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

The Battle to Save Edith’s Life

When presented to Good Samaritan, her mother, also named Edith, told the team that because of her cleft, her baby would cry desperately, not latch, and tire out before she could...

Meet Dr. Nina Capo-Chichi, Smile Train's Team Member from Benin Published in a Prestigious Medical Journal

How did you research your article in Annals of Surgery?

I needed facts and information to find solutions for combatting COVID-19 in the operating room, and as I w...

The Role of the Pediatrician in Multidisciplinary Cleft Care: A Perspective from Ghana

Children born with a cleft will often present with other birth differences as well. They also have a higher risk of illnesses like severe acute malnutrition and respirat...

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