Why become a smile angel?

In Ethiopia, children born with cleft are already at a disadvantage, facing severe malnutrition, stigma from their peers and speech problems. Together we can provide vital, life-changing surgery and rehabilitation services for some of the poorest, most marginalised children with cleft in Ethiopia. One operation has the potential to significantly change their life prospects forever.

You can help make a difference to the life of a child with cleft for £150. 

With limited access to treatment centres in rural Ethiopia, children with cleft can be left behind in school and grow up in isolation. Only a quarter of children with both cleft lip and palate have ever been to school and many drop out as a result of bullying. Rural girls with facial disfigurements have an even greater barrier - only 30% attend school prior to surgery. Stigma and myths surrounding their condition can also lead to them becoming isolated from their communities. 

After surgery however, we found that 100% of children began attending school - an amazing outcome. 

Children with cleft can also become malnourished as they struggle to feed during the early years of their life. Our research found that 65% of those under-5 were stunted or severely stunted - this is higher than the national statistic of 38%.

What can £150 provide?

  • Outreach work - We are the only organisation providing outreach services for children with cleft in the Oromia, Southern Nations, Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia. Your donation will help to train local health and social workers in the early identification of cleft.
  • Treatment - We provide essential surgery to patients with cleft lip and/or palate throughout the year. 
  • Nutritional support - We work in the Afar region to provide a nutrition training programme to mothers with babies who have cleft, ensuring they meet the optimal weight of 9kg before they have surgery.
  • Speech and Language Therapy - We help to integrate patients back into school with the help from our community Speech and Language Therapists, improving their confidence and empowering their lives.   

Together we can help make someone smile. 

Thank you.