Rebuilding Lives - One Smile at a time

Our vision is to solve the problem of cleft lip and palate in the South Pacific.

  • What are cleft lips and palates?

    Although you probably wouldn't know it, a cleft lip and/or palate is one of the most common birth defects in the world. A cleft usually occurs in the first 6 to 10 weeks of pregnancy during which time the baby's upper jaw, nose and mouth are developing. In the case of a cleft defect, the parts of the mouth and lip don't fuse together properly.

  • How common are clefts?

    The general consensus among health experts is that cleft lip and palate occur in around 1 child per 700. Ethnicity may have some impact as studies have shown that Asians have the highest incidence rate (approximately 1 in 500 births) and Caucasians have an average incidence rate of 1 in 700 births. Africans appear to have the lowest incidence rate of approximately 1 in every 1200 births.

  • What are the causes of cleft lip and palate?

    Research into the cause of cleft lip and palate is ongoing, but at this stage there is no definitive answer. Experts agree that there are a number of factors that contribute to a cleft incidence, including environmental factors, nutritional intake, substance abuse as well as genetics.

  • How does a cleft affect a child?

    Children with a cleft will often have difficulties with basic functions such as eating, breathing and speaking. Along with the physical issues, most children will also have difficulty being accepted socially and will not attend school or hold a job in the future.

  • Can clefts be treated?

    Reconstructive surgery for clefts has evolved over more than half a century, and today’s techniques and procedures have come a long way. The surgery today is simple and the transformation is immediate. Patients see their smile for the first time, parents cry tears of joy, and lives and communities are changed forever.

  • How can I help?

    There are many ways you can help. From volunteering your time and skills through to running your own fundraiser, there's a way for you to be involved. Drop us a line and we'll get right back to you.

Here's how you can Give the Gift of a Smile

For every $250 received, Give a Smile is able to perform a life changing Cleft Lip and Palate operation. The funds are used to pay for the surgical team, hospital and theater costs, anesthetic and medicines, and the child's food and travel expenses. By partnering with Give a Smile you'll be able to sponsor a one-off life changing surgery and give the amazing gift of a smile for a child who would otherwise go without.