Little Nyan was born with an open cleft, but now Nyan can smile. 18 year-old Martin Brekke gives hundreds of poor Thai children a new life through his Bangkok-based organisation Kids Action for Kids.
Martin is the son of Sigve Brekke, the boss of the norwegian Telenor which owns the the thai telecom giant dtac. The Brekke family has lived in Bangkok for many years, and it was on a school trip with Internatyional School Bangkok in 2009 Martin realized that he had to something. He learned that a lot of thai children are born with a cleft, and many parents can’t afford the necessary surgeries. Several of these children die before their first birthday, and those who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected.
Martin learned that for 15.000 baht he could give a child a complete new life. But how could he raise the money? The dtac company sponsored 50 percent of every surgery, Martin and his family, among them his to brothers Anders and Haakon, raised money in different ways. Once the swimmer Martin organised a triathlon for charity with two friends. They made it a little bit funny by putting on costumes, and after the swimming event, they made it a must that everyone eats four Big Mac sets. And suddenly Martin had enough money for 15 surgeries. He started to cooperate wih the global organisation «Operation Smile», and within this year 420 children have been giving a new life and a smile. In acouple of weeks they intend to operate 85 children in 4 days in Isaan. Surgeons will operate almost 24/7 in four days.
Martin guarantees that every baht goes directly to the children. All his expenses, traveling. administration, and so on – he pays from his own pocket, realizing that he is a very fortunate young man who wants to help children who are less fortunate than himself.
A memoranle moment he can share with readers of this post?
«There have been many, but I remember very well a twelve yar old boy. His mother had to come to his school and feed him three times a day. It was so hard to feed him, that only his mother could help him. I visited him after the perfect operation. I will never forget his smile.»
You can read more about Martin in Bangkok Post here.
This is Kids Action for Kids page, where it is possible to donate money.
And this is the site for Organisatin Smile.
This is Kae before and after
The organisation Kids Action for Kids (clic for bigger picture).
The Brekke family fotographed on holiday in Japan this summer, the boys Martin, Haakon and Anders, mother Torgunn and father Sigve.
This september new surgeries will take place.
Martin (right) og his younger brother Anders in Norway earlier this year.