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Aid projects

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Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe helps children with cleft lip and palate in Asia, South America and Africa. In 2019, we were active in 12 countries. What treatment we can offer in a country depends on the medical system and how far our project has grown. We differentiate between focus countries, where we work to build comprehensive care projects over the long term, as well as smaller projects which we support with more limited goals.

The spectrum of treatments we can offer in the various countries correspondingly ranges from projects where only the basic surgeries are offered, over projects where some followup therapies are available, to projects that offer the full range of relevant medical treatments for comprehensive cleft care.

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Basic surgeries
Surgeries and some followup therapies
Surgeries plus full range of followup therapies
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Focus countries of our aid for cleft children

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania and Vietnam are our current focus countries. In these countries, we are working towards having fully locally staffed, self-reliant teams that offer the children a reliable, comprehensive cleft treatment with the full spectrum of followup therapies.

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Afghanistan
We have been in Afghanistan since 2010. Since then, we have made more than 1,506 operations possible, a great success! Our main locations are Kunduz, Mazar-i-Sharif and Faizabad.
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Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, around 6,000 children are born each year with cleft lip and palate. Four surgeons let us help more than 1,400 children every year. We are currently training two additional surgeons in cleft surgery.
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Bolivia
We have been in Bolivia since 2010. The experienced surgeon Dr. Mario Villalba was our partner from day one. A second project under Dr. Adolfo Mamani was added in 2016. In 2020, a third partner NGO, Ayninakuna, was added, treating an additional 100 children.
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India
Since the beginning of our work in India, we have provided help to more than 34,000 children. Four of our Indian centers offer comprehensive cleft care from all relevant medical disciplines.
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Pakistan
Pakistan is one of our biggest projects. Thanks to our project manager, the experienced and dedicated surgeon Prof. Ashraf Ganatra, 1,003 cleft children were treated in 2021.
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Peru
Our work in Peru follows the comprehensive treatment concept. The project was inititated by our partner Dr. Alberto Bardales, our partner since 2006.
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Rwanda and Tanzania
Our project managers, the surgeons Dr. Dr. Oliver Blume and Gunther Au-Balbach, are on site once a year and operate patients with our local team. An African team from Uganda and Rwanda goes on missions to Tanzania.
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Vietnam
Three projects at two locations: Dr. Ai leads a project in Hanoi. In cooperation with the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Taiwan we also have a second project there, and a third one in Ho Chi Minh City.
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It is a great fortune to be born in a country like ours. If a child with a cleft lip and palate is born in Germany, the parents receive help from the first day. The children naturally receive the necessary therapies through our healthcare system. This is not the case in many other countries in the world. There, children suffer from the effects of their cleft all their life. Many even die in the first year of life. They need our help.

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Additional aid projects

We support two projects providing pre- and post-operative measures in China and Costa Rica, in cooperation with other partners. In Indonesia we finance surgery missions of our Indonesian partner to help children who live on remote islands and do not have access to qualified treatment.

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China
Since July 2018, we have been promoting speech therapy for cleft children at the University Clinic in X’ian. We cooperate with the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Taiwan in this project.
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Costa Rica
Our project in San José focuses on pre- and post-operative treatments. The project started in 2019. Our cooperation partner in Costa Rica is the Canadian organization Transforming Faces.
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Indonesia
Many of Indonesia’s islands are difficult to reach, and travelling is expensive for the team and patients. Despite these difficulties, we were able to provide surgeries for 19 children with a mission in 2020.
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An international network

The Cleft Group

We bundle our international activities under the umbrella of The Cleft Group. The Cleft Group promotes the professional exchange between our project partners. In addition, it supports our philosophy of building independent structures in the project countries to ensure sustainable aid. Country websites are used to address local sponsors and communicate information for patients. Current members of the Cleft Group are Cleft Africa, Cleft Bangladesh, Cleft Bolivia, Cleft Pakistan, Cleft Peru and Cleft Vietnam.

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Five good reasons to donate for cleft children
Tangible
We dedicate ourselves to a single cause: Treating children with cleft lip and palate. In our project countries, we offer direct medical help for the needy patients and their families. Measurable in the number of surgeries offered.
Comprehensive
Whereever the situation in our project countries allows, we fund additional necessary followup therapies beyond the surgeries, such as speech therapy or orthodontics.
Transparent
Every treatment is documented by our doctors in the project countries in our patient database and verified by us. This way we know that the donations entrusted to us are used properly.
Sustainable
Our goal always is to build sustainable, independently functioning structures in our project countries. To achieve this, we build up long-term partnerships and keep in close touch with our local partners.
Certified
The German Central Institute for Social Matters (DZI) certifies that we use the donations entrusted to us responsibly and properly manner. We have held this certificate continuously since 2012.
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