A Non-Profit for Children Born with a

Cleft Lip or Palate

Every 3 minutes, a child is born somewhere in the world with a cleft lip or cleft palate.

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Give hope to a waiting child, give the gift of a smile.

The Gift of a Smile

A child’s cleft lip or cleft palate can be repaired for as little as R5500 and in as few as 45 minutes, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children and families around the world.

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At this point we are looking for skilled and dedicated medical and non-medical professionals to complement our global cause, by changing lives one smile at a time…

The Future

Our Vision

At Operation Smile, we envision a future where health and dignity are improved through safe surgery. We dream of a world where no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery.

Huge Footprint

Global Presence

With 38 years of expertise, we continue to provide life-saving reconstructive cleft surgeries and increase our overall surgical safety, quality and capacity worldwide.

Safe surgery means providing patients with the highest quality of care, based on the highest medical standards, no matter where they live.
Cleft is the third most common birth defect worldwide. In as little as 45 minutes, free safe surgery can give a child a chance to live a normal life.

A child born with a cleft may suffer from: hunger and thirst, difficulty with speech, social isolation and bullying. Help us to give the gift of a smile.

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How You can Help

A child’s cleft lip or cleft palate can be repaired for as little as R5500 and in as few as 45 minutes, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children and families around the world.

The Gift of a Smile

Featured Cases

After 48 Years, A New Future

After 48 Years, A New Future

Domingos has an indomitable spirit with a physique to match: calloused hands, muscled arms and shoulders that look like they could carry the weight of the world. In a sense, they have. Domingos carried the weight of living with an untreated cleft lip for 48 years....

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Braving the World Together

Braving the World Together

Noemia and her mother, Bendita. Photo: Zeke du Plessis. Children like Noemia possess a special form of bravery. It’s a courage that can often be concealed by shyness and vulnerability. This courage endures teasing and mockery with a sense of dignity that many struggle...

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A Life-Changing Journey for Two Sisters

A Life-Changing Journey for Two Sisters

When we first met Vaviroa and Nambina on our medical mission to Tamatave, Madagascar, the six- and two-year-old sisters shyly hid behind their parents and barely said a word. Years of bullying taught these young girls that the world didn’t want to see their smiles....

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