This Christmas – give yourself the joy of helping a child
45 days … 450km … and over R100 000 raised for Operation Smile.
Grateful thanks to all who participated in our 2023 Cycle for Smiles Challenge, and their generous supporters!
Every 3 minutes …
… a child is born somewhere in the world with a cleft condition. In first world countries, corrective surgery is usually done within the first 18 months of life. But in Southern Africa, where safe surgery is not always freely available or accessible, a child may have to wait years for the chance to live a normal life.
What happens if cleft conditions are left untreated?
Change despair to hope
Depending on the severity, cleft conditions can be repaired in just 45 minutes. Your donation makes new smiles possible.
You don’t have to act as if you care
You just have to care enough to act
In 1982, Dr William (Bill) Magee, a plastic surgeon, and his wife Kathy, a nurse and clinical social worker, travelled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children’s cleft lips and cleft palates.
What they found was overwhelming. Over 300 families arrived, hoping their children would receive surgery. But the team could only treat 40 children.
“People pushed their babies at us,” recalls Kathy. “They tugged at our sleeves with tears in their eyes and begged us to help their children.”
As they were leaving, the Magees promised they would return to help more children – and Operation Smile was born.
Today, Operation Smile is an international medical charity with a network of medical volunteers from more than 80 countries, dedicated to helping children born with cleft palate and other facial abnormalities.
Share our vision
We dream of a world where no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery. As long as there are children in the world who need our help, we’ll do whatever it takes to give them the quality care they deserve.
How your support helps
News & Stories
What an amazing group of cyclists we had participating in this year’s Cycle for Smiles to raise funds for Operation Smile. Collectively, they raised almost R105000 towards free, safe surgery for children born with cleft lip or palate
Around 25 delegates, mostly locally based Eastern Cape Government employed dentists and dental technicians attended our recent training workshop in Mthata, while seven delegates attended our speech therapy training workshop.
Dr Ncumisa Sabona has joined the global Operation Smile team as a paediatric anaesthesia in global surgery fellow. She was formally welcomed to the team during our recent surgical programme in Mthatha.
Our global family
With more than 6,000 active medical volunteers from all around the world, Operation Smile is one of the world’s largest volunteer-based nonprofit organisations. Our supporters are people from all walks of life, who believe that anyone born with a cleft condition deserves safe, effective, and timely surgery and care.