The Free Internet Cafe for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the first in the whole of Africa, which opens the World Wide Web, making The Gambia a leading light in Africa, with this technology by allowing free and total access to surf the net send and receive emails and for students to enhace their studies with the aid of this pioneering software. No more do they need to rely on a third party to read to them newspapers, magazines, books, letters and world wide information. - Gambian Girl desperate for plastic surgery, "Give Aminata the life she deserves"

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Gambian Girl desperate for plastic surgery, "Give Aminata the life she deserves" 

Gambian Girl desperate for plastic surgery

"Give Aminata the life she deserves"

HELP NEEDED: Simn Wezel, of Braintree, with a picture of Aminata, who needs an ear operation Photograph: NICKY LEWIN


LITTLE Aminata Sawaneh faces partial deafness and problems in her Gambian home as she cannot get surgery routinely performed in the UK.

The six-year-old was born with a deformity which left her without an ear hole, even though beneath the skin's surface lies a perfectly formed "ear".

Plastic surgery she so desperately needs to penetrate the skin's surface is not available in the Gambia. As each year passes, the inner ear disintegrates causing her hearing to diminish.

Simon Wezel, founder of the Braintree-based Kingfisher Trust which helps improve education, health and standards of living in Gambia, is leading the campaign to get Aminata surgery in this country.

He said: "She is very shy about the deformity. We had a job to get any photos taken even though they were done by her father.

"With some charities you might not know where the money is going. Here you know you are helping to give a child a future."

He is trying to raise enough money to pay for a flight and hopes a hospital may be persuaded to perform the operation free of charge.

He added all it would take to give Aminata a chance is a simple operation, one that is performed all the time in the UK.

Not only does Aminata's deformity mean she is falling behind in school; it is also causing her psychological damage because of the taunts and abuse she gets from her fellow pupils. She has asked her father to cut off the redundant lobe, rather than put up with the" jibes, and he is worried at how increasingly withdrawn she is becoming.

If she does not have the vital operation she faces a difficult future.

Aid workers say her education —which is behind even though she is bright — will mean she will never get a job and her marriage prospects will be limited.

n Donations can be sent to Simon Wezel c/o newsroom, EADT, Dugard House, Moss Road, Stanway, Colchester CO3 5UL

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