Smile Train is the world’s largest cleft lip and palate non-profit organisation. It was established in 1999 and aims to make sure that every child born with a cleft receives the treatment they need, so that they are able to enjoy a happy and productive life.
Smile Train believes that clefts are an economic problem, not a medical one.
The charity’s model is to train and utilize local doctors and partner hospitals, providing them with the resources, knowledge and skills to not only perform the procedure but also enable long-term sustainability.
Smile Train offers free cleft surgery and comprehensive care to hundreds of thousands of poor children in developing countries, by training doctors and medical professionals and working with local hospitals.
While cleft surgery is a straightforward procedure that has been around for decades, unrepaired clefts are a particular problem in poor communities across the developing world, where more than a million children are suffering with unrepaired clefts because their families are unable to pay for surgery and treatment. Most cannot eat or speak properly and aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job; they face difficult lives of shame, isolation and pain.
Often, these children are hidden away and their parents and communities are unaware that a solution exists. Despite how complex the cleft palette looks, it can be repaired in a simple 45-minute operation, which costs just £150 and is completely safe. Smile Train doctors go into these communities to spread awareness about the service, and encourage families who have a child with an unrepaired cleft to seek free treatment.
Registered Charity No. 1114748
Registered Company No. 05738962
© 2014 Smile Train UK