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Cristóbal, a child with cleft lip and palate from Bolivia

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Cristóbal lives with his family in very poor conditions in El Alto, Bolivia. His mother takes care of Cristobal and his two siblings and the household. His father’s meager salary as a bricklayer is just enough to survive.

When Cristóbal was born with a cleft lip and palate, his parents didn’t know what to do. They had no money for the surgery and no support from the rest of the family, who blamed Cristóbal’s mother for their son being born with cleft. Cristóbal’s parents were very sad and their despair grew day by day. At the clinic where Cristóbal was born, the parents received no information about his cleft lip and palate or treatment options, and the couple’s family did not stand by them.

But Cristóbal’s story took a turn for the better: When Cristóbal was five months old, his parents learned about our partner organization Jiwaqui Bolivia. Our surgeon Dr. Mamani first closed his cleft lip and four months later his cleft palate as well. Today, there is only a small scar left to see from his cleft.

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Since the first operation, Cristóbal and his parents have been receiving help from our psychologists and speech therapists. Today, he is two and a half years old and, thanks to our local partners and our donors, he can lead a normal life without the severe health effects of an untreated cleft lip and palate.

We are happy about this happy ending for Cristóbal and his family! Every month, we help hundreds of families like Cristóbal’s get their children the treatment they need. And you too can help make more stories such as Cristóbal’s possible!

From our projects
The story of Maui, cleft child from Colombia
Our new project to help children with cleft lip and palate in Colombia begins with a very unusual case. Maui was born with a cleft lip and palate. His parents belong to an indigenous people and do not know how to get him the help he needs. By a happy coincidence, Julia, a Swiss woman living in Colombia, is a neighbor of the family and offers to help. In search of treatment options, she comes across Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe.
Video: Impressions from Bolivia
The parents of our cleft children are always full of gratitude. When their child is born with cleft, they often do not know what to make of the malformation, much less that it can be treated. And even if they do - most of our little patients come from the poorest of backgrounds. Their parents could never afford the operation. It is an unimaginable happiness for them to learn that their children can receive qualified treatment, and free of charge even. This wonderful, touching film from our Bolivian aid project captures these special moments of happiness.
Video: Impressions from Pakistan
This film, made for our Pakistani partner organization, the Al-Mustafa Welfare Societey, by the father of one of our patients, shows scenes from our work in Karachi. From here, our senior surgeon Prof. Ashraf Ganatra treats cleft children from poorest families. He operates the children from Karachi at the Al Mustafa Medical Center. In order to reach the many needy families living outside the city, he also regularly heads out to local provincial hospitals to treat cleft patients there.