Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe helps children with cleft lip and palate in Asia, South America and Africa. In 2019, we worked in 12 countries. What we can offer in a country depends on the medical system and how far our project has grown. In some countries, we support one-off missions or projects as they happen, in others, our focus countries, we finance operations and build up treatment structures to offer many additional therapies to improve the cleft treatments there even further.
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.
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.
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.
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 India, 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 both cleft experts from all disciplines and of leading cleft aid organizations. The aim is professional exchange and knowledge transfer to promote interdisciplinary help for cleft children.