A Single, Solvable Problem: Cleft Lip and Palate

Many children around the world are living with untreated clefts.
Most have difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking.

What is Cleft?

  • 32

    children born with a cleft lip/palate annually in Africa.

  • 250

    can cover the cost of surgery.

  • 45

    minutes can change a child’s life forever.

One Goal: To Give Every Child the Chance to Smile

Smile Train is an international children’s charity that supports 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children globally. Our sustainable model empowers local medical professionals to provide cleft care in their own communities.

Learn About Our Model

Comprehensive Care

Every child with a cleft needs more than just surgery — they may also need orthodontics, speech therapy, or nutritional support. Where these services are available, we aim to provide them to our patients.

Sustainable Model

We use the ‘teach a man to fish’ model focusing on training and empowering local doctors to provide comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.

Our Impact

As a result of our efficiency, Smile Train has supported more than 1.5 million cleft surgeries since 1999. Every 5 Minutes Smile Train-supported cleft treatment helps a child in need.

News & Stories

Lloyd and Floyd: From Double the Shock to Double the Smiles

Audrey returned to the clinic each month for an ultrasound. Each gave the same report: two healthy baby boys were on their way. Audrey and Hervé already had their names picked o...

Sama’s Mother Never Gave Up on Her. Neither Will We

But her mother, Abeer, refused to leave her child behind. Though she had little money and faced constant pressure and insult from her husband and neighbors, Abeer managed to scr...

Out of School and Out of Sight for 17 Years, Ndindai is Now Embracing Life

Her parents occasionally received word about a surgery that could heal her, but never pursued it because they didn't trust modern medicine. Ndindai mainly stayed at home and alw...

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