Smile Train Partnership
Smile Train focuses on a single problem, cleft, and a vision that every child born with cleft—anywhere in the world—should have the opportunity to live a full and productive life.
Smile Train prides itself on providing free cleft surgery to anyone in need by empowering local doctors to solve the problem themselves. With Smile Train funding, partner doctors provide 100% free cleft surgeries in their local communities 7 days per week, 365 days per year. No child is turned away for inability to pay.
The second of five children, Bere (below) lives in a two-room makeshift home built on the rooftop of her father’s boss’ apartment outside of Pachuca, Mexico. When she was born, her parents hadn’t heard of cleft and didn’t know their daughter’s could be fixed. Her siblings often asked their parents what they had done to Bere to make her look the way she did.
A few months ago a local teacher met Bere and told her family about Smile Train. She explained that the organization could provide their daughter with free surgery at Smile Train’s local partner hospital, Hospital del Niño DIF Hidalgo.
Because Smile Train utilizes local partner hospitals and doctors and provides them with the resources, knowledge, and skills to enable long-term sustainability, Bere immediately received the surgery needed to repair her cleft. This model enables Smile Train to help 340 children like Bere every day.
When Smile Train staff members recently visited Bere, her mother told us how much her daughter loves to draw. She described how before surgery Bere would draw pictures, but she never added mouths on faces. But now after her surgery Bere is always sure to include a smiling mouth in her pictures.
When her mother asks how she feels after surgery, Bere replies, “Muy bonita.” (Very pretty.)