From Niger Send Message Follow
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  • Age17
  • Conditioncleft lip
  • Next Appointment To be scheduled

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CURE in Niger

The picture above is of CURE in Niger. Everyone who serves with CURE in Niger, from medical professionals to office staff, are dedicated to providing the highest quality medical and spiritual care to people who, without CURE, couldn't find it and couldn't afford it, just like Sharifa. To do that, we're inviting you to partner with us.

We need to raise approximately $1000 to treat children like Sharifa. When you give a gift through Sharifa's CUREkids profile, your contribution will help us continue our work in countries like Niger. Have more questions? Ask us.

Monthly Giving: Be a Hero!

When you partner with us monthly, we'll send you an email each month to introduce you to a different child who was helped because of your generosity. You can choose to follow their updates and send them get well messages. That means that each year, you're a part of helping 12 different children, beginning with Sharifa. We call it being a CURE Hero!

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Sharifa's Story

"Well I've never known someone who hasn't insulted me because of my lip." Comments like that don't leave you very quickly, and that was Sharifa's response to our question about how many supportive friends she has.

The more we spent time with… Read more

"Well I've never known someone who hasn't insulted me because of my lip." Comments like that don't leave you very quickly, and 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 has 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.

Sharifa comes from a family of 5, where she's the oldest of three. Her father left this last year for Ghana to mine gold after an unsuccessful harvest season, but Sharifa has been in the care of her grandmother, Hadisa, since she was a baby. Her mother and 2 siblings live in another town, but since her mom's taking care of a newborn, Hadisa is who accompanied Sharifa here.

Judging by how much she talked about getting teased and beaten, even by her family members, we thought Sharifa might dream about visiting somewhere else. Not the case at all. She says she just prefers staying there, and that when she comes home from getting her surgery, they won't have a reason to beat her anymore.

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Latest Updates

Sep 30, 2014

As usual, Sharifa came to see the doctor for a few minutes and entertained us for hours. She has lost weight, and her grandmother said it is because she had malaria, but Sharifa showed us her hands to feel the calluses, result of hard work in the field, and she blamed the work - “If you can see that I lost weight, give me food!” And that was the end of our cookies! Once she would not let us work, we gave her a job to do: to learn how to write her name. She loved to connect the dots, but would get mad when we told her to write it by herself. The doctors and nurses were happy that she has done the massages to soften her lips. They told her to keep doing it, and if she has any problem, to come back to see us. For now, she is good to go and is a vivid example of God’s healing! Photo of Sharifa

Sep 23, 2014

We are sad to say that Sharifa missed her appointment! It’s true that her grandmother said it would be hard to come again once it is time to work on their crops, but we called the village cellphone and left a message with someone that knows her. We hope she will be here next week.

Jul 22, 2014

Sharifa came to her follow up, but spent way more time playing around than with the doctor. She is sassier than ever! She kept asking for candies, but we said that she needs real food, so she argued that a lollipop is real food, saying, “Give me one, I’ll eat it and show that it is real food!” She encouraged another girl who will undergo the same cleft surgery, saying that there is no reason to be afraid, and both of them had fun wearing the surgical caps. The surgeon was really pleased with Sharifa's healing so far and recommended doing a massage three a times a day on her lips to soften the scar. He's asked her to come back in 2 months, and it's good to know that we are going to see her soon! Photo of Sharifa

Jul 07, 2014

Look who was hanging out with us today! Sharifa came to her follow up, but spent way more time chatting with her old friends than with the nurses. She was playing shy today, but her grandma told us that everyone in her village was amazed how beautiful she looks! Sharifa said nobody makes fun of her anymore, and now she can participate in the village social life. Last week, for example, she participated in a “koubaeyn”, which is a wedding tradition when all the women and children go outside with music to welcome the bride, and share a meal. We are so glad to see that she is doing well! Photo of Sharifa

Jun 10, 2014

And out they go! Sharifa and her grandma left today, but not before they thanked everybody and asked for God’s blessing upon all of us. Grandma wanted to know if Sharifa would be able to do some chores now, and was happy to know that yes, she could grind wheat and help around the house. Sharifa wasn’t that happy about it, so grandma started the speech about how stubborn our girl is, as if we hadn't noticed that. Sharifa said that she will start school as soon as possible, she is so confident now. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement. We hope to see her in one month. Photo of Sharifa

Jun 09, 2014

She cannot wait to go to school! If you leave a notebook and a pen where she can see it, she will grab it for sure and start “writing”, then you find your notebook with pages and pages of scribbles. Today she made a great effort to copy some numbers and the result was beautiful! She is talking a lot and hugging our staff all the time, trying to show some love because she knows she will be leaving soon. She will be so missed here, but we're incredibly excited for what's next for her! Photo of Sharifa

Jun 06, 2014

Sharifa is a new girl!! When she first got here, she would hide her face all the time, but now she asks us to take pictures of her and make funny faces. She has made friends with other kids, and little by little, she lets her strong personality dominate the environment. We love this kid. Photo of Sharifa

Jun 04, 2014

It seems like our girl has never worn a shirt with a hood before! She was fascinated by that and even asked us to take a picture with it on. Her day was good, she is talkative again, but still afraid of smiling. She said "If something would happen where I've had surgery while I'm smiling, then I might get in trouble with the doctor and I will blame you for that!" Thank you for your prayers, her joy is the result of it! Photo of Sharifa

Jun 03, 2014

Sharifa’s anxiousness didn’t let her sleep much, and early this morning, she was eagerly waiting to get her stitches out. Of course she wasn’t afraid of the scissors and said that it didn’t hurt at all. She is making new friends at the “case de passage”, and tomorrow we have a treat for her. We are going to give her some clothes! It’s a shame we didn’t capture her smile when she heard that...what girl wouldn’t smile about that?! Keep praying for her as she gets ready to go home! Photo of Sharifa

Jun 02, 2014

Sharifa had a good weekend at “case de passage”, a house here at CURE Niger where long term patients or people who live far away can stay while waiting for their follow up appointments. She's gone to see the nurses everyday to check the healing process, and everybody is happy with the results! Tomorrow she will probably get her stitches out, and she said can’t wait to go back to her village and show off her new smile. Photo of Sharifa

May 30, 2014

It is a great day!! Sharifa got discharged, and now she doesn’t have to wear the arm braces anymore. What a relief! Besides that, for the first time, we saw her playing and interacting with other kids, she has already started a new life! The nurses will check on her everyday for a few more days, so keep praying for total healing and we will let you know how she is doing http.:// Photo of Sharifa

May 29, 2014

Our girl had a good day at the ward; there are new kids around so she started to talk a little bit more, even though she spends most of her time laying down. Sharifa said the stitches are itching so the nurses did not let her arm braces go. She still can’t play much but you all can see her coloring skills. Thank you for praying for her. Photo of Sharifa

May 28, 2014

Sharifa is definitely not happy with her arm braces, and the frown she gives makes it obvious. So we tried our best to make her smile, until she said, “Stop! You have to wait until I am completely healed so I can laugh!” She is eating well, and using her time to color some pictures and rest. Every once in a while, she gets up and goes to the mirror hanging on the ward wall to look at her beautiful face. All the swelling cannot hide the joy we see in her eyes. Photo of Sharifa

May 27, 2014

Our brave girl hasn't complained about pain, and she's keeping her sassiness alive and going crazy on peoples' phones. Now that the nurses have taken the bandages off, we can see how everything is looking. It's swollen for sure, but we can already see the great transformation. She is having a hard time wearing arm braces, which are necessary to keep her from touching the stitches, but she can hardly sit still, so pray for her! Our staff gave her paper and crayons to try to release some of her energy. Maybe we will have a masterpiece tomorrow! and Photo of Sharifa

May 26, 2014

We were surprised (but maybe shouldn’t have been) that Sharifa smiled and giggled until she fell asleep. She didn’t even flinch when the IV went in. The doctor marked the places on her lips where the cuts needed to be made, and then released the tissues and reunited everything, giving her a cute, new nose and doing the best restoration he could. Grandma Hadisa was a bit scared when we went back to the ward with drowsy Sharifa, but praise God our girl is resting well. Part 1 of her surgery and part 2 of her surgery Photo of Sharifa

May 26, 2014

Sharifa was giggling around, teaching her grandmother how to take pictures with a phone right before heading to the operating room. Our brave girl wasn’t anxious at all about the surgery! Thank you for praying for her. Photo of Sharifa

May 25, 2014

It is encouraging to see her 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! Some things got switched around so she's heading into surgery tomorrow. Keep her in your prayers! Photo of Sharifa

May 22, 2014

Today we got to deliver some Get Well messages to Sharifa, who rarely sits still. She listened to us translate them as she practiced her scarf wrapping skills on one of our team members. She giggled after each one and then took them and piled them up. Thanks so much for the support, and alas, the countdown continues to her surgery next week! Photo of Sharifa

May 21, 2014

After arriving here with her sweet grandmother Hadisa, Sharifa has been raving about the mangoes, tea, and food here at CURE Niger. We'll take the cuisine endorsement any day. She also graced our team with her braiding skills yesterday, remarking that it was maybe her greatest challenge with braiding to date.

With a full schedule this week, she'll be hanging out with us and getting ready for her cleft surgery next week and we're absolutely thrilled to have her here! Photo of Sharifa

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