Charity

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Operation Smile works to ensure that no child suffers from a lack of access to safe surgery. Since 1982, we have provided over 250,000 free surgeries to children and young adults born with cleft conditions and other facial deformities. For 35 years, our medical volunteers have dedicated their time to the improvement of health and the lives of children worldwide.

As STEP Private Client Awards charity partner, your support has a direct and tangible impact on the lives of children born with a cleft in the developing world.

What have Operation Smile done with the donations raised so far?  

We are incredibly grateful to each member’s generous support for Operation Smile through the STEP Private Client Awards. Since becoming STEP PCA charity partner in 2017, donations through the STEP Private Client Awards to Operation Smile have raised over GBP146,940.75 to provide free and safe surgical care to nearly 1,000 children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate worldwide.

The past year's highlights:

We estimate that there are 2,400 people living with an unrepaired cleft in Malawi. Currently, there are only four surgeons in-country who can manage the complexity of surgery required for these cleft repairs. Operation Smile are embarking on an ambitious project over the next five years to treat the backlog of adults and children living with an unrepaired cleft. At the same time, our programme will use training and education models to help upskill Malawian medical professionals. This will enable them to take care of their own in the future.

In Ethiopia, our UK volunteer plastic surgeon, Per Hall, has been working with local surgeons at Jimma University Specialised Hospital to set up a 36-bed plastic surgery unit serving 15 million in the south west of Ethiopia. This will be the first of its kind outside the capital Addis Ababa; providing year-round care to meet the cleft and reconstructive surgery needs and producing 6 newly trained plastic surgeons by 2020.

As part of our ongoing commitment to patients in the Philippines since our inaugural mission in 1982, this year we undertook six international and 6 local missions, providing 1160 procedures to 925 people.

Follow our stories from around the world:

• Twitter: @OpSmileUK
• Facebook Page: Operation Smile UK
• Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFwD8x9x6s8DMFaMed-hjTg
• Instagram: opsmileuk

Case Study

Everywhere he went, Joseph was called a cruel name — "bungi" meaning cleft lip. The bullying he experienced at school was so severe that he returned home each day in tears. At six years old, Joseph dropped out of school just to avoid being teased. Watch to see how Joseph's surgery him the opportunity to pursue his education and a chance at a brighter future thanks to your support.