Last October 6, people all over the world celebrated World Smile Day®, a day devoted to smiles and acts of kindness. To honor this day, Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, launched a campaign to celebrate everyone who contributed to their work and helped change the lives of children born with untreated clefts in the Philippines.
A thanksgiving event was held at the I’M Hotel in Makati City to recognize local partner hospitals and medical professionals for their commitment in providing free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children with clefts; and to corporate partners and donors for their support and help in generating awareness for the organization. In addition, this celebration helped kick-off the countdown to reaching the 50,000th cleft surgery in the country.
Also recognized at the event was Smile Train’s Team EMPOWER athletes who competed in the IRONMAN® 70.3 held in Mactan, Cebu and Smile Train’s ambassadors of Beyond Yoga who participated in the first “Yoga for Smiles Challenge” in the Philippines.
Smile Train is the world’s largest cleft charity that helps children in over 80 countries by providing free cleft lip and palate surgery to children from underprivileged families. In the Philippines, Smile Train partner hospitals and surgeons perform an average of 14 cleft-related surgeries daily.
“Since 2001, Smile Train has performed close to 50,000 cleft surgeries in the Philippines. This would not have been possible without our local partners who are committed to helping children with clefts and our donors who continue to believe in our cause,” says Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director for Smile Train Philippines
“We are pleased that more people and companies are becoming involved in our endeavor to reach more children with clefts harness the power of a smile,” adds Flaviano. “It doesn’t take a lot for people to get involved in our cause – it can be as simple as sharing news about Smile Train to their circle of friends and families – which goes a long way.”
Smile Train invites everyone around the world to join in the World Smile Day® celebration and to post a picture on Instagram showing how they are able to harness the power of a smile using the #SmileTrainWSD hashtag. For more information about Smile Train Philippines, follow the organization on Instagram @SmileTrainPH