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

Veronica Kamwela is Transforming Ignorance into Love Across Tanzania

Tell me about your journey to Smile Train.

Before joining Smile Train, I worked with a youth organization that empowered young people with life skills, sexual/re...

Dr. Sally Adel: High-Achieving Women Can Have It All

What made you want to be a speech pathologist?

Communication and feeding are the two major events that we do daily, and I feel they should be done without any effort — th...

Dr. Nina Capo-Chichi: “Clefts Go Deeper Than What You See”

From your perspective, why does Smile Train’s model of local partnership and investment matter?

Our model really gives value to local professionals, doctors, cleft teams,...

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