Close this search box.

Thank you for helping children like Umu get the lifesaving surgery they need this Christmas.

Anything you give today will be doubled through match funding, up to the value of $100K – but only until the end of 2023.

Donate now, or to find out more about Umu and how you can transform a child’s life like hers… read more

Make Umu’s Christmas wish come true

Your gift will be doubled while funds last – up to $100,000 until the end of 2023, to make even more of a difference for children like Umu. So $10 will become $20, $100 will become $200, and so on.

At this time of year, it’s only natural that our thoughts drift towards celebrating Christmas with friends and whānau here in New Zealand.

But, like me, I know that part of you will also be thinking about those less fortunate than us in other parts of the world. Places where Christmas gifts are sparse and where people desperately need your help. Children like little Umu, from Sierra Leone.

Benign tumour threatens to block Umu's airways

Umu is 3 years old. As you can see, she was born with a large, benign tumour growing from the side of her face to her neck.

Her mother, Yei, remembers that it didn’t take long for the painful reality of Umu’s condition to hit home.

While Yei was pregnant, her aunt Rebecca had requested that the baby be named after her. That changed when Rebecca first saw Umu. She took back her request, telling Yei she no longer wanted Umu as her namesake. “It hurt me a lot,” says Yei.

It wasn’t just family members who reacted either. “When I took baby Umu for walks, children would run away, afraid,” says Yei. “People would ask what was wrong with my baby. I didn’t know what to tell them.”

Can you imagine if Umu was your baby daughter, or your granddaughter?

Sadly, Umu ’s situation is much more serious, because as Umu grows, so does her tumour.

Now it threatens to block her airways. And the only solution is specialist facial surgery which is simply not available in Sierra Leone.

Only Mercy Ships can provide this lifesaving surgery. And only your generosity can help to make it happen – for Umu and thousands of others like her in Africa.

The great news is that anything you give today will be doubled through match funding, up to the value of $100K – but only until the end of 2023.

Umu’s only wish is to be treated like other children. To run, jump and play, without people pointing at her, running away, or thinking there is something wrong with her. And you have the power to make it happen today.

Will you make Umu’s Christmas wish come true?

Thank you.

TM Carnie

Toni-Maree Carnie

Other ways to support

Bank Account donations

Mercy Ships NZ Bank Account Number
03 1549 0000141 00 (Westpac)

Reference: (Your surname)

Particulars: (Donor ID code if you have donated previously)

If you have given directly to our bank account we would like to send you a tax receipt. Please email us at with your details and tell us about the donation you have made.