SmileTrain.org Website Offers Cleft Surgery Hope, Patient Stories
The Smile Train is focused on solving a single problem: cleft lip and palate.
Clefts are a major problem in developing countries, where millions of children suffer with unrepaired clefts. These children cannot eat or speak properly, and aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job.
They face lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache.
These children suffer not because they were born with a cleft, but because they were born too poor to afford surgery. Yet a child with a cleft can be helped with surgery that costs as little as $250 and takes as little as 45 minutes.
The mission of The Smile Train is...
- To provide free cleft surgery for millions of poor children in developing countries
- To provide free cleft-related training for doctors and medical professionals
- To do this until there are no more children who need help and we have completely eradicated the problem of clefts
Since March 2000 The Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery for 221,198 children. Being born with a cleft in a developing country is truly a curse. In Uganda, a baby born with a cleft is given the name Ajok which means literally, "cursed by God." No one knows how many newborns with clefts are abandoned after birth.
Thos who find a Smile Train free cleft surgery program not only survive, they thrive. After a 45 minute surgery hands them back their future, and a second chance at life.