Each year, 10,000 children in East Africa are born with cleft deformities. A cleft lip or palate affects a child's apprearance and ability to hear, to speak, to eat, and to breathe. Often, a child suffers stigma and misunderstanding that the cleft is caused by "evil spirits" or "demons." Because of poverty, distance to health centers, and lack of health staff, fewer than 50% of children who need cleft repairs in East Africa receive them.
What greater gift could you or your loved one receive than to know that you have literally put a smile on a child's face? And, it's so simple! When AMREF surgeons perform the procedure, the child receives a new smile and the chance for a better future. Gone is the stigma, fear and misunderstanding because of the cleft. What is more, AMREF's surgeons use every operation to train a local African surgeon to perform this simple procedure -- so that even more children can benefit from cleft lip and palate repair. Here is truly a gift that keeps on giving!