A Single, Solvable Problem: Cleft Lip and Palate

Many children around the world are living with untreated clefts.
Most have difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking.

What is Cleft?

  • 200,000

    new babies with clefts born every year globally.

  • 800

    can cover the cost of a cleft surgery.

  • 45

    minutes can change a child’s life forever.

One Goal: To Give Every Child the Chance to Smile

Smile Train is an international children’s charity that supports 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children globally. Our sustainable model empowers local medical professionals to provide cleft care in their own communities.

Learn About Our Model

Comprehensive Care

Every child with a cleft needs more than just surgery — they may also need orthodontics, speech therapy, or nutritional support. Where these services are available, we aim to provide them to our patients.

Sustainable Model

We use the 'teach a man to fish' model focusing on training and empowering local doctors to provide comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.

Our Impact

As a result of our efficiency, Smile Train has supported more than 1.5 million cleft surgeries since 1999. Every 5 Minutes Smile Train-supported cleft treatment helps a child in need.

News & Stories

Silvia Backes: “Smile Train represents my ideals of assistance while helping others become stronger”

How did you decide to be part of Smile Train?
I had just finished a master's degree in International Cooperation and when a colleague told me about the vacancy for...

Karla Rico: "A day without laughter is a day wasted."


Tell us about yourself and how you came to Smile Train.

I am a dedicated and persistent woman. I come from a family that has forged its lifestyle by...

Remembering Dr. Ian Jackson, a “Founding Father” of Cleft Care

Dr. Jackson began his career as a plastic surgeon in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1969. In his 10 years there, he discovered a passion for craniomaxillofacial surgery, particul...

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