Our Story

Humanity Direct was founded in 2013 after the wives of Co-Founders Nick Swift & Marc Shalam had to have emergency surgery during childbirth.

Grateful for the medical care that saved their loved-ones lives they launched Humanity Direct to fund as many life-saving & life changing operations for those without the same access to vital surgery.

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9-yr-old Victor needs surgery so he can breath easily again. 

Meet the team


Dickson Kazosi

Healthcare Coordinator
Dickson is a Behavioural Scientist with a MA in Social Science focusing on “Health and Society” from Linköping University, Sweden and has volunteered for Humanity Direct since 2013. Dickson is passionate about Universal Healthcare and coordinates all Humanity Direct activities in Uganda.

Betty Nakimuli

Humanity Direct-Field Volunteer-Uganda
Betty has been involved in community health promotion programs for many years and oversees patient welfare and arranging patient transport to and from hospital. Betty also assists with the eye test clinics including taking children through the eye-test chart and delivering glasses.

Marc Shalam

Co-Founder of Humanity Direct
Marc is a keen donor to charity and has worked on teaching programs and building projects in poor communities in South Africa. Marc also volunteers for Open Age, a charity that helps the elderly gain computer skills.

Sylvia Nakaweesi

Humanity Direct-Field Volunteer-Uganda
Sylvia is a counsellor and mobilises schools and communities to ensure as many children as possible attend the clinics. Sylvia also assists with the eye test clinics taking children through the eye-test chart and delivering glasses.

Nick Swift

Co-Founder of Humanity Direct
Nick has undertaken numerous ultras and challenges (including swimming across shark infested waters) raising thousands of pounds to fund operations. Nick established the network of medics and healthcare workers and the rolling programme of surgery and eye care clinics. Nick is married to Katrina and is a dad to three children.

Dr John Ssekabira

Senior Consultant Paediatric Surgeon. MBChB, MMed Surgery; FCS (ECSA) Pediatric Surgery
Dr Ssekabira has worked closely with Humanity Direct for many years performing numerous operations especially correcting congenital birth defects. Dr Ssekabira created the first dedicate paediatric operating theatre in Uganda and established the Paediatric Surgical Training Program. Dr Ssekabira is recipient of a Honorary life time Fellowship of the American Academy of Paediatrics in San Francisco USA.
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Major Majwala Mead

Humanity Direct Field Volunteer
Major is an environmental journalist with over twenty years of experience in resolving community problems and programming. Major documents all the surgical cases for Humanity Direct.

Dr Dan Namaguzi

Consultant Urologist, MBChB, MMed (Surgery), FCS (ECSA)
Dr Namaguzi has performed the most operations for Humanity Direct. He is devoted to reducing the surgical disease burden among children in Uganda especially among those with conditions that could lead to bladder and kidney diseases.

Katrina Swift

Co-Founder of Humanity Direct
Katrina is a mum of three and solicitor. Katrina took up triathlons to start raising money for operations and has helped shape Humanity Direct from the start.
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Dr Julius Wambete

ENT Consultant Surgeon, MBChB, M.Med (ENT Surgery), FCS (ECSA)
Dr Wambete is an expert in in the management of diseases affecting the ear, nose, throat, head and neck including chronic sinusitis, tonsillitis and nasal breathing issues. His operations have helped hundreds of our young patients to breath properly again. Dr Wambete is a Fellow of the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa.

Dr Hussein Ssenyonjo

Neurosurgeon, MBChB, MMed (Neurosurgery), FCS (ECSA)

Dr Ssenyonjo is one of twelve neurosurgeons in Uganda and has performed neurosurgery on all our patients with hydrocephalus and brain tumours. Dr Ssenyonjo is the Secretary General of Neurosurgical society of Uganda, Assistant Country Program Director of neurosurgery training, a member of the Paediatric Tumour Board of the Uganda Cancer Institute and is the current President of The Association of Surgeons of Uganda.

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Ophthalmology Nurse

Rose is a vital part of our eye-test team and has performed thousands of eye tests helping to measuring patients visual acuity, visual fields and identifying the lenses they need.

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Marc, Katrina and Nick establish Humanity Direct and fund our first patients at the renowned Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa Somaliland.

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Humanity Direct starts working in Uganda with the help of the East Africa Aid Foundation. With an amazing outreach team led by Dickson Kasozi, Uganda quickly becomes our main country of focus.


Humanity Direct teams up with XNRG to sponsor the first of many 1 day ultra marathon events outside London. Over the following years these events have raised more than £150,000 for Humanity Direct.
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Glasses for Classes is created after Will Luff, a retired optician, takes part in an XNRG ultra and offers to make the glasses for free! The program is a huge success in providing a low cost high impact change to thousands of children in rural Uganda.


Covid and an Ebola outbreak in Uganda provide new challenges for Humanity Direct, but through the success of our virtual runs and also the ability of our outreach team to arrange urgent surgeries under tight restrictions, we still manage to extend help to those who need it most.
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2023 and beyond

Humanity Direct grows and grows and we can help every child that needs it!
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