We help children with cleft lip and palate in developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Our focus countries are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam in Asia; Bolivia and Peru in Latin America; and Rwanda and Tanzania in East Africa. The projects in these countries receive comprehensive and long-term support. Costa Rica is an aid project that we support one a case by case basis. In Afghanistan, our activities are currently suspended as a result of the assumption of power by the Taliban.
The spectrum of treatments we can offer in the various countries varies. In some projects we can offer only the basic surgeries. In other projects some followup therapies are available, and in the most advanced projects we can offer the full range of medical treatments for comprehensive cleft care.
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 all 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.
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.
Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is a founding member of the Circle of Cleft Professionals (CoCP). The CoCP is a worldwide network of cleft experts from all disciplines and leading cleft aid organizations. Its aim is to promote professional exchange and knowledge transfer in order to advance interdisciplinary help for cleft children.