Cayman community assists African medical crisis.

| 25/06/2009

(CNS): Cayman Prep and High School recently raised over $2,000 to aid child sufferers of a devastating flesh-eating disease, thanks to the initiative of Year 2 student, Tiggi Kohl. The school’s fundraising effort followed a detailed presentation about the infection, which seven-year-old Tiggi delivered to the Primary School site at a morning assembly in May. During her presentation, Tiggi explained how the condition, known as Noma, causes deformities of the face and mainly affects children under the age of 6 who live in extreme poverty and suffer from chronic malnutrition. She also told her fellow students how the disease is at its most prevalent in parts of Africa.

A month later, the Primary School Principal, Brian Wilson, presented Tiggi with a sizable donation from the school to Facing Africa, the UK- based charity dedicated to helping Noma sufferers.

“We asked all the students to donate at least two dollars, a toy or some clothing. In return, we all got to wear our own clothes instead of our uniform for the day” Tiggi explained, adding “We also gave away t-shirts to help promote the cause”. Tiggi continued, “We received lots of donations from the children. Thank you to everyone for giving so generously.”

Wilson said, “Cayman Prep & High School always encourages its students to be community-minded and to become involved in supporting charitable causes.” He continued, “We wereall particularly impressed with Tiggi’s presentation. Many of the students could identify with the impact of Noma because of the similarity in ages between them and the children who are affected by the disease. The school is proud to have been part of such a successful fundraiser and commends Tiggi for her efforts.”

Tiggi was assisted by her mother, Jane Wareham, who helped create ‘Smile Africa’, a Cayman Islands- based project intended to raise funds for Facing Africa and for the Pediatric Ward at George Town Hospital. Wareham also helped Smile Africa garner local support from some big name corporate sponsors, such as Stuarts Walker Hersant, RBC Wealth Management, Krys & Associates, Tower Marketing and D.M.S. Management.

Kenneth Krys, Managing Director of Cayman-based Corporate Recovery and Insolvency firm, Krys & Associates, was recently in the news for completing the grueling Marathon Des Sables in April; a 6 day, 151 mile endurance race across the Sahara desert in aid of Facing Africa.

Stuarts Walker Hersant and RBC Wealth Management will also be raising awareness about the charity at their jointly hosted investment seminar in New York at the end of this month.

Ms. Wareham said, “We are delighted with the results of our efforts and deeply grateful to our corporate supporters for their generous donations.” She continued, “We have engaged in an initiative with the children’s ward at George Town Hospital in which local children will also share in the proceeds of our fundraising activities. We have some exciting plans for the future, which include a road race and special hospitality events.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 100,000 children are affected by Noma each year in many sub-Saharan countries from Senegal to Ethiopia, a region now dubbed “the Noma belt”. The WHO currently estimates that ninety percent of Noma sufferers will die as a result of the infection, which is on the increase due to poor economic and social conditions in areas where it is prevalent. The problem is compounded by high incidences of poverty, food shortages, conflict and corruption in these areas. Noma survivors are often left with severe scarring and are unable to speak and eat properly because of restrictions in jaw movement caused by scar tissue.

Facing Africa sends four surgical teams from Europe to Africa every year, at a cost of $100,000 per trip. The dedicated efforts of fundraisers have allowed the charity to carry out more than 1,000 facial reconstructions since its inception in 1997. The donations of cash, clothes and toys raised by Cayman Prep & High School will be delivered by the voluntary surgeons themselves.
More information about Noma and Facing Africa can be found online at

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