35 years of new smiles ... and new lives
Operation Smile Canada is part of the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgery for children. With help from our donors, volunteers and corporate partners, we transform lives with surgeries that can take as little as 45 minutes and cost as little as $240.
Operation Smile began in the United States in 1982, and since then we have grown to become a global network of foundations and have together provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities.
Why Cleft Surgery?
Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. These children are often unable to eat, speak, or even smile. In many places, they're shunned and rejected, sometimes abandoned by their own parents.
Too many don't even survive. One in five children born with a cleft condition in Latin America and the Caribbean will die. As many as 93% of children born with an un-repaired cleft will die before their 20th birthday! These statistics are staggering and unacceptable! Operation Smile believes that every child born with a cleft lip or cleft palate deserves a chance at life.
Operation Smile Canada
We know Canadians like you believe every child deserves a chance at life. So in 2011, we founded Operation Smile Canada. Since then, caring and generous supporters helped provide thousands of surgeries for children around the world living in countries where little ones with clefts have suffered for too long.
Operation Smile Canada mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children's smiles and transform lives.
We believe all children deserve to live with dignity. And for those suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities, dignity begins with a smile.
With our global partners, we work in over 60 countries, benefitting from the skilled expertise of thousands of medical volunteers, delivering safe, effective cleft surgery and related medical care directly to children. Many of these children have never seen a doctor before. Most simply can’t afford the care they need.
Making a lasting difference
Everywhere we go we work to build sustainability through training and education of local healthcare professionals. We often leave behind vital medical equipment and supplies. And in some countries where the need is tremendous, we have established permanent care centres so children can be treated year round.
The global partnerships we create, the knowledge we share and the infrastructures we build leave a legacy that lives beyond our medical missions—making a lasting difference in our world.