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

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi Wants to Shout About Smile Train from the Rooftops



The Zoom call was hosted by Emily Manjeru, Smile Train’s PR and Communications Manager for Africa. She kicked the session off by giving Zozi a quick background on...

Why Yona Has Six Babies Named for Her

How did you come to Smile Train?

I’ve been working at Smile Train in Zimbabwe since 2017. I used to work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for another organ...

Telecleft Lectures — Encouraging Innovative Online Learning

The Lectures, which began on 27 April, brought together some of Africa’s leading cleft surgeons and cleft care providers to deliver hour-long lectures two times each wee...

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