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

Determined Damaris

But they could only do so much. Damaris was also the first person anyone in her village in Makueni County, Kenya had ever seen with a cleft, but unlike her family, they...

Getting Munashe Back

Munashe’s family recognized her for the precious new life she was, but when they returned home, they found that most of their neighbors did not. Instead of offering congratulati...

Building Capacity Through Education

Dr. Amaka Ehighibe, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, fellow of the West African College of Surgeons (WACS), and associate fellow of the American College of Surgeons, says t...

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