Our history

Care4Burn was officially founded as a humanitarian healthcare organisation by Karianne W. Fjære in 2017 – after 9 years as a personal initiative. After meeting ‘Faraja’, a 6-year-old girl with life-threatening burn injuries, her life changed dramatically.

In 2008, Faraja was hospitalized at Nkoaranga Hospital at the foot of Mt. Meru in northern Tanzania, where Karianne worked as a volunteer pharmacist. When Faraja was admitted, almost half of her body had third degree burn injuries. Faraja was burned because her clothes caught fire while she was playing together with her siblings in the family’s kitchen area, where food was cooked over open flame.

Because of her extensive and severe burn injuries, it was not certain whether Faraja would survive without appropriate treatment. There was no specialized care of burn of burn injuries in the area where Faraja lives.

“I had never seen anything like this before. My heart bled for her”.

Sadly, Faraja’s story is not exceptional. In sub-Saharan African countries it is estimated that between 18,000 to 30,000 children under five years of age die each year due to burn injuries mainly due to a lack of specialised burn units with access to surgical equipment, and an insufficient number of specialised and qualified healthcare professionals within burn wound care.

However, this does not have to be the final story. Burn injuries can be treated. Care4Burn works to strengthen local competencies within burn wound care and reconstructive surgery and to improve access to surgical equipment for modern burn care treatment.

Faraja and Karianne at Amani Primary School outside Arusha, in northern Tanzania. March 2014.

Faraja 6 years old on the day before her first surgery. November 2008.

Karianne was inspired to establish Care4Burn by a desire to help Faraja, as well as to make a difference for other children with burn injuries and for those with handicaps, disfigurements and impairments from previous injuries.

In November 2008, Karianne began collaborating with plastic surgeon Einar Eriksen and his foundation Children’s Burn and Wound Care Foundation, based in Ethiopia. Since then, Karianne and Dr. Eriksen have travelled annually to Arusha and Moshi in northern Tanzania, where their main focus has been to treat children with new and old burn injuries and to increase local knowledge and awareness of treatment of burn injuries.

In 2011, Karianne and Dr. Eriksen engaged in a collaboration with the University Hospital Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi. Here, they focused on raising the competence level amongst national healthcare professionals within plastic surgery and burn care treatment. 

“Burn patients in developing countries is a big patient group being left behind. They deserve our attention and help”. Karianne W. Fjære