to give a child a smile

and also in memory of Martin Kelly, co-founders of  “Facing The World”. “Facing The World” is the only charity I support except  Amnesty International. It  is an  UK origination/charity.  You can see their logo on my site. PLEASE, WATCH THEIR VIDEO and you will understand why my heart beat so hard for this charity.

FacingWorld - flint-pr com

Martin Kelly, one of Britain’s leading plastic surgeons -collapsed in  his London home – in May 2008 and died in heart failure. This fantastic man that have made it possible for children be able to smile and help them overcome their disfigurements.

FACING THE WORLD is a children’s charity. It has been set up by some of the UK’s leading craniofacial surgeons so that children in desperate need, living without hope in the world’s poorest countries, can have access to the very best surgery that can transform their faces and radically change their quality of life.

Facing the world - - team - facingtheworld net

The charity came to me through a TV documentary, Facing the World was featured in an hour-long Channel 4 documentary “My New Face”,  November 2006  – that I saw while living in Belfast – and it made a such impression on me that – I started to support the charity the following day. I made a deal with myself; that what ever I spend on shoes and handbags – the same amount will go to this charity on top of my monthly contribution .

Facing the World has also been featured in an hour long Five (TV Channel) documentary 7 New Faces in 7 Days in July 2010. The documentary covered charities training visit to Danang, Vietnam. I had then moved back to Sweden.

Facing the World was set up in 2003 by Norman Waterhouse and Martin  Kelly, two craniofacial plastic surgeons at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Both had formerly volunteered their time and skills to medical outreach charities abroad, but had been touched by cases of children that they were unable to help because of the limited facilities and lack of expertise in the countries in which they were working. With Facing the World they determined to bring children to the UK for surgery, rather than attempting to perform the operations with the limited infrastructure of the children’s home countries. Bringing the children to the UK allowed them to draw on the skills of other like-minded UK medical professionals. Sarah Driver-Jowitt was hired to manage the charity and in 2004 an office was established close to the London hospitals where the majority of the surgeries are performed. The charity was launched publicly on 15 February 2003 at a charity fund-raising premiere of the film Solaris attended by George Clooney and his co-stars. (text;

The other day when I was approached by a young woman that was raising support for the Red Cross … I told her that I only support one charity and I want concentrate on that and support it to 110%.

It all started in 2003 when Martin was volunteering in Afghanistan with Children in Need when he met a young girl called Hadisa. At eight months old, she was carried hundreds of miles by her father to receive treatment after the village elders tried to stone her to death for the shame they thought she brought to their community. The medical facilities in Kabul were not equipped to deal with the severity of Hadisa’s condition.  This was a situation Martin and Norman had experienced all too often, whilst volunteering overseas. Martin decided Hadisa’s only option was to come to London for treatment. (text;

They also work with oversea training – the result of this pioneering programs is that over 100 patients, both children and adults, are seen each year, receiving the surgery and support care that they need.

Martin Kelly  & Norman-Waterhouse-facingtheworld net

Norman Waterhouse and Martin  Kelly

I have for over a year now thought about doing a post about the charity – but it never happened … but the young lady from the Red Cross – reminded me and here it’s. Please, watch the video – this what I believe in, this is my faith – my beliefs … people that make a different to others with passion and respect for life. And what a wonderful gift those men and women has … when they are able to give a smile to a child for lifetime.

All doctors, nurses and cleaners involved – in those operations that can take up to 12-16 hours … and some of the young patients has do more than one operation – are doing it for free, totally voluntary  … and everyone of them are all involved in the decision to what child to be helped.

Please visit their website to read about:  Khanh Ngan, Trang, Ali, Pan, Jessica, Rita and Ritag, Mbaraka, Eyserusalem, Shayna, Huy, Kalyani & Viet

It costs an average of £50,000 to fund one child’s treatment in the UK and it’s only to click on this link if you are willing to help – every little amount counts: FACING THE WORLD – DONATE and you will be helping a child to be able to smile. 

“A child’s smile is one of life’s greatest blessings.”

As my cloud for this post I have chosen  Coldplay’s “Fix You” – that is “Facing The World” signature track.

Photo’s provided by and thanks to:

42 thoughts on “to give a child a smile

  1. This is really impressive, dear Viveka! I admire all the people who follow their true beliefs and do what is right and needs to be done!
    Sleep tight! xo 🙂

    • I couldn’t said it better myself … of all my heart I hope somebody will help them to help the children.
      The children are seperate from their home up to 6 months during the whole process.

    • Terry, I haven’t found something to believe in, I have always believed in people that help those that needs help – those are people that make a difference here and now to children that wouldn’t be able to have a normal life. Is there anything more admirable than when somebody makes a difference to a child’s life? And we can all be one of them – through donating.
      This is not a post about my faith and my beliefs – it’s about children … that need help.

    • Yes, there is so many children in this situation … out there, not all can be helped, but every child we help get a chance to a normal life and a smile.

      • And in my opinion that is better than religion 🙂
        I am not religious because I believe people make themselves and that is what is to be admired!

      • Uru, that makes two of us … for me to ask for help from God all the time – doesn’t add up .. when there is people on earth that makes a difference every day … willing to help totally free. They are the once that makes a difference. Everybody is happy in their own beliefs and I don’t want to change that – but maybe we should look at the needs we have today and what WE can do … to change suffering.

      • I hear you my friend. You know how people say we have to be self-resourceful and independent? Well, I don’t see how praying will make that better. To each his own of course though, the symbol of a god can be a comforting and encouraging presence but personally, I feel the same as you 🙂

      • I don’t want to mock any religion – everyone is happy in their beliefs – but we live here and now – that is what matters most of all. Not what was and what will happen one day.

  2. Oh dear, my eyes in tears… so touching but also so nice to help them, You are such a great soul as all these people in this charity. Thank you, lovve, nia

    • Nia, thank you for your kind words. I will only spread the word … and hopefully somebody will click on the link to the donation.
      I’m want to wake awareness of those fantastic people that make such a difference to a child life. That they are able to go to school, get a job … to be accepted by others.

    • Colleen, thank you so much … there is so many more organizations out there .. that works in silence – that make a different every day to people that truly needs it.

  3. Such a moving video Viveka and such wonderful work these people are doing. It is so terrible to see children going through so much pain. I did not know of this at all, thanks for sharing this.This is certainly a charity/cause worth supporting!

    • Thank you so much … I think the biggest problem for those children is that because of their looks they will not have a place in any society – not able to go even to school … or get a work. Can you image that people look away from you … when they meet you, how terrible.
      Yes, this is such a fantastic charity – so sad that Martin Kelly died far too young.

  4. Quite a few of those children come to our hospitals as well. They get the operations that they need. As far as I know it is all done under our medical system.

    • Could be so, because they help people closer to home too – but the big operations are done in UK.
      Could be that Australia help them to help. They only help children from the poor countries – that will have no future what so ever with their deformed faces.

      • No they do them here too, they did twins about 3 or 4 years ago that were conjoined, the operation was done at our children’s hospital, I believe they were from India, it might be a different organisation, but you often see on the news children being brought here for operations.

      • Okay, It could be that they did that operation in down under instead – with help from your doctors – because they where so small and the journey not so long. They are from India, but the charity was behind it all – othewise they wouldn’t show it on their website.

      • They send kids here from all over Asia, though, I suspect it is a different charity, it usually makes big news here, especially the twin girls. We were all waiting with baited breath to see if they would survive.

      • “Facing the world” was behind the twins operations – were ever it was made. And I know they have a massive organization that helps adults and children closer to home – and that is maybe where Australia helps out. I’m sure there is more charities that help out too – but this is the only one I know about.

      • Anyway, it doesn’t matter, it is a wonderful thing that they do, the twins I”m talking about though, I am pretty sure are not the ones you had in your post. It is good to know that someone is taking care of them.

      • Leanne, that must have been another pair of twins that you helped down there – Facing the world separated the twins in London. They are from Sudan. The operation was made on Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
        So you must have helped two other small girls, which I think is fantastic and if done by your health care even more admirable.

      • I read that, thanks for the link … interesting read.
        So happy that there are charities out that working so passionate for kids. And if your national health care pays for the bill – even more admirable. I think all countries should do the same – but look at US the spend billions and billions on war … and their own people don’t have the right to national health care.

      • Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean, I can’t believe that they don’t have the right to healthcare as one of their rights. It is so silly, such a violent country.

      • Totally agree, read about a woman with 3 children that also takes care of her old mum – was diagnosed with cancer and had now insurance herself – they refused to help her. Obama has got the health care bill through, but it’s working so slow … terrible and upsetting.
        Also that money spends on sending people out in the space …. To planets we are never able to live on – shouldn’t we solve the problems we have on our own planet first of all – before we start looking at other. I get so upset when I think about the waste of our money.

      • That sort of thing upsets me to. It is so stupid. They spend so much money on war, perhaps it would be better spent on looking after the people in their own country. Do you know Keli has a blog, she gets really upset about it too, she lives in the US and her mother is or way going through a hard time. Let me know if you would like a link.

      • I think every country are spending money on things that they should truly consider not doing – but US have massive welfare problems. Yes, please send me the link.

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