Roshan Susairaj


Awa Gueye



Roshan Susairaj

After a difficult childhood and economic hardships had severely impacted Roshan and his family, the Cuomo Foundation implemented a program to overlook his development.


Roshan with his mother Sujatha and his sister Jenifer attending a concert - Rome, May 2017.

In 2008, as a very young boy Roshan Susairaj suffered the loss of his lower limb. The extent of the amputation and a badly ill fitting prosthetic leg further added to his health complications. When he was 10 years old the Foundation was introduced to Roshan and began contributing to the young boy’s recovery and rehabilitation. He was fitted with a correct femoral prosthesis in 2013 and provided with appropriate physiotherapy.

The Foundations support initially focused only on Roshan’s primary medical needs but has gradually been extended to cover all aspects of his well-being, from his quality of education, schooling and extra-curricular activities to his extensive health procedures. This all-encompassing approach has contributed positively to improving both Roshan’s physical and mental health and his own sense of achievement during his formative adolescence.

This successful process of empowerment could not have been fully realised without also strengthening and enabling his entire family unit. Thus, over the last two years, a more comprehensive overall approach has been adopted.

Roshan’s older sister, Jenifer, was awarded a scholarship that enabled her to enter graduate school in Chennai while following English courses.

Roshan and Jenifer’s mother Sujatha has also benefited from a program of vocational retraining and funding that has allowed her to regain a sense of self-worth and also support her family. After selecting to train as a qualified seamstress, she has opened her own Sari boutique and workshop in the Mylapore district of Chennai, close to her home. She is boosted not only by the financial independence she has created but also by the social life it makes possible.
Today, Sujatha approaches her future with confidence and her two children are undoubtedly the direct beneficiaries of the optimism that now prevails in their family.

« Spread My Wings » - interview with Roshan Susairaj (filmed in 2019)



Project Updates



Awa Gueye

In 2012, a severely unwell young Senegalese girl called Awa Gueye underwent life changing cardio surgery in Dakar to correct rheumatic mitral valve regurgitation…


Young Awa Gueye with Maria Elena Cuomo and Francisco A. Diaz Lison at the Cuomo Cardio-Pediatric Center - Dakar, January 2018.

The medical procedure was carried out effectively by the eminent cardiologist Prof. Gilles Dreyfus ; as an humanitarian action initiated jointly between the Cuomo Foundation and the French NGO La Chaîne de l’Espoir.

Subsequently the Cuomo Foundation would be responsible for the funding of the CCPC in Dakar, the first cardio paediatric surgical centre in West Africa. Rheumatic heart disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children and young adults in the developing world.

After being treated Awa Gueye was able to resume her schooling and in 2017 a Cuomo Foundation scholarship award enabled her to enter Engineering College in Dakar (Ecole supérieure polytechnique de Dakar) to study for a 3yrs degree in Applied Biology and Chemical Engineering. In 2020 she successfully graduated and so impressed the Foundation that they agreed to continue support and funding for her Masters studies. The closure of colleges last year due to Senegalese Covid-19 restrictions have now ended and Awa has commenced her 4th college year which will culminate in obtaining a Masters in Biological Engineering and Biotechnology. Her future now looks bright with the prospects of a career in Research Biology becoming a reality.

I could never thank the Cuomo Foundation enough for saving me from the horrors of my heart disease and through its support allowing me to fulfill a wish that was dear to me; being able to carry out my educational project.

– Awa Gueye


"A Heart on the Hand" - a film about Awa Gueye directed by Senegalese filmmaker Moussa Sène Absa.




Project Updates