Happy Friday, and happy World Smile Day! To celebrate, we’d like to share Sharifa’s story with you.
Sharifa is one of many children whose smiles have been restored through cleft surgery at CURE. Thanks to the CUREkids program, we’ve been able to follow her story since she first came to CURE Niger in May.
It’s incredible to see the difference one surgery can make. It certainly made quite a difference for Sharifa! Here is a portion of her journey at CURE Niger, as told by Jamile Lopes, our CUREkids Coordinator in Niger.
‘”I’ve never known someone who hasn’t insulted me because of my lip.’ Comments like that don’t leave you very quickly; that was Sharifa’s response to our question about how many supportive friends she has. The more we spent time with her, the more her shyness wore off to reveal her true colors. Brave, spunky, and willing to speak up for herself, Sharifa has had to endure quite a lot. After being born with a cleft lip, the teasing and beating have been incessant, so much so that she doesn’t even go to school. We asked her what she’d want to learn if she did go, and she simply said, ‘Zero.’ After reading our puzzled faces, she elaborated with, ‘Zero, un, deux, trois, quatre…’ She wants to learn numbers. It’ll serve her well too, since she aspires to be a clothes tailor.”
“It is encouraging to see Sharifa playing and having fun during the weekend. She tried to teach one of our staff members how to play with the rocks, but nobody is as fast as her. Monday is the big day!”
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