to make friends or go to school. Access to cleft care is life changing, Project Harar believe that every child should have the same opportunities as their peer group.
To find out more about Project Harar and how you can support, visit: www.projectharar.org