July 2012 – Featured Cause
Such is the reality of so many families across the globe in poor countries. Every year, over 165,000 children are born with a cleft palate. Our featured cause this month, Smile Train, works to provide every child in developing countries born with a cleft access to a simple, life changing surgery. There are millions of children still suffering from unrepaired clefts, making every day tasks like eating and speaking extremely difficult and shameful. Many are not allowed to attend school or hold a job. Since their inception, Smile Train has provided over 750,000 surgeries in over 80 countries worldwide. Smile Train’s care and funding doesn’t just stop with the surgery either. Whenever possible, they also provide dental care, orthodontics and speech therapy for their patients. If necessary, they also provide ample food, transportation and clothing before and after the surgery.
One Smile Train success story was chronicled in the Oscar winning documentary short entitled “Smile Pinki.” The film followed a young girl named Pinki born with a cleft lip in rural India and how her life was changed forever when she met a social worker who led her to Smile Train. The film was viewed by over 2 million Americans when it aired on HBO and also reached over 900 million people in India.
For more information on this wonderful organization, visit their website at smiletrain.org.