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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

"I Am Resilient!" A Discussion with Smile Train's Program Manager for the Horn of Africa

How did you first encounter Smile Train?

My first encounter with Smile Train came through a friend who had been a Smile Train partner surgeon for many years and h...

A Calling and a Duty: Advocating for Universal Health Coverage

Where did you hear about Smile Train?

I heard about Smile Train for the very first time in 2008 when I met Smile Train’s then-Director for Africa. He said he was...

Smile Train Partner Dr. Malungo Makes History in Zambia as First Female Plastic Surgeon

What inspired you to pursue a career as a plastic surgeon? What was that journey like?

During my rural medical practice, I met clients who required reconstructive...

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