The Problem

Every year more than 170,000 children in the developing world are born with cleft lip and/or palate. Most can't afford surgery.

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Untreated Clefts

Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where millions of children are suffering with untreated clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly and aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job.

Shame & Isolation

Being born with a cleft in a developing country is truly a curse. Every baby born in Uganda with a cleft is given the name Ajok which means literally, “cursed by God” with some newborns killed or abandoned right after birth.

The Good News

The good news is every single child with a cleft can be helped with surgery that costs as little as $250 and takes as little as 45 minutes.


Every year more than 170,000 children in the developing world are born with cleft lip and/or palate. Most can't afford surgery.

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.

photos and text provided Smile Train