It doesn’t take much to change a child’s life forever
Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth defects in the world, occurring in the womb when the parts that normally move to form a baby’s face don’t join together properly. If a hole is left in the roof of the mouth, the baby is born with a cleft palate. And if there’s a gap in the top lip, the baby is born with a cleft lip. In the UK, children born with a cleft lip or palate are given an operation to repair it on the NHS. But in developing countries like Somalia, families are far too poor to ever afford this surgery, and the effects are devastating. Most children with clefts are unable to go to school, make friends or get a job. The stigma is so great that some are just abandoned by their parents at birth, in orphanages or even by the side of the road. Clefts are far more than just a disfigurement. They stop a child being able to eat, speak or breathe properly.
Just imagine how heartbreaking it would be if your son or daughter was never able to talk, laugh or even smile back at you. That’s where The Smile Train comes in. We have a very simple and effective solution to the problem. We train local doctors in 77 countries, including Somalia, to perform surgery to fix children’s clefts for free, leaving a lasting legacy in these communities. Smile Train have been working in the world’s poorest countries for 11 years and we’ve already provided more than 580,000 free cleft surgeries for poor children. The best part is that the surgery we provide is quick and simple. It can take as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as £150.
Every surgery is paid for by our generous supporters. Although Smile Train has already given so many boys and girls a second chance at life, there is still a huge waiting list of children desperate for surgery in developing countries like Somalia. I hope that you’ll read this short field report to see why donations are so urgently needed…
A gift of any amount can help us save a child’s life. Visit www.smiletrain.org.uk or call 0870 127 6269 today.