Humanitarian AidWhat's the Story Behind Smile Train in Dubai?

What’s the Story Behind Smile Train in Dubai?

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Dubai, UAE- March 2024- Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO of the world’s largest cleft focused organization, Smile Train has praised the vital humanitarian role taking place to support children with cleft lip and palate in Dubai. Schaefer, in her latest trip to Dubai, has witnessed firsthand the fundraising, volunteer recruitment and operational management to serve up to 13 countries and regions surrounding the UAE. The visit marks the 25th anniversary of Smile Train in its humanitarian journey to promote a sustainable model of supporting surgery and other forms of comprehensive cleft care.

Schaefer has also called for attention to the potential health complications of more than 200,000 children who are born each year with cleft lip and palate around the world. “This condition can make it difficult for a child to eat, speak, breathe, and hear. Children born with a cleft are often bullied which can lead to low self-esteem,” she added.

Afaf Meky, Executive Director of Smile Train Dubai, has affirmed that Smile Train will continue to provide unconditional support to underprivileged children around the world as a result of the generous contributions of philanthropists and donors in the United Arab Emirates and the region.

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“Cleft is a birth condition that affects the development of the mouth and nose,” Meky said. “Smile Train is committed to providing free surgery and comprehensive cleft care such as dental, psychosocial and speech services to cleft affected, so they can live full and productive lives,” she added.

Smile Train Dubai is a licensed charity in Dubai by the International Humanitarian City, one of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and it currently operates under the umbrella of the largest global organization to raise awareness of the issue of cleft lip and palate.

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