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

Why Children Need Their Own Operating Rooms

For the families and children awaiting surgery, like Shukuru and his mother, however, this was anything but a normal day. Today, Shukuru is receiving a historic cleft su...

Rosemary Has Something to Tell You

I gave birth to Nyasha at home. It was nighttime and I was alone at first. He was quiet when he came out, so I touched his face to see why, and he started to cry. It was...

Empowering Cleft Moms in Nigeria


Surgery is only the beginning. Smile Train and our partner Grassroot Smile Initiative are teaching mothers of children with clefts in Nigeria entrepreneurial...

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