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Happy little Sheyla from Bolivia

On August 11, 2017, Sheyla is born in Mojinte, a village of almost 500 people in the highlands of the Bolivian Andes. Her mother Jhesica was only 16 years old at the time. Jhesica only realized that something was wrong with Sheyla when she held her daughter in her arms for the first time: A large cleft extended from the left upper lip to the nose. The young mother then learns from the doctors that Sheyla also has a cleft palate. Sheyla has received three surgeries since then. At the time of the first operation (for the lip and nose), Sheyla was nine months old, and the palate surgery was performed in October 2018. The last operation, to correct the nose, was carried out in May 2019.

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A good life for Sheyla

When Jhesica recounts her story, it is hard to believe that she is only 18 years old. The young woman has been through a lot. Because of her pregnancy, the then 16-year-old had to drop out of school one year before graduation. The child’s father deserts her before the birth. Fortunately, her family stands with her during this difficult time. From her mother, she learns that there is a history of clefts in the family on the paternal side. Jhesica’s grandmother had twins, her aunt two sons with cleft lip and palate. All four died shortly after birth. Jhesica is shocked, and scared that her little daughter will suffer the same fate. She knows from the doctors that the malformation can be treated by surgery. But not in Mojinte, the family’s home village. There is only a small health center there, without cleft surgeons. Besides that, the family could never afford the treatment.

It was a happy coincidence that Jhesica became aware of our offer of free cleft treatment, which turned the fate of her little girl for the better. Today Sheyla is a happy, confident girl – the sunshine of the whole family.

And Sheyla’s story has another happy ending: During Sheyla’s treatments, Sheyla’s mother and our psychologist David got to know each other – and fell in love! Today they are a couple and Sheyla now has a little sister.

 

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Sheyla in her patient intake picture before her first surgery…
… and afterwards
Sheyla is a cheerful girl.
Happy little Sheyla after the surgery.
Sheyla and her mother sharing a moment of joy during Sheyla’s second hospital stay.
After three successful surgeries: Sheyla with her mother.
Happy ending: Sheyla with David and her mom.
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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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08.11.2022/
From our projects
Cleft surgery mission to Dhodial, North Pakistan
To treat children with cleft lip and palate in northern Pakistan, our Cleft Pakistan team drove 1,600 kilometers from Karachi to the city of Dhodial in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 38 patients received surgery for their clefts. For them and their families, this is the start of a new life.
08.11.2022/
DCKH
24 Gute Taten Advent calendar – featuring Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!
For many, the pre-Christmas season would not be complete without an Advent calendar. Small treats or loving gifts sweeten every December day. But another thing can also be hidden behind the doors: good deeds! The 24 Gute Taten (“24 Good Deeds”) charity Advent calendar makes sure of that: every day, a charitable project from the fields of health, environment, education and many more is presented and supported with the proceeds from the sale of the calendars. This year, one of the projects presented once again is one by Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!
14.10.2022/
Cleft children from all over the world
Escaping the vicious circle of poverty
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we remember those who have it less good than we do. Ten percent of our world’s population live in extreme poverty, with less than $1.90 a day for clothing, food and medicine. People with clefts are often affected, their “stigma” an obstacle in everyday life. Many “normal” things such as friends, health and education are hard to achieve for them. A vicious circle – but with an escape?

DCKH
08.11.2022/
24 Gute Taten Advent calendar – featuring Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!
For many, the pre-Christmas season would not be complete without an Advent calendar. Small treats or loving gifts sweeten every December day. But another thing can also be hidden behind the doors: good deeds! The 24 Gute Taten ("24 Good Deeds") charity Advent calendar makes sure of that: every day, a charitable project from the fields of health, environment, education and many more is presented and supported with the proceeds from the sale of the calendars. This year, one of the projects presented once again is one by Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!
13.10.2022/
DCKH e.V.: DZI donation seal of approval renewed
Trust is the indispensable basis of our work. Without the trust of our donors, not only would our work be impossible, we simply could not exist as an association. We are always aware of this, and this awareness guides us in our daily work. We are therefore proud to announce that Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V. has just passed its annual audit and is entitled to carry the DZI Donation Seal 2022/23 for another year.
30.09.2022/
October 1 is Foundations Day
This Saturday, October 1, is "Foundations Day". This day was created by the Association of German Foundations to raise awareness of the important charitable work of foundations in Germany and Europe. We, too, are pleased to be able to count many foundations among the supporters of our work, in addition to numerous companies and many, many private donors.
Videos
21.08.2020/
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.
22.07.2020/
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.
02.03.2020/
Video: The story of Dat from Vietnam
As a baby, Dat fell victim to an unqualified surgery. Probably inexperienced doctors severed important arteries during his palate surgery in Vietnam. The result: a large hole in the palate that massively affects the boy's life. We brought him to Germany to get reconstructive surgery. An individual case that due to the financial and human cost must remain an exception. In this video, we want to draw attention to the risks of "safari surgery" as opposed to sustainable development aid.