Mama Melissa Foundation is a charity dedicated to the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer in Kenya through education, awareness and support.  

It was founded by cancer survivor Eila Petty-Ashman, who was recently interviewed about it on ITV News. 

Our Mission 

Our mission is to achieve immediate and lasting positive change to the lives of women affected by breast cancer, together with their families and the communities they live in - particularly in Kenya. 
 
We seek to achieve our goals through the use of funds collected through donations and sponsorships, through income from events and other fundraising activities, and by volunteers providing practical help on the ground in Kenya. 

What we do 

In the UK, we raise awareness of the needs of disadvantaged populations in rural Kenya and raise funds to support partner projects in Kenya. 
 
We have worked closely and funded the Mbeere education and community project based in Mbeere South in Embu County, Kenya. 
 
Since 2017 we have also concentrated on health promotion relating to breast cancer by running breast cancer awareness programs in rural Kenya. 

How we help 

The support we provide in Kenya is not confined to money, critical though that is. 
 
Practical help is greatly valued, and we encourage our volunteers to participate in practical projects which gives them an insight into challenges which vulnerable people, and the community at large, face day-to-day. 
 
Mama Melissa Foundation has also provided Mbeere hospice with a year's supply of morphine to support cancer patients at end of life in the community. 

Education 

In education, Mama Melissa has raised money and constructed a classroom for disabled children at AIC Beram Kangeta primary school, and is currently supporting two girls through secondary school education by paying their school fees. 

Some breast cancer survivors who we have been privileged to be able to help...  

 
Ruth Waitherero Chege 
 
 
Rachel Karimi Kiura 
 
 
Agnes Muthoni 
 
 
Elizabeth Wanja Mwaniki 
 
 
Lydiah Nyagakii 
 

Where we work 

Mama Melissa Foundation primarily works in Mbeere in Embu County, in the Eastern part of Kenya. 
 
More than 70% of Kenyan people live in rural areas and depend for their food and livelihood on their precarious relationship with the land. In the rural areas of Kenya employment opportunities are few. Indeed, in areas such as Mbeere, three quarters of the population is unemployed. 
 
Mbeere is a semi-arid area and one of the poorest areas in Kenya. It receives very little rain, which often results in crop failure during the seasons. The inadequate rain also contributes to other consequences like poverty, which in turn leads to disease. 
 
They need help... and they need it urgently. 
 

Why We're Called Mama Melissa 

In Africa, it is a tradition to call people by the name of their first child. Eila who founded the Mama Melissa Foundation's first child is called Melissa, hence why she called her charity this! 
 
Interestingly, Melissa herself is very involved in the work of the charity and, as a qualified solicitor, is also one of the charity's Trustees. 
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