Chameleon Buddies

Create a Stoma & Continence Clinic, with support groups, in Kenya for females

We support women & girls in Eldoret, Kenya, who have stomas & continence issues following fistulas, many of which are as a result of prolonged childbirth. We send them stoma supplies as they do not have access to them. We want to set up a clinic.
RCN 1199430

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Chameleon Buddies was established in 2022 by founder Gill Castle, who has a permanent stoma following childbirth complications in 2011. Gill met Dr Debbie Matityahu, founder of the American not for profit, Beyond Fistula, in 2021, whose organisation supports women with obstetric fistula (a sadly too common childbirth complication) in Eldoret, Kenya - financing the repair of their injuries, funding and running re-training programmes, and enabling the women to lead independent lives.

Several women have ostomies as a result of their fistulas, just like Gill - but the difference is that the Kenyan girls have limited, or no, access to stoma supplies. Gill realised that there was a gap in the care which Beyond Fistula was able to provide in terms of ostomy (stoma) support, prompting her to fundraise to send stoma supplies to the women in need. Chameleon Buddies has been established to enhance this initial support, by focusing on improving the ostomy services for the women. Stoma nurses and educational workshops will form part of this outreach work in Kenya.

In the UK, Gill is an established campaigner for her causes of childbirth injuries, and hidden disabilities such as stomas. Joining together with Trustees, Emma, Charlotte, Rachael, Jenny & Gill spearheads the Charity, raising awareness of the prevalence of childbirth injuries and ostomies, and providing support groups for women in Northumberland to access a safe space following their birth or stoma surgery.

Registered charity number: 1199430

In July 2022, one month after founding Chameleon Buddies, Gill visited Kenya to meet with the women she had been supporting, bringing all the women with ostomies together for the first time, in a peer support group. Gill left behind 3 months of stoma supplies for each woman, who were all trained, alongside the nurses, in how to use the products. As a result, all of the women are now active with their stomas, the children are back at school, and hospital readmissions due to stoma infections are now zero.

A Stoma & Continence Clinic, together with patient peer support groups, staff training and travelling stoma advocates, alongside regular stoma supplies, will enable all these women to continue to live a comfortable life with their ostomies. Most importantly, they can be reintegrated back into their communities.

ITV Campaign Story

Our 2023 visit to Kenya was documented by the BBC which can be found on the iPlayer.

Our new look website can also be found

About the charity

Chameleon Buddies

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RCN 1199430
We promote social inclusion among people living with a stoma or childbirth injury, both in the UK and in Kenya. We are passionate advocates for providing hope for people struggling to live with lifechanging injuries’ following childbirth, aiming to help women to adapt to these changes.

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